I am impatient for love. I watch for its arrival exasperated like I'm waiting for a bus in a torrential downpour.
Will it come? I hope so. My self-confidence is low in the romantic department--which is only to be expected after the collapse of my relationship with R. I have only ever made a direct, unapologetic pass at one woman in my life. The rest of the time I've fallen into my relationships almost by accident.
Here's what I know: love doesn't come if you sit at home alone every night, not unless you order it from the Phillipines. Nor does it come to those who are too screwed up to recognise it, or receive it.
So while I wait for the bus I'm working on what Allen Ginsberg called "unravelling my mysteries". Getting rid of my arrogance (mostly gone), tossing out my guilt like a mattress on the pavement (easier than it sounds), trying to understand and forgive those who have done things to me so I can stop clutching anger to my chest like a knuckle duster waiting for a chin to snap. It only ends up connecting with the wrong chin anyway.
And most crucially perhaps, I've got to get rid of my self-loathing, which has lived side by side with my arrogance for the whole 41. Perhaps if I get rid of the guilt some of it will go. Perhaps if I get rid of the anger too, which in some senses is on the same power circuit as the guilt. As is the arrogance, which causes an aloofness that separates you from the people who might reinforce your self-esteem with love and attention.
People began coming back to me when I remembered how important they were (I say remembered because when I was 16/ 17/ 18 I had the wisdom to place my friendships with Helen and Lisa and Salvatore high on my list of priorities--stopped doing so and withdrew into myself for 24 years after drunkenness, romantic disappointment and general exhaustion hit me)(as the saying goes, I never do anything by halves, me). So, what next?
Now I practice not ruining my friendships through possessive insecurity (I keep thinking I'm going to) , and staying out there in the world rather than scrambling back up to my divine eyrie the first time something upsets me.
If I hold my nerve and maintain my balance--if I pray for strength and guidance, and thank God every day for what He has given to me--love will come. And if it doesn't I'll be a heck of a lot happier about the bus stop and the rain.