keeping sane

Leaning on the gate of an unused field which probably homes livestock a few months of the year, I felt unseasonably warm sun on my face, stared out across some Welsh mountains and listened.  Birdsong, the occasional dog bark, mostly nothing at all.  I was inflated with a rare inner peace that was embarrassing at first, you “hippy” wanker, but sank in undeniably.  Fuck it, whatever.. 

I tend to idealise being part of a couple, over-romanticise what it could be like.  Plenty of people in relationships are in shit relationships.  They can be lonely too.  It might be pushing it to say they’re as lonely or more lonely than someone who is literally very alone for much of their existence.  Although maybe some of them are.  Young mums in a mess.  Senior females who have lived out whole lives feeling little, in an empty shell, mainly because they were asked and it seemed like the right thing to do back then.  Senior males who feel similarly hollow, the subject of a cultural puppeteer.

Perhaps it’s a different kind of loneliness, a loneliness which also comes with the frustration of being trapped, straitjacketed, imprisoned: something I should be grateful to have never suffered.

While I bemoan and angst and warble over my perennial singledom,
While I tire of dating and all the plastic artifice which comes with it,
While I get sick of the necessary enforced optimism before every first date,
While I grow frustrated at rejection from females I wasn’t sure about either,
While I become painfully bored of being alone, seemingly all the fucking time:
At least I have my freedom, independence.

Plus the inclination to go and do and see stuff, alone if necessary – which it is.  It’s easy to have freedom and not use it.  You can sit on your arse in your lounge and watch crap television and sink deeper.

To get in the car on a nice Sunday and just drive
To fumble my way up the steep side of a mountain after several U-turns,
To seek solace in mournful tunes which fill the shell of my car,
To absorb the beautiful diagonal slanting light, how it illuminates giant slabs of Springtime land:
To take a zigzaggy unplanned walk:
The ability to do this probably keeps me just about sane.

There are worse places to be.

If this sounds like a self-congratulatory back slap, it sort of is.  It’s also a pragmatic mental defence against Hollywood tinted notions of love and romance.  (Although I know it can be good, great, incredible too, for some people – which is why I still hope, why I still put myself through the dating bullshit).  The shining landscape winked back its well-done appreciation at me and I accepted.

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