metal gate on brick wall

Middle Aged Loneliness, The Fear Of Dying Alone and Door Kickers in the TL

Well fuck it. I am clearly going to die alone. I like to try and fool myself that I am the proverbial rock, the island of Simon and Garfunkel’s sophomoric bleating, that ‘touches no one and no one touches me’, but the fact is that I am a sociable being in a very anti-social situation. It is not safe for me to have friends, and so I safely shut myself off from the rest of the world trying to preserve the core of what I find necessary to survive – the Boy, my home, and my freedom.

I never wanted to be an outlaw. Anyone who willingly cultivates that kind of reputation is on a hiding to nowhere: it is not a pose to be put on like a new pair of steampunk sunglasses, it is not a refrain for a song to be screamed on a New York stage. Living in the way I have had to adjust to living is an unfortunate circumstance that makes day to day life almost unbearably stressful and sad. Every day could be the last of my livable life, and the first of a dark future which I could not and would not survive. It all seems rather pointless to me. In fact, this possible future where punishing me for surviving my abusive husband by taking my child, my freedom and my happiness away is something the Powers That Be could do and have tried to. Ask why I love California so much, and I will tell you, they offered me sanctuary, imperfect, but sanctuary nevertheless. This arbitrary imposition of other people’s morality which makes my life unlivable and my husband’s more comfortable is unfair in the extreme. There are too many laws and most of them are a joke. The law is now merely the vehicle for continuing the Status Quo, and I don’t mean that shit 80s band that liked to spread their legs wide and rock out with dubious Chuck-Berry-flavored riffs. The law is used against the people by the minority who hold the power, and has far over-reached the remit it should be given.

So here I am, having been punished almost my entire adult life for the fact I married a man not from the same country as me, who ended up beating the living daylights out of me and threatening to kill me, and not allowing him to do so. I am lonely. I am not interested in dating another man. I get plenty of offers from dudes, but it does not interest me in the slightest. I don’t find men physically, sexually or philosophically attractive. I was always very much bisexual, but it was a learnt and a forced bisexuality where I didn’t see there was any other choice. I like having male friends who keep to being friends, in fact I miss having my old friend to talk music, life and the state of the underground world I hover between and he used to inhabit. My dating pool is tiny, and each non negotiable factor makes it smaller and smaller. I would love to have a girlfriend, and not someone just for the physical side of things. I want a chick to hold my hand, to go on dates with, to sit and laugh with. I want a relationship not a hook up. That reduces the pool further. Add to that my proviso that they are not currently in a relationship of any kind – you would not believe how much further that reduces the number of potential partners.

A recent foray into online dating was eye opening. I was ready for an onslaught of men – and I mean actual cis men – that inevitably trawls these places looking for self-hating hook ups. I was ready to be turned down, and to feel old amongst acres of young women searching for a future. I was not ready for the sheer number of unicorn hunters looking for a ‘player number three’. A huge proportion of women on the site were in relationships with or married to men and looking for someone to bring in for a menage a trois. Now, I don’t mind listening to Triad, David Crosby’s hippy freak out song that got him thrown out of the Byrds, but I am seriously not interested in that kind of scene. I am not attracted to men. I don’t want to fuck a guy or have my sexuality used to titillate a man and spice up someone else’s relationship. Some of these women don’t even spring it on you until you have been talking a while. Of course, when I had to explain that I am still married to a man to a woman I really liked, I get thrown into this group of people, even if I have not seen this man since 2015. My lack of ability to get a divorce is shouted down and I am relegated to the ranks of unicorn* hunters, and that makes me very sad indeed.

I am at the point where I give up. I accept that I have to widen my horizons, that I have to consider dating someone who does not tick all my boxes, because let’s face it, when your dating pool is so tiny, you have to be reasonable. So, here I am, sadly accepting that I am probably going to be alone for the rest of my life and the chances of my having a relationship are slim to none.

I was busy contemplating my eternal singleness and how I am going to end up all alone for the rest of my life when the banging started up again. Clang! Clang! Thud! Ba-Doiiiing! The drunk man who likes to kick my front security gate in and the side metal fence that keeps people out of the basement of the apartment building I live in, was back to trying to kick my door and fence in. He does it to houses and apartments in this part of town. You hear him most nights, waking up the neighborhood between 3am and 5am. He finds a door and he kicks it. Sometimes they give way. I have had to go down there after he has gone and try and force the bent gate shut once again so I can sleep without worrying I will wake up to some asshole tickling my toes. It is hard enough facing the fact that no one will ever romantically love you, or hold you or touch you again, without having to do so while a drunk tries to kick the gate in creating enough noise and fury and bent metal to make even the most robust soul blanch and shake in anticipating of the whole shebang collapsing and the hell that will then be unleashed. Fucking drunks. This nightly kicking in of the door has become a ritual that punctuates my sleep. This prick wakes me up and I wait for him to pass out and hope beyond hope that he moves on or gets arrested or sobers up and finds Jesus. Something. Anything to stop the noise.

I am just not that lucky. I can’t believe I am only realizing that just now. Love looked at me, thumbed his cherubic nose and put me in the tragic pile. Success has turned his back on me, leaving me in the ‘hoping to be at least a cult classic but will end up being bitterly disappointed’ category of losers. Safety decided to make a warrior out of me. The Law put me alongside Billy the Kid and Belle Starr with the rest of the Outlaws, but with fewer horses and much less star- quality. Even Motherly Love rejected me, and left me to the bitter knowledge of loss alongside the sweet taste of nurturing a the Boy, whilst looking over my shoulder waiting for The Law’s axe to fall. Luck remained impartial – not on my side and not ‘not’ on my side. I win some, I lose some. I like to play gin rummy for candy with The Boy. I am stupidly lucky at it. I get to call gin so often he checks my sleeves for extra cards and makes me stand up and shake myself down. I don’t blame him, and besides it makes us both laugh. Mother who cheated Death, The Law and Luck itself might well have a few cards up her sleeve. Let’s face it…I would be an idiot not to. Still, I am not a gin rummy cheat, though I might accidentally cheat at hanafuda games like koi koi occasionally, but that is more a case of not understanding rather than willful subterfuge.

Oh well. I guess I get to be a wasted person. I like being wasted. It suits me. I get bouncy and happy and perky, then I drift off into the Fabled Land of Nod. Perhaps next time that drunk man tries to kick the door in I should go down there and talk it out with him. Ask him what he is going to do if he gets into my apartment. Reason with him. Except I don’t find most men to be very reasonable when they are raging. I have some rage of my own, but I turn it in on myself. I guess that is the difference between men and women – they turn it all out…and we keep it all in. If I put much more pressure on myself I am going to turn into a solid manufactured cubic zircona, $10.99 from some big box shop, cloudy but crystalline none the less, like glass without the heat. All I wanted was some comfort and affection, and I don’t even get that. Oh well. At least I have my home, my Boy and my cup of tea sitting beside me. It is more than enough…loneliness is a very unreasonable housemate at times…

  • A unicorn is slang for a same sex attracted woman, who is willing to join in threesomes with an existing male/female couple


  1. JustChuggingAlong

    I accepted 25 years ago love was not in my corner. And I have a boy too. Only problem: boys become men, with new women in their lives. Sure, they’ll always love you. But you won’t always come first. At times you won’t even come second or third. You live alone and you die alone. And when you die, you’ll most likely lie there dead for days or even weeks before anyone notices. Single to death ain’t for the feint of heart. I wish better for you. But for me. I’ve given up.

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