Perfect Day.

Saturday, March 23, 2019 9:27am PT

I walked from the rental agency bus out into the parking lot. My name was on a board with a parking spot number next to it. Sure enough there along the fence, parked in the corresponding spot, was a blue Mustang convertible.

I’d never driven a Mustang before. Renting one was part of this weekend fantasy of mine. I had a new pair of Ray-Ban aviators and some new clothes (thanks to my wardrobe consultant). I had left winter far behind for four days on the coast. A little work and a little play. As she would later say, was this a sort of a dual life? Maybe. But I needed it. It’s all I had to live for seemingly. She and I had been talking quite a bit since that night in West Hollywood a little more than two weeks prior.

Within an hour I was texting her while standing in front of her apartment building. Standing there trying like hell to look cool, leaning against “my” blue convertible. She walked out a side door a ways down and that’s when my brain shut off. The next four days were a dream for me. What I write here is my feeble attempt to document a perfect day(s) as much for my benefit as anyone’s. I remember bright red lipstick.

I was nervous, maybe she was too. We hugged, I opened the car door, we were out of there. We drove up the coast to a pretty cool surfer themed restaurant on the water in Malibu. It was surreal. The friend I had left weeks before was quickly becoming more than a friend. We had the whole day planned out together. Time to learn more about each other. Lunch was good. I forget what I had, she had fish tacos. We talked about classic rock. I fell for more of her sideways glances and quirky mannerisms. Stepping outside the valet brought the Mustang, I lowered the top.

Driving back we turned left, leaving the coast behind and followed an old green 911 up into the hills. I don’t know if she planned it or not but I had a blast following that Porsche up into the hills, enjoying the relatively fun to drive Mustang. We drove through the valley. Talked about music (she played me some Smiths). Talked about houses…hell talked about getting a house together. I was still nervous. But at some point driving back in towards Hollywood I put my hand on her knee. I don’t remember if it was then or some other time that day, but she said that’s when she knew she was in trouble. I’d known I was in trouble since I first laid eyes and talked to her in person. We were in trouble here.

Around three in the afternoon I dropped her back off so she could get ready for dinner and I could go check into my hotel.

Checked in I proceeded to take a shower, and iron my new shirt and linen(?) suit. Angela had gotten me cufflinks as a good luck gift so I fiddled with those.

[Text from her] Did you send me something?

Yes, yes I did. I had arranged for flowers to be delivered while she got ready. She loved them.

Returning to her apartment building, this time I went upstairs to hang out while she finished getting ready. I got to meet her dogs (I had brought a goodie bag for them to open).

And we kissed.

Back in the car we drove a couple miles down the road to Catch, a really cool restaurant with a garden vibe on the roof of some building. We deferred to the waiter to recommend five different dishes to share as a couple. She and I sat side by side in a semi-circle booth and talked and laughed, or at least smirked, the entire time. For me it was sublime to be so at ease and to be so incredibly happy. We looked good (she looked great…she’s the most beautiful woman I’ve ever known to be honest), we felt good and we worked good together. There was nothing forced or uncomfortable about it.

After dinner we went downtown to Edison which is a speak easy, burlesque kind of joint. Did I mention she looked incredible that night? Tight black dress, curving in all the right places. I was crazy for her. By now we were crazy about each other. Sitting next to each other became basically sitting intertwined in each other. I loved being so close to her, kissing her cheek or neck discretely. The dream turned into heaven. We ordered dessert, and ate none of it. The burlesque “show” turned out to be a five minute dance…we were out of there.

From there we capped off the night back at my place (my hotel room), listening to music, talking…

It was a dream like day. It’s really hard for me to remember because I don’t think my mind was registering it as being real. We’d go on to have one more full day together (pool, observatory, movie night in bed) and then two nights after work together. We talked about everything…our past, our future…feelings…our escape plan. Never in my life had I experienced what I experienced those perfect days spent with her.

