Thursday, January 28, 2016


Sin- gle



1. Only one ; not one of several
“a single red rose”
synonyms:one (only), sole, lone, solitary, by itself/oneself, unaccompanied, alone
“a single red rose”

Your best friend picks you up from the train station after you spent the afternoon at the museum in attempt to journal all the feelings you can’t say out loud as you sit in front of a Makovsky painting. You’re both going to a play about a gay interracial couple per her father’s suggestion but five minutes before it starts you both know how much you need wine so you both hurriedly get back into her car and go to the nearest gas station that doesn’t carry any wine so you zoom down the street and go to a small grocery store that only carries foreign items (only after she calls asking, “ALCOHOL? DO YOU CARRY IT? LIKE VODKA? NO, VODKA! V O D K A! WINE??? I don’t drink beer! Okay, okay. Thanks, bye”) so you buy a white wine from Serbia and pour it into an empty Dasani water bottle and the two of you make it back with a minute to spare. You both laugh like crazy teenagers in the parking lot as you rush up to the auditorium. You drink the warm white wine from the Dasani bottle when the lights go down. You both ignore the: NO DRINK OR FOOD sign because not all rules can be obeyed. You open a package of Pocky sticks an hour in and you silently hand her one chocolate covered stick at a time.

You both sit at the bar of the restaurant and she tells you she recognizes the bartender because she has the memory of an elephant. The bartender ends up being who she remembers and you can tell he thinks your friend is cute (because she is) and he talks to her and only her. After taking a couple bites of chaat, you text her (even though she is right next to you) that this bartender is most definitely into her. She makes a face at you and you tell her with your eyes that ‘he does, he does’. As you’re eating your third plate of Chicken Tikka Masala he lets it drop that he’s married with three kids and you both almost choke on your food. You tell him that he looks twelve! You can’t have three kids! But he does and N shoots you a glare of ‘I fucking told you so’ and it’s not until you’re both outside the restaurant that you laugh and laugh at how off your radar is. She half yells at you, ‘Thank god I didn’t embarrass myself!”. You tell her, “I swear, he was totally into you. Okay, look, I’m pretty sure if he wasn’t married….he would have totally fucked you. So see, I wasn’t so off!” You contemplate going to a bar but you tell her you just want to crawl into (a) bed. When you get back to her house, you kick off your shoes, fall into her bed where she tells you that you don’t have to wear so much make up and hands you soda flavored Lip Smackers to smell.

You tell yourself, ‘Don’t give so much this time. Just a little, just a bit’ but you forget and you love to break your own heart (you’re a little bit of a masochist). But after it’s all passed, you marvel at how much more you have left to give. She told you not to give away pieces of your heart so easily because you won’t have anything left to give to someone who matters. You agreed with her even though deep down, you know there is an overflow.

Your only bed companions are books and your journal. Sometimes, there is an occasional pen. You wonder if this is why you are compulsively buying more and more books.

You take yourself out on dates. You spend time with yourself in the city. On the train, you listen to songs you know every word to. You drink expensive coffee. You eat expensive pastries. You take yourself to the most beautiful museum where you take your time at each painting. You spend $45 dollars on lunch just for yourself. You buy yourself expensive perfume because you love how pretty your skin smells with it on. You buy yourself a new dress because you like how it hugs the parts of your body you do like. You let yourself daydream and fantasize about escaping to Paris and living in a small second story apartment with old and creaky hardwood floors that are the color of wheat. You fall asleep alone, and you wake up alone. You stay up too late reading books that you swear are changing your life and as you turn the last page, you appreciate that there isn’t anyone there to groan about the light still being on. You wake up at dawn on the weekends and wake up to drink coffee in bed. You cancel dinner dates and block phone numbers because you would rather be alone than give false attention. You eat dinner in bed. You buy yourself flowers with the biggest blooms you can find because you want something pretty to look at. You let yourself cry in the shower when you feel an ache in the middle of your chest out of a desperate loneliness or because of something much simpler: sadness. You learn more about yourself and learn to love yourself more by spending more time with your mom. After all, so much of you is her. You take her out on dates. You give your love to the ones who are lacking it more than you are. You walk the streets of San Francisco at 3 in the morning, linking arms with some Asian guy you don’t know with your best friend leading the way to ‘the best pizza you will ever have’. You have sleepovers and learn how to use the Tinder app in your best friend’s bed. You drink two glasses of wine and pay for it the next morning. You yell, “I would rather be alone! I would rather be alone forever than settle for that!” ; that meaning: XY and Z.

You learn to appreciate yourself more and more with each little heartbreak, with each sting of rejection. You learn to not be ashamed in admitting your loneliness. And in turn, you learn to not be ashamed in being confident in what you want, what you want to feel, and what you need. The more time you spend with yourself, you know what kind of person you want to be. You know what kind of love you want to give. You learn to say no. You learn to not settle. You learn how to be open and vulnerable but you learn to set boundaries. You know the mistakes you do not want to repeat. You learn to be proud of yourself.

“Do you have a date tonight?”

“What are you doing this weekend?”
“I don’t know. Nothing, really.”

“What are you deprived of?”

After your mom hugs you and says ‘I’m sorry’ because she can see a hint of defeat in your eyes, and she can sense the sadness in the droop of your shoulders, she quietly asks you with her hand over yours: “Even though you’re alone, you don’t regret it?”

You look at her, with your eyes set on hers and you say, “No.”