“Don’t you ever get lonely?” asks a friend
“No, the voices in my head keep me company,” I say. “And when not listening to the voices in my head, I enjoy my own company by reading, playing, and exploring the world of ideas.”
Some friends express their concerns about me being single. These friends are in relationships. I figure that they want me to be in a relationship because misery loves company.
The last relationship I had was with my right hand. Like most relationships, things were fine for the honeymoon. Once the honeymoon was over, my right hand started becoming insanely possessive and jealous. I could not handle a pen or pencil without my right hand starting an argument about my fidelity. We decided to separate, but we are still friends.
Is there a perfect partner out there for me? I like to think so, but I am not sure. My ex-wife and I were looking for our soulmates. During our search, we married each other and were more like cellmates than soulmates.
Over the years, I have never felt understood by the women in my relationships. Some women have come close, but there was always a gap of misunderstanding — especially when it came to my sense of humor. “That’s not funny!” they would say. “You shouldn’t make everything a joke. You need to be more serious.” They did not understand that the only way I could take things seriously was by joking about them.
In all my relationships, women always wanted to reform me.
“I don’t understand,” I would say. “You say that I am perfect for you, but you want to change me.”
“But you eat too many bananas,” they would say. “All those bananas cannot be good for you.”
“I have been eating like that for the past 743 years, and everything is okay.”
“You don’t know that. You should go to the doctor for a checkup. You could have something seriously wrong with you.”
“But I feel okay, and I stay healthy by keeping away from doctors.”
“That’s a stupid thing to say. You should see a doctor regularly for checkups, and stop eating so many bananas.”
You can imagine how long relationships lasted with women who talked like that.
Years ago, I read a book about emotional self-reliance. I do not remember the title or the authors. (A man and a woman wrote it.) I only remember that they said that no matter how romantic, every relationship comes down to answering three questions:
What do we eat?
Where do we go?
What do we do?
That is it. What do we eat? Where do we go? What do we do? If you are not in sync with your partner, then these questions create long discussions or arguments.
I love my personal autonomy, and I have faith in my body. My body knows what it needs better than I do. If I am not hungry, then I do not want to eat. Why force food into my body when it does not want any? Some days, I will go the whole day without eating, or perhaps eating only one meal. If my body needs food, then it will tell me.
When I was in relationships, many times I would not feel like eating. But I would eat, for the sake of peace, because my partner was hungry.
It was the same with going to places and doing things. Many times I went along, for the sake of peace, because my partner wanted to go.
And none of my partners ever understood my need to sometimes sit in a chair and stare at a blank wall, or lie in bed and stare at the ceiling.
Discussions about What do we eat? Where do we go? What do we do? were never a problem during my relationship with my right hand. My right hand would have been the perfect partner if it did not have possessive and jealousy issues.
So, what did single me do on Valentine’s Day? I went to the library and borrowed Samuel Beckett’s Waiting for Gladys. I enjoyed reading this book because it does not exist.
And so it is with my soulmate. I enjoy being with her because she does not exist—at least not here and now. Perhaps, one day, I will meet a woman who understands me completely and gets my sense of humor; a woman who is so in sync with me that we two are one, and never have to discuss, What do we eat? Where do we go? What do we do?