FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

Home Aloneness

Magic sifted through a cloud

landed with such a shout

on the shell of her heart

the sorrow cracked out.

The cloud grabbed it on a run

and handed her tears to the sun.

— Laura Comley

Several friends suggested match.com.  One of my sons, visiting with his girlfriend, said,  “We know someone whose mother met a nice man on Senior Dating.” They powered the laptop, pulled up the website, and entered my zip code.

“No, no, no, no, no,” I said, as I looked at the men.  One was pictured with a stethoscope around his neck.  Why not “God” inked across his forehead?

That was, maybe, early 2011.

This is now.

And I’m lonely.  You know.  I’m not bored.  But I’m lonely.  There really is a difference.

About three month ago, I went to Senior Dating to, well, to just, I don’t know, exactly, what.  But I was unable to view any profiles.  I guess the first time your computer travels to take a looksee at this particular place, there’s no barrier.  After that, you’re required to create a profile. So, I did, and it couldn’t have been a better misrepresentation.  I wrote that I’m overweight, have pets, and am extremely religious.  There was a pull-down menu for some descriptors, like hair.  Among the choices were long, short, blond, and the selection I clicked “what hair.” I provided no photo.

The doctor was still there—without the stethoscope.

And despite posting no photo, I received a few, um, indications of interest.  I took no action except inaction.

But, recently, while careening though the home-aloneness maze, I decided to search for a support group in Baltimore, as a way to meet ……….. a widower, thinking a widower would understand. Google provided more widow/widower dating sites than what I wanted, but I clicked on one of the links. Then, I backed out to fabricate a fake name and email address.  Returning to the dating site, I registered, creating a REAL profile of my appearance, interests, and what I was hoping to find within a 25-mile radius of my zip.

And I began to feel sick to my stomach.

After choosing a pay package for three months of exposure, I noticed an “Upgrade Option.”  For an additional $13.99, I could get the extra special, which I couldn’t grasp.  More what?  I made a call to someone knowledgeable and was told my photo might be highlighted to attract attention.  I pictured flashing stars or hearts.  And I said, “I’m not posting a photograph.  I just can’t.“  He told me no one would contact me if I didn’t.  Still, I paid for three months, no upgrade, with a credit card and, then, noticed further areas for details about my life.

The stomachache intensified.

I shrank the page and took a walk.

Stayed out about an hour.  When I returned and retrieved the page I hadn’t completed, I “clicked” something (?) and was smack-dab staring at widowers. One described himself as liberal and educated.  And he wanted a passive life partner. Most said they were very religious, in church daily.  Again, I phoned my in-the-know contact.  “Doesn’t mean anything. They’re saying this because they think it makes them look better,” he said.

Immediately, I began to look for access to cancel.  Nothing.  Finally, I found a “Help” number.  When I explained to the representative that I just couldn’t do this, she told me she was in India (where else?), covering many sites, and wanted to know which one I’d chosen.  I said it was for widows and widowers.  Her voice softened.  She said she understood.  She’d be happy to close the account. But she could find no credit card information.  After giving her my fake screen name, she said, “Your credit card wasn’t charged.”   I thanked her, took a shower, and cried.

Later, around dinnertime, I went to sister Laura’s and, over a glass of Prosecco, mapped my trip to Lonely Land.  We laughed.  And laughed some more.  The next morning, after running, I stopped by her place.  She said, “I’ve written a poem for you, just for you.”   She read it aloud.  It’s up there, under the title, and opens this piece. Peace.

Missy Beattie lives in Baltimore.  She’s willing to relocate—to NYC.  Email:  missybeat@gmail.com.  

 

 

 

 

More articles by:

Missy Beattie has written for National Public Radio and Nashville Life Magazine. She was an instructor of memoirs writing at Johns Hopkins’ Osher Lifelong Learning Institute in BaltimoreEmail: missybeat@gmail.com

Weekend Edition
May 25, 2018
Friday - Sunday
Melvin Goodman
A Major Win for Trump’s War Cabinet
Andrew Levine
Could Anything Cause the GOP to Dump Trump?
Pete Tucker
Is the Washington Post Soft on Amazon?
Conn Hallinan
Iran: Sanctions & War
Jeffrey St. Clair
Out of Space: John McCain, Telescopes and the Desecration of Mount Graham
John Laforge
Senate Puts CIA Back on Torture Track
David Rosen
Santa Fe High School Shooting: an Incel Killing?
Gary Leupp
Pompeo’s Iran Speech and the 21 Demands
Jonathan Power
Bang, Bang to Trump
Robert Fisk
You Can’t Commit Genocide Without the Help of Local People
Brian Cloughley
Washington’s Provocations in the South China Sea
Louis Proyect
Requiem for a Mountain Lion
Robert Fantina
The U.S. and Israel: a Match Made in Hell
Kevin Martin
The Libya Model: It’s Not Always All About Trump
Susie Day
Trump, the NYPD and the People We Call “Animals”
Pepe Escobar
How Iran Will Respond to Trump
Sarah Anderson
When CEO’s Earn 5,000 Times as Much as a Company’s Workers
Ralph Nader
Audit the Outlaw Military Budget Draining America’s Necessities
Chris Wright
The Significance of Karl Marx
David Schultz
Indict or Not: the Choice Mueller May Have to Make and Which is Worse for Trump
George Payne
The NFL Moves to Silence Voices of Dissent
Razan Azzarkani
America’s Treatment of Palestinians Has Grown Horrendously Cruel
Katalina Khoury
The Need to Evaluate the Human Constructs Enabling Palestinian Genocide
George Ochenski
Tillerson, the Truth and Ryan Zinke’s Interior Department
Jill Richardson
Our Immigration Debate Needs a Lot More Humanity
Martha Rosenberg
Once Again a Slaughterhouse Raid Turns Up Abuses
Judith Deutsch
Pension Systems and the Deadly Hand of the Market
Shamus Cooke
Oregon’s Poor People’s Campaign and DSA Partner Against State Democrats
Thomas Barker
Only a Mass Struggle From Below Can End the Bloodshed in Palestine
Binoy Kampmark
Australia’s China Syndrome
Missy Comley Beattie
Say “I Love You”
Ron Jacobs
A Photographic Revenge
Saurav Sarkar
War and Moral Injury
Clark T. Scott
The Shell Game and “The Bank Dick”
Seth Sandronsky
The State of Worker Safety in America
Thomas Knapp
Making Gridlock Great Again
Manuel E. Yepe
The US Will Have to Ask for Forgiveness
Laura Finley
Stop Blaming Women and Girls for Men’s Violence Against Them
Rob Okun
Raising Boys to Love and Care, Not to Kill
Christopher Brauchli
What Conflicts of Interest?
Winslow Myers
Real Security
George Wuerthner
Happy Talk About Weeds
Abel Cohen
Give the People What They Want: Shame
David Yearsley
King Arthur in Berlin
Douglas Valentine
Memorial Day
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail