My friend, Patrick, sent me poems (What’s He Thinking is thanks to him). He was the only person who did. But he spent these last few weeks of summer slipping away from us, day by day. Friday I sat by the side of his bed, chatting and laughing with his nephew/namesake Patrick. My Patrick smiled and fluttered his hand at us to let us know he heard, but he was too weak to speak.
When the pain grew too great he clasped my hand while his nurse dripped soothing morphine between his lips and down his throat. When I left I kissed his lips, his hands, his forehead.
Monday morning I called to ask if he was entertaining visitors. In my heart, I knew the answer already. Patrick died Sunday night.
Twiggy thin may have been cute when I was 18. Not so much now.
My long-time marriage imploded so quickly and completely that I was left crumpled in the rubble. My body consumed itself in shock. After struggling for ten years to lose five meager pounds, I dropped fifteen in less than three months. After a lifetime of sleeping deeply and peacefully, I’d lie awake for hours. Some nights I didn’t sleep at all.After a life time of loving to read, nothing made sense. I’d go to bed with The Atlantic Monthly, which I habitually consumed cover to cover, and not one sentence, let alone a full paragraph, could penetrate my battered brain cells.
I stole time away from work on Friday for lunch with my friend, Patrick. Last month, when I encountered him by chance out strolling in my neighborhood, I dug into my pocket and gave him The Vixen Divorcee’s business card. After we parted I thought, “Georgia, are you insane! What were you thinking? Now he’s going to think you are the biggest bit of inane mental fluff imaginable.”
Carrie planned thoughtfully for her first night lying in the arms of Morpheus, the god of dreams. Her husband moved out that day, so she knew the only arms waiting for her in that big brass bed upstairs would be those she conjured up in her dreams.
She covered the bed with fresh sheets. She sprayed those sheets with her favorite perfume, Escape, by Calvin Klein. Drew a hot bath and luxuriated in the old claw foot tub until the water turned chill. Rummaged through her grandmother’s wooden hope chest to find the tissue paper packet enclosing the nightgown she wore on her wedding night ten years ago. Slipped it on. Climbed in between the crisp sheets, inhaled the scent redolent of sensuality and love.
She made love to herself. Made love to herself because she knew she deserved it, even though she and love had been strangers for quite some time. Made love to herself because she was determined to keep that spark alive in herself, ready for when the time was right to invite someone else besides Morpheus to lie in bed with her.
I met my friend Ryan for coffee two weeks ago. (You first met Ryan in Solace for a Grieving Heart #2.) He was in town for a little R&R after all the upheavals in his life; he’d lost a job, moved across country for a new one, gotten a divorce, all within six months.
I said to him, “Next year has got to be better for you than this year.”
His reply was a laugh, followed by, “Losing that job got me into a new town that I like and a job that has my creative juices flowing again. My marriage was stifling me. Without all of this, I never would have known how much I love to dance.”
I thought, “I’ve got to stick around this guy. Let his attitude rub off on me. He’s approaching Buddha-hood here.”
When I was young and down in the dumps, my mother, the Angel Ella, would say, “Georgia, quit thinking about yourself. Think about somebody else. You’ll forget why you’re sad.”
I was young and not about to listen to the advice of an older woman. Particularly not my mom’s. What did she know about life?
Quite a lot, as it turns out.
My husband, Alan, walked out our door one day into the arms of another woman. Within a month I was reading to young children at an after-school program. One evening a week I walk into that library and my group, Ms. Stone’s Sunshine Club, jumps up and runs to the reading corner. I open up a book and they cuddle in as close as they can. They’re all smiles because they love the pictures. They love the stories. They love the attention.
Between my last Valentine’s Day as a married woman and my first as a divorced woman, (see Valentine’s Day), I spent my one Valentine’s Day as neither one nor the other holding hands with a handsome, dissolute, notorious lady’s man named Marius.
The setting for our tryst was La Perla, a restaurant on Playa la Ropa in Zihautanejo, Mexico. Our table sat alone, the furthest from the restaurant, the closest to the shoreline. Moonlight, starlight, gentle waves, warm breezes, the sweet sound of soft voices and laughter drifting to us from the few boats in the bay; this should have been the setting for The Vixen Divorcee’s First Kiss, right?
Alan, my former husband, and I concocted our fantasy business while idling in coffee shops and wine bars. The mission of this company was to help broken-hearted lovers bring closure, dramatic and final, to their relationships. We were inspired by Paul Simon to help people in pain with their struggle to be free. We, of course, were never going to be in pain, never struggling to be free.