I love to go to jazz clubs and listen to live music. There’s a great dive not too far from home. I have found that I can’t go by myself without pain, and I mean pain like I’m slowly being ripped apart from the inside out.
It’s not because jazz reminds me of Mark. He didn’t like jazz. Mark seldom liked to go out at all. I was often going by myself to movies, theater, clubs – and it was fine. (I actually preferred going to movies by myself.) Now, being out alone feels like there’s a neon sign over my head that says “MIDDLE-AGED WOMAN ALONE.” It feels heavy, like there’s an anchor across my feet. Like I’m the chubby girl left on the dance floor, unchosen. Like I am alternate-reality Mary Bailey, the fearful, dowdy spinster that Clarence the angel shows George Bailey, scuttling home. Alone.
Pisses me off. I loved my solitude. Damn.