Sunday, March 3, 2013

My Loneliness Is Killing Me

I was always lonely in New York.

But I always had friends in New York.

They were just never...enough.

I always got picked up in bars in New York. I always had someone to sleep with in New York. I almost always had sex in New York (save for those two years during the peak of my existential crisis). They just didn't give me what I needed. But they helped.

Every little bit helped.

I've got nothing in LA.

I've got no one to call if I'm upset.

I've got no one to sleep beside.

I've got no bartenders winking at last call, with a nod to the couch in the back.

I've got myself, and although that's a lot, it's just not enough.

The other night, I was invited to a professional happy hour by a cute guy I'd met in December 2010 when I'd come to LA looking for an apartment. I haven't seen him since, but we've communicated via an occasional email or tweet. I'd been trying to get together with him to reconnect, so I was thrilled to be invited. Unfortunately, the happy hour was far, and I was running late (as usual), so I emailed with my ETA, asking if I should still come. I had no other plans, nowhere else to be, no one else to see. So I drove towards it, checking my phone regularly for a response.

I drove over an hour in rush traffic, compulsively checking my Blackberry when I spotted a blinking red light.

I turned onto the weird, remote side street in the industrial complex which houses the office where the happy hour was taking place. And as I pulled to the side of the road, my headlights blaring in an otherwise dark, desolate driveway, I finally received my response: "We're not going that late...everyone is leaving...Let's get together soon."


Where was I to go? I was hungry. I had to go to the bathroom. I was far from home. But I wasn't regretting it; I had to try. If I could imagine that he'd tell me to come anyway, that just the two of us would hang out, that we'd meet somewhere nearby for a beer, then it was possible that it could happen.

Only, it didn't.

Last night, I let two guys talk to me at the bar and buy me drinks, and even let one of them call me "ignorant" for not watching TV. I forgave him when he apologized for insulting me (after, of course, I yelled at him).

I am that lonely.

I was cast in the lead role of a staged reading of a new screenplay last week, and I really wanted people in LA to come see my big, one night only performance. I posted it on Facebook. I emailed some of my closest acquaintances and actor friends. And then...I made the text message and email rounds to my LA-based former lovers: those I don't want anymore, those who don't want me, and those I still can't get over.

I am that lonely.

And after receiving responses from none of them, and seeing a relatively sparse audience, I am that much lonelier.

I don't know what to do about this, because now that I've more or less given up trying, it's getting worse. I am out all of the time. I am busier and more active than anyone else I know. I know more people than anyone else that I know.

But I am not connecting.

Maybe I haven't been here long enough. Maybe I am too needy. Maybe I expect too much.

But I see others connecting. I can imagine it happening to me. Doesn't that mean it could happen, at least, one day?

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