It’s always a fine line between happiness and despair for a woman approaching her thirties, single. Happy–she’s free like a breeze floating lazily through the window on a summer day, independent of mens underwear grazing her bedroom floor and yellow pee-stained toilet rims that never seem to clean themselves. Despairing in the gifts of–someone to share a Friday evening, and tickle her till she pees her pants while listening to the melodies of Coldplay in the background. No, a twenty something single woman doesn’t long for a man to put bread on the table, or do her bloody laundry, she of course has those things figured out. She’s choreographed the inner workings of her life, not by mere chance of course, but because she’s had to in order to survive, so that they play like a fine tuned piano but the ballad isn’t always sweet. She knows when to unload the dishwasher, feed the dog, vacuum the floors, run the water in the tub for a nice long bath–by herself. But then again, amidst all of this “figured-out-ness” she converses,
I think I’m done trying to meet you, or get you, or whatever. It’s too much work, and I’m not that crafty. I don’t like all the plotting that seems to be involved in finding you. I talk to you. I smile. I try to look nice. I like baseball, politics and a variety of music that doesn’t suck. I’ve pretended to care about Resident Evil and other video games, I’ve watched stupid movies for you, I’ve overlooked various bad habits (i.e. smoking pot, cigarettes, etc.), and I’ve put myself out there for you despite my own discomfort. But what for?
Suddenly she realizes her mistakes. The tweeking that brings such discomfort. How did the happy couple in the coffee shop, the one that finishes each others’ sentences, construct themselves. Do they lie together? He laughs, staring into her eyes, noses inches apart, quickly kissing her brow. If this is a lie then it’s the cruelest kind.
What else can I do within reason? Going to church doesn’t work because you are notoriously awkward there and going to bars doesn’t work because the you that’s real isn’t there.
So, she resorts to placing a pink sticky on note on your door with her phone number. A leap, that’s what she’s told, “you have to take chances.” She only hopes it was the right door. She’s also told to smile, but what differentiates a genuine smirk from a lustful one? And why do you always interpret the later. So she fumbles, tearing bits of a coffee cup, and looks at her fingers, are they manicured? They are, in vain, for you. She walks the condiments aisle in the market buying her tenth bottle of ketchup and eleventh of mustard. You walk by, you’re purchasing some relish because you ran out. You push along with your cart of frozen corndogs. She knows how to cook you know, but you didn’t ask her. Instead she says,
People get dates. It’s one of those things that happens. It just doesn’t happen to me. Maybe I’m supposed to be single right now. Maybe God’s angry with me. Maybe the stars are not aligned properly. Maybe I should have thrown the salt over my right shoulder when it spilled out onto the counter instead of brushing it onto the floor. Who the hell knows.
You who found the pink sticky note. You text elusively as your kind does. Quick answers, always, long passages of time, sometimes months, before your responses surface. She converses again,
I think I’m just going to be single for now. They say that you’ll meet somebody when you least expect it. Hopefully that’s true.
(a revised excerpt from the converse of three twenty something singles)