Neuroses Knocking

It’s been rough going yesterday and today.  My company is changing the reporting structure of my job.  It’s not good news.  I was upset yesterday – upset to the point that I started crying at 2 a.m. and couldn’t get back to sleep until after 4:30 this morning.

I sent the guy a text as soon as I found out.  His son was graduating from High School yesterday.  I realize it was bad timing; I KNEW it was bad timing, but I needed him.  He said he couldn’t talk – said he was having drinks and dinner with the “whole” gang (which means his ex and her family too).  He said he would call me later.  He never called.

It’s noon on day two and I still haven’t heard from him.  I feel my dating neuroses kicking into high gear again.  Where’s my Xanax?  Can I go back home and crawl under the covers?  I’m sure its just my fragile state after hearing the news about my job (didn’t I promise myself I would never become attached to a job again?) – and my insecurity regarding his relationship with his ex.  I’m certain, once she realizes what she left behind, she’ll want to come back to him.  A 30-year-old line cook isn’t going to keep her interest for long.  And me?  I don’t stand a chance against her. She’s hot, funny, smart, thin, the mother of his children – and they were together for 22 years.  He just wants his life back the way it was.  She can give that to him.

It didn’t help that from 2 to 4:30 am this morning I was watching reruns of Sex in the City.  I stared at the screen, relating, as Carrie never gets what she needs from Mr. Big.  Realization crept in as I nodded quietly to her frustrations.  If I don’t look too close, our relationship is great, but once I put it under the microscope, this is what I observe:

  • We’ve been dating for over eight months and I think he’s used the term “girlfriend” to describe me three times.
  • The last time he’s told me his feelings, it was New Year’s and he said “I like you, a lot.” Nothing appears to have changed since then.
  • His daughter (his favorite kid) and father (his favorite parent) are in town for the graduation, but he hasn’t made any move to introduce me.
  • He hasn’t started divorce proceedings and hasn’t talked about doing so in months.
  • Lately, I feel more like his “buddy” than his lover.
  • He talks about his ex often – not necessarily in a fond way, but her name comes up frequently.

I’m hurting today, I need him and he’s not here.

The Beast

My beast, Kafka, is an aging, paunchy, idle feline. He can usually be found curled up soundly sleeping in the sun and, when awake, he most likely has his nose rooted in his bowl of crunchies.  Hunter, he is not.  Yesterday evening, I noticed his black and white furry face at the back door holding something small and brown in his mouth.  I unlocked the door and he dropped his present at my feet – a tiny finch no bigger than a mouse.  In all of our years together, he’s never killed anything more formidable than a grasshopper.  I lifted the bird from the cold, hard, wooden floor and placed him in my right hand.  His body was limp but warm, his eyes half-opened. There was no blood.  I took him to one of my lamps, gently petting his soft, warm feathers, hoping he was just stunned and the warmth would revive him.  Life never came back into his body. I finally rested his small lifeless body in a nest of grass in the garbage can and closed the lid. 


Although odd for him, Kafka was merely behaving as his ilk should.   I held back my anger toward my beast and didn’t say a word.  The sadness I felt for the death of the helpless, inconsequential little creature filled me.  Life ends every minute. Why this little finch should affect me so, I couldn’t tell you, but perhaps it’s his innocence and helplessness that broke my heart.