Wednesday, April 27, 2011

single in the city, yo

"You're lying in bed. There's a string of fairy lights hanging from the wall that casts a distinctly romantic glow across the room. You're thinking about how single you are. You know how single you are (which, on a scale of one to relationship, is really single) because you sleep with your MacBook on the pillow next to you."

Kat George. You sum up my life.

Being single in a big city... thank you SATC for tainting all possible reflective moments into one Carrie Bradshaw-esque self-indulgent murmur. I may not be in Manhattan, but I am in North East London. I don't have a window, and I'm craving a cigarette, but I do have a glass of red wine. My cousin's spare room is not a studio apartment, and my tights, flats and woollen cardi do not an ensemble make. BUT, it is a vast improvement on Sydney. For instance: Excluding my current glass of red wine, my last few drinks have been cocktails in Saint Germain, Paris, and bottles of Chilean white wine on a picnic blanket on Primrose Hill. Within hours of each other. While I miss evenings of Coopers Green and Pure Blonde, it makes for a nice change. A bit more of the 'city', even if it's lacking in the 'sex'.

However, being single in a big city? I sleep with my mac book next to me. I once hated the smug little glowing light fading in and out when it was on standby, back in the days when I had someone to snuggle. Or at least someone to plot some well-executed nagging at, as I thought about what I had to do the next day. Now, it's a comfort thing, those smooth plastic lines, and that pulsing glow that I can time with my breathing when I can't sleep. 

I've had some funny stories with men. Boys. Boy-men? Males? I don't really like writing them out here, because I don't know who reads it and I am the chameleon queen of self-censorship.  I've had experiences that have made me want to punch particular men, and a week later figure out a way to punch myself in the face instead (stupid, idiot girl). Ahhh, dating. Ahhh, experiences. Ahhh, that rapidly expanding memory box that I only squeak open to shove the latest 'experience' into, before slamming the imaginary lid shut with an 'Ah well' and an 'I'm never going to think about that again'. Until I can't resist telling the story to a girlfriend over a bottle of wine, laughing and nearly crying at the thought of being a future cat-lady or baby-stealer, depending on my mood. 

It's an interesting road, coming out of a long term relationship that still feels unresolved (hells, does that sentence even mean anything?!). Moving on, staying behind. Endlessly discussing and daydreaming and forgetting and remembering. Learning to let new people in, pretending to be someone else. It's weird. I'm still figuring out who I am, both in relation to, and without, that person.

Over here, there are all sorts of new kisses: the drunken, the should-have-just-stayed-friends, the dancefloor delirium, the mistakes. The down-right hilarious. The stories. The googling. The next day text messages. The hilarious breakdowns with the girls. And out of all this, I think that the best part of being 'single' in the 'city', whatever city that is, has got to be the girls. And whether they are new girls that I've met over here, or recounting to my girls back home, the serious fun of dating, and not-dating, of despairing and hoping, is sharing and laughing and crying and getting persnickettedly drunk in trying to figure it all out. So I guess I am a bit of a Carrie Bradshaw cliche after all. Groan.

*This has been a bit of an experimental post. I want to write more, and worry about not writing less. We'll see how it goes.

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