Kat and E took me out to dinner.
E was with us for several reasons, not the least of which was that Kat was afraid of me. Apparently I was really hostile towards her Sunday and Monday, and she was afraid that I was falling back to my old, if-you-can't-beat-them-BEAT-them pattern.
I'll have to take her word for it. I don't really remember too much about my behavior, other than that I was mad about everything and everyone.
Anyway, we were out to dinner to talk about how things have been between us. I was more or less numb for most of the evening, venting about work, travel, dogs, and having no time to myself for the last several weeks.
The conversation turned to Kat and her budding romance with J. Some things were mentioned which I won't repeat here, and I was just overwhelmed with an incredible feeling of loneliness.
My wife, my best friend, the person whom I most loved, trusted, and confided in, was now my ex-wife. We were becoming distant, which is only to be expected for a divorced couple, especially when one of them is in a new relationship. My best friend was gone, we could no longer be confidants, and whatever feelings we once had for each other were gone.
I've been trying to get in touch with some of my other friends, but they have either curled up into a bottle and dropped off the face of the earth, or they have families to take care of and don't have the time to return my calls.
For the past few weeks, I have thrown myself into my work. 12 hour days, six and sometimes seven days a week. I've pretty much dropped out of the church scene, barely making time for my weekly obligatory Mass. I've been working myself into an early grave, living on coffee, cigarettes (oh yeah, I started smoking again), and deli sandwiches and deep-fried bar snacks.
It all came to a head tonight. I am so incredibly lonely. I don't have anyone in my life, no friends to call my own (E is Kat's best friend, and I can't help but think that he is just humoring me to be kind), no one to talk to, and my professed goal in life to to spend the rest of it in a monastic cell. I'll be spending my Thanksgiving alone, looking at some fast food from a truck stop as my thanksgiving dinner. For my efforts, I get to work almost 24 hours straight, and if I'm lucky, I'll get some meager acknowledgment for not screwing up. I'll go home to an empty house, an empty bed, an empty life.
Fighting the urge to break down right there, I quick-walked out of the restaurant, collapsed onto the curb, and alternated between retching, shivering, and trying to keep from running into traffic. I'm not trying to be melodramatic; it really took an effort of whatever will I had left to stop from walking with my eyes closed until it all went black.
After about a half hour, I pulled myself together somewhat (being rained on for ten minutes was an additional motivation) and let Kat lead me back inside. Dinner was completely out of the question; my stomach was still roiling. Kat and E talked to me for a while, while I stared at my shoes and tried to keep from crying. They were very kind, and I am grateful for their help, but I just feel like I am staring down a long, dark alley, and someone is standing in the shadows at the top of the building with a bucket of rocks. Any way I go, I am condemned to a life without loved, without companionship, without intimacy.
I'm starting, or should I say continuing, to doubt that I'm destined for the monastic life. I find no solace in God anymore, and I can't see myself as anything but a failure in life. I just want to feel something other than abandonment.