"Aren’t you just tired of being alone all the time?"
I asked my best single girlfriend as we walked through the leafy streets of the German Colony. We had just had a lovely meal to reward ourselves for the hour of our lives we lost putting the old man’s apartment back the way it was when I moved in, which is another way of saying we grew old ourselves unloading bags and bags of junk and sorting through nasty old shoes so that when the old man comes home, all his junk is right where he left it.
Which is another way of saying, when he left me his place for six months while he wintered in Europe, he not only cleared off not one iota of shelf space for me, he also rewarded me with dirty dishes in the sink and soiled laundry in the hamper. Which is another way of saying: Time to get your own apartment, Abby! Which is exactly what I did. But as my friend pointed out, the whole unfortunate scenario begged another question: "Don’t you wish you had a boyfriend who could help you deal with this kind of stuff?"
When she put it that way it dawned on me that I have been alone for so long, I don’t even remember what it is like to have a constant companion to rely on. Someone who, for instance, could have helped me schlep empty boxes for packing from the fruit stand on Derech Beit Lechem to the old man’s place, a five minute walk that stretched into fifty years because I brought my dog along, who is not easy to walk in the first place, and also because I decided it was a good idea to stock up on fruits and vegetables.
What I’m trying to say is I couldn’t physically carry all the boxes, the groceries, and walk Trevor at the same time, which is another way of saying I ended up having a little crying fit on a park bench where I heard myself say in full voice for the world to hear, "I’m tired of being alone all the time!"
This time, my single girlfriend answered me.
"I’m tired too," she said. "I know exactly how you feel."