Like a fool I fell in love.

Hard.

Island In the Sun

Thursday, May 23, 2019 – 5:32am

I hate mornings like these. I’ve been up since 4am. Tossing and turning in bed. Looking at my phone. Hearing the birds wake up, watching the brightening sky turn the room grey from black. My cat jumping back and forth in bed (he always has to be on the side I’m facing). Purring, his tail twitching.

I finally decided not to fight it. So here I am typing away. A bit of house keeping in this entry. I’ve been depressed for a long time. The tough thing about being depressed is some days I don’t know what to do. Some days I have a vast list of things I want to do. And some days I can’t do anything if I wanted to. Every day is a new adventure when your mind is bleak but your broken spirit still yearns. I don’t know how often I’ll post. I’ve blogged before and it’s impossible for me to keep a schedule. It’s like I write when the stars align. And the state I’m in means those stars have a mind of their own. Thinking out loud here, maybe getting a schedule for writing would be healthy – kind of like how I’m trying to exercise daily…

I started off this blog with song titles for the entries. It’s fun, and somewhat appropriate (we’ll get into that some other day. Though everything needs a soundtrack, right?). I don’t know if I’ll keep it up – I don’t want to make my writing “work” and I don’t want to have to scour the internet for obscure songs to fit my mood or the theme of any one post. Today’s entry could very easily be “I’m On An Island” but ugh, that’s such a sucky Kinks song I couldn’t do it. So I picked “Island in the Sun” which is an infinitely better song by Weezer, and it’s decidedly more upbeat so that’s a bonus.

I’ve felt alone and isolated for some time now. The last year. The last six years. Ten? Somewhere around there. Making kids was stressful. Raising kids is stressful. Building a house was stressful. Losing my job was stressful. I’ve been working from home, essentially isolated from the rest of the world for several years now. As a creative that is a death sentence. I’ve spread myself thin. I’m depressed, anxious and stressed.

My wife and I get along in many ways that most couples do not. We almost always agree on vacations, home decor, pets, running the household and raising the kids. We are not great communicators when it comes to our personal relationships. I’m not going to delve into it too much here. I am just worn out you know. I talk about it enough in therapy and in my mind. My point here is I feel I’ve been going through much of the last decade alone, albeit with this fat fuzzy cat by my side – he’s like an anxiety and depression sponge, offloading my negative energy. I think that’s why he’s so fat.

Anyway, I really can’t take it anymore. I’m really tired and scared. I can’t feel like I’m on an island anymore. The biggest step I’ve taken on this front is I’ve been seeing a therapist for the last month or so. I went to a health and wellness presentation this past winter. At that event a (different) therapist gave a presentation and what I got out of it was: I believe almost anyone can benefit from therapy. We spend a lot of time and money on our physical health. We see doctors, exercise, take medicine, eat right…why not do the same for our mental health. We don’t have to go through life alone, nor do we have to rely on the roll of the dice when it comes to family, partners or friends.

After a few months I finally got the courage to get a recommendation and make an appointment. My therapist and I have had good conversations, and we seem to be a good fit for each other. Now once a week I’m able to let it all out, work through what I’m going through and have someone to help strategize with on my path forward.

The focus of our sessions is my relationship with my spouse, which for me is what I need to resolve in my opinion. It’s not a healthy relationship. I’m not happy in it, and have not been for a very long time. I don’t know if my spouse is happy. We don’t communicate. We don’t show affection (other than family vacations we haven’t slept in the same room in ten years). My kids are watching and learning. This is bad. I do not want to just leave like some people might. Maybe I don’t leave at all. Maybe I do. Regardless I want this next step to healthy, nurturing and kind for all of us. It is what we deserve. I don’t buy into society’s one size fits all expectations and resolutions to relationships. We need to have a situation that is right for each of us, right for our family. We all deserve happiness and we all need the courage to choose happiness.

Now is the time.

I want off of my island (that is not always in the sun).