It’s been one year since my move into this place. Last year I took a couple extra days off, so I had 5 days to get my shit moved. I took some stuff over in the car at first, then got a truck. The dragon never offered to help, never said a word, as I had hauled all those boxes out to the rental van. I carried two recliners, my old one that had been stored in the garage, and the newer one, as well as the big oak entertainment center, my desk, my old bed and tools, and my old table out of the house into the truck and then out again into here, all by myself. I know, big whoop. On the one hand it was exhausting work; on the other, it helped me focus all my energy on the physical. I had most things moved, but no electricity in the new place for days. Our local electric utility was swamped with people also moving in over the extended weekend, and they couldn’t even get to me to turn the power on. I’d been staying in the big bed I’d been sharing with the dragon for ten years, until I took the extra bed she’d been sleeping on, which was really my old bed from before we married. Two nights I stayed there on the little bed she kept in her exercise/TV room. It took a while to get all my crap out of there, making lots of trips with little shit I’d stacked up in the garage. Finally, by July 4, I spent my first night here. Independence!
I had a one-year lease, with no idea what the future held. Would I ever see the dragon again? Would I ever go out with my friend Karen from work? Would I ever marry again? live with someone? have sex again? Would I ever feel like I was in love again? Would I want anyone ever again? Still unanswered questions, except for Karen.
At least I learned to see myself as others see me. Since I’d not been all that old 15 years ago, I’d not run into the sensation of appearing as an old pervert to young women. I’d noticed over the years that most young women didn’t make eye contact or nod hello anymore, but I hadn’t ever accepted that I’d gotten old. I feel young and healthy (Hell, I took off an old tar & gravel roof, replaced all the rotten wood, replaced the roof with a shingled one, and built an addition on a house by myself). My skin looks young, but the grey beard and hair give me away. Someone told me how disgusting it actually is to have an old man hit on her, and how young women are willing to be friendly until that happens. Somehow Karen overlooked my interest in her, and we still had lunch together. That’s gone now too. I’ve looked in the mirror and seen that old man looking back. I get it; I’m old. My choices are limited; my options fewer. How odd that it took a young woman to finally drive that into my thick skull.
Happy 4th of July!