Monday, January 28, 2013

Going Solo

He was at his favorite bistro having an early Sunday dinner alone. He was used to his Sunday dinners alone. He'd have  a nice glass of red wine while he thought over the week past and plan the week coming up. There were no encumbrances upon him. He answered to no one but himself. He had decided a long time ago that the best way to live was by himself. He had given up on relationships. They were too much trouble. The time given to them considering when to have dinner, what event they would both like, in general having to consider the other person rather than only himself was binding not freeing. So the dates he made to see events were what he chose, in the time he chose and if his advances were spurned, which I might add generally were not, he'd find someone else who was more receptive. And of course the event was the most important thing not the person he was with. Yes he thought as he sipped his glass of red wine, going solo was the way, until recently that is. He was thoroughly content with the way his life was going, that is until she entered it and he couldn't understand why. He was deep into the contemplation of this situation when he surprised his waitress with an order of another glass of wine before ordering his meal. This was unusual because he was such a structured individual he only had, always, two glasses of wine, one before the entree and one during the meal. Tonight he was breaking his routine and that was unusual.

Yes they had met only a few months ago. She was an older woman by some years yet he found her fun and interesting and she seemed to find him interesting also. It was difficult to find the time to get together because she was retired and he was still employed, doing well and enjoying what he was doing. Yet he still found the time to talk to her, be with her go places together. Even though they came from different generations they seemed to enjoy the same things. His preference for music was more upbeat and she was struck with the sentimentality of The Great American Songbook but after he listened to her music he came to the conclusion it wasn't bad, not what he would prefer but if she liked it he liked it also. He found he no longer enjoyed his solo dinners and when he had them he found himself wishing she were there with him. Eating and drinking alone wasn't bad but there wasn't the laughter, or sharing of the day, and there were no beautiful eyes to look into and dream of holding her. Everything he did before, going to the Yankee games with his friends, having a few beers, dating others all became shallow because he found himself thinking of her most of the time except when he had to concentrate upon his work. He took a gulp of his wine as he ordered his meal. She always told him to enjoy wine it had to be sipped, tasted to be enjoyed, not gulped. When the salmon was delivered to his table he ordered another glass of red as he gulped the last amount of wine that was left in his glass wishing she was there to tell him laughingly not to gulp.

He enjoyed the way this bistro prepared salmon with their special sauce, yet tonight it had seemed to lose its taste. He considered the fact that he probably was falling in love with her but then rejected that proposition because of many reasons, not the least of which was the age differential. He thought he'd retire in about ten years and by that time she would really be old and who knows, infirm or not around at all. He gulped the rest of his wine and ordered another glass. His waitress thought this is really unusual  three glasses was out of the ordinary, four glasses? She wondered what could be happening to this guy. "Where could a relationship like this lead to", he thought. Besides he was getting along fine flying solo, he didn't have to think about anyone but himself and that was so much less of a problem.

He wasn't eating at all now just sipping his wine and thinking of her. "So what happens if I open up to her and broach the subject and I find out she doesn't feel the same about me. Maybe it is fun and the kisses we share delicious but just more fun? Maybe when she goes out with her friends she never even give me a thought, and I am just another guy in her life?". Oh it was so much easier before, no feeling of a hole in his heart when she wasn't there, no worry of age differences that might cause some speculation and who knows ridicule  His friends were not too reticent to express their feelings and they already were wondering if he was crazy going out with a much older women.

Then he thought "What if I pass this opportunity up and never get to share love with anyone again?". He knew that love isn't fascination or a torrid night in bed but love is much deeper touching the soul and the very marrow of one's bones. He was no spring chicken either. What if he passes this opportunity for happiness up and never has the opportunity again? What if this is his soul mate that he was waiting for most of his life and once past there were no others? He knew now that the objections formed in his mind were all about the future which we can try to predict but never fully understand. In worrying about the future which may never come we pass up the present which is all we really have. He knew the present without her wasn't worth a damn to him. So to heck with all the stuff he was concerned with he had to take advantage of the situation which was presented to him as a reality. He knew life without her would be no life at all. All this going solo stuff that seemed so good wasn't after all because it meant no matter how many friends he had, no matter how many conquests he could experience, nothing really mattered unless love was at the core of his life.

He asked the waitress to give him a fifth glass of wine and take away the food. When she came back with the wine and a look of concern on her face, he told her not to worry because it wasn't the wine that was pumping him up it was just something he had to do. After she left he took out his iPhone and dialed her number. "Hi this is....Oh you recognized my voice. Can I see you tonight there is something I want to talk to you about?".
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