“I am feeling lonely.” He said.
“Is it hard for you to be alone?” I ask.
“Yeah.” He says.
“It’s okay to be lonely. I am alone with no family near, few true friends…but its only a moment in my otherwise noisy people filled life. I have to be alone right now to come to terms with myself. That’s one of the big emotional reasons why I have been in Morocco. I am lonely every freaking day but it’s good for me.”
“Sorry for being honest ;/” He said.
“Don’t be sorry.” I said. “I think it’s harder to be in touch with ourselves sometimes in the noise of our careers and the fast pace lifestyle of the city. We like the city because the white noise blurs out the pain of disliking our own company. To be alone is painful.”
“My new girl came back from abroad.” He said. “I don’t know what we are doing. I don’t know what I want to do about her.”
“Can I ask you something?” I asked.
“Sure.” He said politely.
“You are talking about this girl you are dating but didn’t you just break up with your ex. You seem to have been in love with her. Why did you break up?” I asked.
“She wanted marriage and kids. So I broke up with her.” He said.
“I didn’t get a phone line for 6 years because I had to sign a contract. I have a fear of commitment.” I said. “But isn’t that normally where it goes when you love someone?”
“I don’t want to get married.” He said. “My friends say Tel Aviv really fucked me up. They are all getting married. I don’t want to be told what to do and who I can see. I want to have total freedom. My childhood friend is getting married and she’s not able to sleep at my place anymore because her fiance is jealous.” He said in an annoyed voice.
“Why aren’t you happy for her?” I asked. “It’s not like she is in prison.”
“Yes she is.Why can’t it be the same as it was?” He said defensively like a little kid that didn’t want to grow up.
“She isn’t sleeping in your bed not because she doesn’t love you but she expects her man to do the same for her out of love and respect.” I assumed this was the case.
He was silent so I tried to explain.
“It’s a bit like growing up.” I said. “She’s happy to do it for him. Things don’t stay the same forever. Give her your blessing and encourage her to go with all her heart into her new life.”
There was more silence.
I didn’t know where he went inside himself.
He struck me as a delicate soul. A walking piece of art. A beauty. To see him just eating hummus in front of me was such a joy. I didn’t want to trigger him or hurt him. I felt that kind of “normalcy” of marriage with a woman seemed out of reach for him and the change to adult rules and expectations so unnerving for him. Although we had little in common in every sense, I understood what it felt like to not fit into “normal” and to feel like marriage and normative institutions can’t include and won’t contain you.
I finally chimed in to break the silence. “Hey maybe marriage isn’t for you. Maybe women aren’t for you. Everyone has their own time.”
“You think I a gay?” He asked as if he had gotten it said to him so many times.
“I don’t know only you do but how long are you normally alone after a break up?” I asked.
“I don’t want to say.” He said.
“Why?” I ask.
“Because I know where you are going with this.” He said.
You can’t force someone to hear what they already know but aren’t courageous enough yet to do anything about. He knew what I was going to say.
“It’s not the women that matter, they can be a revolving door of anything, but the space needs filling. Who– is less important. You “Look” for love but seek it out only with unhealthy people to be sure it can’t work. If you bond and start to love them, you leave first.”
Healthy is probably too quiet and sweet to recognize after awhile.
So when my Israeli therapist asked what I was doing in my life.
“I am trying to be alone.” I said.
She smiled asking why.
I remembered him and remembered myself. We circle our tails in love. We want and we don’t want. We are afraid and too bold. We make no sense.
I tried to explain, “A lover that I respect shares my pursuits and loves me would be amazing but I am not going to force it. Maybe it never will be a reality for me and that’s okay too. But I am not there yet. I see people as symbols, I judge, I fight, I am chasing my tail. I just want to be as alone as I can possibly be and this isn’t easy for me.”
“You are a very smart girl.” She said it like a mother would. I smiled like a baby.