As I sit on my couch tonight eating Krispy Kreme and listening to Say Anything (no judgement), I find myself thinking about Diane Keaton in Under the Tuscan Sun. I want to know why my divorced life isn't as glamorous as hers. How come I can't go off and have an Eat, Pray, Love adventure and let my soul sop up everything delicious and delectable and heal? Instead, I woke up this morning to my dog ralphing on the empty side of my queen size bed. Meh, I thought sleepily, I can't smell it. I'll just roll over. But then my alarm went off, and since there is no one to hit the snooze button but me, I went ahead and put my bare feet down on the hardwood.
It's not so much that I miss going to bed with someone. Sleeping with a partner is overrated. Someone inevitably snores, or has bed sweats, or funky-fied morning breath. (I, myself, am a self-professed cover hog, and I tend to flail like an octopus. No lie, I tuck the blankets under my body like a caterpillar so they can't be taken away. I dare you to try and unroll me from my cocoon. You will get a karate kick to the face.) No, I don't miss co-sleeping. I miss the hours before sleep: the comfort of sharing a meal with someone, the two hours of t.v. and minor arguments over what should fill the screen, the kiss after quickly brushed teeth... oh and relying on someone else to be the last to turn off the light.
But now? Now I flip the switch and run from the darkness into the comfort of my empty bed. I wake up some mornings and reach, but no one is there. On those mornings, I'm filled with an emptiness that not even a whole sleeve of Ball Park Hot Dogs can erase (did I mention I'm eating like crap?). On my worst days, I hate him for leaving me to pull too-full trashbags from undersized cans. Or I scream his name like a cuss word when I hit my finger with a hammer trying to hang something on my bare walls in the apartment that I really don't like. I put "You Outta Know" on repeat and belt it so loud that my neighbors quiet their t.v. to listen. I sleep too much, or too little. I wish his little internet skank the clap. Or herpes. Or crabs. (I know it's not Christian... but thinking about her itching open scabs makes me laugh.)
But most days, I'm talkin' 5 out of 7 days, I wake up to my yellow comforter (yes, yellow! No more neutral man-pleasin' colors), and I smile into the anticipating face of Margot. I go to the store to buy groceries, and I do that thing he always hated (I talk to EVERYONE at the check out and find out their life story, tell them mine, make friends with strangers, and generally hold up the line). I spend my nights reading smutty romance novels, painting (then repainting) my toenails. I put Margot's hair into a mohawk and then into a ponytail, drink a bottle of wine and sing Hank. I go to Bible study or the gym, watch my girl's play soccer, fantasize about Marcus Flutie or Bo Duke or Edward Cullen or . . .
I write a poem, go out with the girls, have a date, shop the farmer's market, analyze my net worth, count the days until my next vacation, flirt with available men, count the number of times I blink during a commercial, make play lists for days of the week. I drive through this strange town with the windows down and let the hot, yellow sunshine dance on my newly darkened hair.
I listen to that old brag (I am, I am, I am), and I rest assured that this is for the best.