Wednesday, January 18, 2012

The Emptiness Beside Me

As I approach closing out a year in LA, I can't help but feel a bit defeated. I'm lonely. I didn't think I'd be so lonely.

But I don't feel like the emptiness is inside of me. I feel enriched, fulfilled, adventurous, accomplished, intelligent, and expanded.

No, the emptiness is not inside of me. The emptiness is merely...next to me.

As I prepared to move from New York, I considered which of my possessions to sell, give away, throw out, or just leave behind. All along, I planned to get rid of my full-sized bed and upgrade to a Queen, not because I had anyone to share it with, but just because I'd started to fill up the bed built-for-two all by myself. But when I signed the lease on an apartment that came equipped with a murphy bed frame that only fit a double-sized mattress, I gave my 10 year-old one to the movers and had it hauled across the country.

As I sleep in it now, all by myself, I can't imagine having a Queen- or a King-sized bed. It would just be...embarrassing.

It's as embarrassing as buying a bike rack that fits three bikes, when clearly it's just me, it's just one bike, and there are and will be no more bikes.

Occasionally, when I go out to dinner alone, the hostess tries to seat me at a large table, built for two, or three, or four, or more. I campaign for a seat at the bar so I can sit alone, in one seat, in my own little space, with the bartender as my date, but sometimes there is no bar, and I'm forced to dine alone at a table, the wide expanse of tablecloth stretching out before me. Instead of sticking to my tiny little area and leaving the rest of the table's blank space to the imagination of my fellow diners, sometimes I order enough food for two, as much food as I would order if I were splitting dinner with another diner, to try as many items as possible, filling the entire table's surface, knowing that I'll take half home and have another nice meal all to myself.

But sometimes, the waiter tries to put my leftovers in a too-large container - two slices of pizza in an entire cardboard pizza box - and I have to stop them. "Just give me a piece of foil," I say. "It's embarrassing to walk out of here with that giant thing."

My life is full. My heart is full. But my bed, my bike rack, my dinner table and my pizza box are all half-empty.

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