Hottie McHottie,aka Captain America didnt come to dinner with our group last weekend. I didnt ask why and his coworkers didnt offer but later, my girlfriend “T” reported that he was sitting at a table in front of her at dinner…with a very attractive woman. Not that I ever believed I had a chance but this stone-cold proof–him opting for dinner with a more attractive woman–still felt like a punch to the gut. Particularly since I”m trying to climb my way out of the pit of self-pity. Well, not actively climbing so much as clinging onto the sides, trying not to slip further.
I thought orgasms were supposed to release the GOOD endorphins but there I was, crying the moment I switched off the vibrator. Blame it on hormones or the full moon, but I hit that low when I realized that everyone I ‘use’ for my fantasies are either not available or just not interested.
A dear friend reminded me that “Any girl can be a mattress. Don’t be that girl…” But what if I WANT to be a mattress? What if I need to use someone as much as they need to use me? As adults, we should be able to communicate openly about matters of the heart and body and as long as there is no deceit, I’m with Justin Timberlake, “We should play tennis.” But it does get messy more often than not, doesn’t it? I try not to thik about “that” time two years ago. It was my first and only dabbling at ‘friends with benefits’, driven by this same lonely desperation and trusting that the person I was intimate with was truly a friend and would abide by the rules. That ended very, very badly. And then there was my January fling at a wedding with a groomsman and the bride consoling me a week later, patting my back, shaking her head, “You’re just not a one-night-stand kinda girl.”
Everyone that I am deployed with is married with kids and as if the constant pictorial slideshows of adorable toddlers in pink sparkley tu-tu’s and doe-eyed boys with missing teeth werent painful enough, I happen to be attracted to one of the dads. He’s kind and empathic and when I’m certain that my mask is firmly in place, all it takes is one concerned look from him and “Do you want to talk about it?” to bring the tears to the surface. What is there to talk about? He reminded me, “Happiness is a choice” and I agree. I know that I create my own Hell and choose to live in it. I’m just so goddamned lonely…
And I do what many people, women in particular, do when they feel down: eat my feelings or go shopping. I’m limited on both being here so I chose the latter and jumped online: I purchased a pale blue pair of velvet dancing shoes and a ridiculously expensive bottle of french perfume. Frankly, it was only a matter of time on the perfume. I had been obsessing over it for weeks and was only looking for an excuse to pull the trigger.
Yes, even in Afghanistan, I continue to wax my legs, paint my toenails and wear red lipstick to bed. I do it for me. Because it helps me feel “normal’ in an abnormal environment.
But that was last weekend. At least The Honey Moon on Friday the 13th was calming. I anointed a white candle and a black candle with herb-infused olive oil, lit additional candles and incense and turned off the lights and the noisy air conditioner in my room. But instead of sitting quietly and meditating, I felt inspired to dance. A dear friend (I still have one or two left) recently answered my call for new music and sent me albums from Brody Dalle, Lykke Li, Peter Murphy and Roman Remains. Peter Murphy fit the mood. Barefoot and scantily clad in my “My Other Ride Is Your Face” t-shirt, I carefully maneuvered and wheeled around that 8×5 foot space. Cautious, thanks to an incident when I was 18 and dancing around my darkened dorm room on Tinker AFB. I misjudged the distance between my face and my bedframe and knocked out my front teeth. It was late on a Saturday night so naturally, the doctor on call at the base hospital suspected–and was surprised that booze had not been involved. I have a couple of false teeth as a souvenir and reminder that dancing with complete abandon can be dangerous in close quarters.
This week, I ran into multiple people from my past starting with a CMSgt whom I served with during my second tour in Iraq. He introduced to the new Commander of my former squadron. I shook his hand and laughed, “I wish I could come home.” He replied, “So why don’t you?” Because the recruiter said “Why would we take a broken 30’something when we could have a healthy 18 year old?” And because I dont like going backwards. But I would prefer to die in blue…
Later, I spotted a familiar, unmistakable silhouette. He hadn’t changed a hair in the seven years since I last saw him. We served together during my first tour to Iraq, the “Invasion” in 2003. We were close once. Something about freezing in a tent while sandstorms raged for days or watching artillery streak past the wings of our plane do more to bond than “we had chemistry class together in college”. It was wonderful to reconnect but I was acutely aware of the disparity between our circumstances. His decision to change paths was met with promotion, a remarkable career, and apparently a draught from the Fountain of Youth. In contrast, I’ve gained weight, aged visibly, and have nothing impressive to show for my choices. I envy him as much as I am ashamed of myself.
But overall, it has been a trying week. I reached the point of ambivalence several weeks ago. “Flat-lining”, I call it. Life. Meh. Right now, I could take it or leave it. But will I feel any differently–any better–when I get home? No, not right away. Readjustment takes time.
But in the spirit of ending abruptly and entirely off-topic, yes, I have been doodling vaginas on my male co-worker’s notebooks.