It’s Saturday at 10pm. I’m texting two guys. One is an old friend who just agreed that I have a dark soul (I volunteered the description). The other is a guy I met on Tinder who I believe, in addition to wanting to have sex with me, is making lots of suggestions on how to alleviate the darkness in my soul. “Do you journal? Have you tried meditation?” The answers are “sometimes, not as often as I’d like, and yes, but I need to get back to it.”
I’ve had three beers, am barely buzzed, and the local dive bar beckons. I know it’ll be filled with old guys smoking, a lineup of captivating karaoke, and a disparate set of regulars. As one Yelp reviewer wrote, “the place is a Tom Waits song.” There’s a lowdown, crazy magic about the place. It makes me (temporarily) believe that everything is right with the world. But the magic isn’t real, and the next day I wake up facing inevitable answers to inevitable questions… Who? What? Where? When? And my personal favorite… WHY?
Instead, I choose YouTube. A sweet older gentleman convinces me, that yes, I, too can find my voice and sing like a bird. I begin my singing career by practicing “ah’s” and singing along to Ed Sheeran songs I don’t know. Next, I watch Jason Isbell concert clips and pretend I’m there jamming with the best of them.
There really is a moral to the story. Yup, I’m still alone.
Not that I haven’t tried. In the past year, I had a brief relationship with a kind and loving man who reveled in taking care of all my wants and needs. He cooked for me on his boat (at sunset no less), was never without lit candles, and even washed my hair once. It was all so romantic that I couldn’t decide if I was drowning in rainbows (there were literally giant rainbows on our first date) or if I was part of some sex-filled Hallmark movie. Side note: not a bad idea for a new movie channel.
But, as is the case with my old friend, I am a weird combo of dark soul and eternal optimist. And, there are always records.