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Jul 2012 19

by Laurelin

Last night, sitting in a barstool while sipping my Sam Adams Summer Ale, I seriously wished that I were anywhere else. My mind wandered: I thought of going on vacation, I wondered what everyone was doing at my bar, if it was busy, I wondered about my bed, and what would be on TV when I got home. I wondered if it was going to rain tomorrow, if I would sleep in or if I would get up and go for a run. I wondered if I would be hungover. Probably not.

It’s another Tuesday, and the most excitement I’ve had all night is tracing the outline of the snakeskin print leather barstool. My two friends sitting next to each other are squawking about their relationships and I am trying not to fall over out of sheer boredom. We’ve been out since 7 PM. It was 1 AM. My brain had officially turned to relationship mush.

“He doesn’t touch me anymore,” one says. “I go home, he ignores me, he wakes up, goes to work, I know he doesn’t love me.” The other shakes her head vigorously in agreement.

“I KNOW,” she says. “Mine doesn’t love me either. I said I love you to him and he didn’t say it back. Laurelin, what do you think?” She says, turning towards me and asking for advice that I know she’ll never take.

“I think I’m going to stab myself in the throat,” I say absentmindedly. The two girls look at me, horrified. I totally didn’t mean to say that out loud. What I meant to say, and what I had been saying all night is this: How can two beautiful, amazing, once independent woman stay in these loveless relationships simply because they don’t want to be alone?

“We live together,” one says. “

We work together,” says the other. I’ve been down both of those roads, and you know what? You do right by you. You make the important decisions and you trust that one day, you will meet someone who is right for you. Some day you will find your best friend, that one guy who wants you to come home and crawl into bed even if it’s late, the one who won’t leave you sobbing in the street after telling you you’re “lucky” he came home because he totally could have banged that chick at the bar.

These poor women; They often look at me with sadness in their eyes because when I ask them to go out a lot of the time they can’t – they’re with their boyfriends. “Aren’t you lonely?” they ask, the question dripping with pity. Yes. The answer is yes, I am so lonely that sometimes it’s all I can do not to just fling myself into bed at the end of each long day, praying to never wake up. I am so lonely sometimes that I call my ex-boyfriend and tell him to come over when I know he’s been drinking, just so I can listen to him snore and remember what it’s like to sleep next to a warm body.

But I am not so lonely that I would ever do what these girls are doing. Love is hard and relationships need to be worked on. But these, these have been dead for a long time and that type of lonely, well that is something I don’t have. My lonely can be solved with the simple concept of hope. I haven’t met someone yet. I will. I always do. With every sunrise and sunset I never know what’s around the corner, but these girls, they do, and it makes me so sad and bored for them that I could just die.

We walk home later, and one of them is crying. “I can’t do this anymore,” she says. I hug her and tell her to do the right thing, whatever that is. I fall asleep alone, and I know she’s drying her eyes before her boyfriend sees that she’s been crying.

I text her the next day, “How’d it go?” and she writes back like nothing ever happened. “Fine,” she says, “I was just being silly. He went golfing. We’re going to the movies later.”

I’d rather go alone.

***

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