It doesn’t matter how many people are around me. It doesn’t matter how much time you spend with me. How close you try to get. If I feel alone, then I am – and I am.
You wanted to tick all the boxes. Permanent and pensionable job for you. Optional permanent and pensionable job for me, but I could stay at home to mind our 2.4 children if I wanted. We would have 2.4 children. You never questioned that. Just assumed. Assumed it was what I wanted, too, because it was expected and normal. Assumed I stopped taking the pill after we had been married a respectable time, when you stopped wearing condoms. I never will, you know that? I’ve always done what you wanted but I won’t carry an unwanted child for you.
When I was young I learned to go with the flow. I was shy, and going with the flow meant I got carried along on some outrageous, wonderful adventures. Whole nights spent talking and drinking with strangers, going to gigs and getting invited back to smoke weed with the band, doing magic mushrooms in the small hours of the morning in a children’s playground. Casual love, intense sex and creative discussions all night long.
A lifetime ago.
I got older. I still went with the flow. But going with your flow took me far away from Bohemia and ten strangers sharing a joint in a one-roomed bedsit and casual love and into suburbia, canapés and boring, coy etiquette with the other trophy wives.
Insurance is my job. Painting is my life. My pictures are my passion, my escape. The passion that energises me through bad days, keeps me awake thinking at night as you snore beside me, gets me out of bed in the morning. They inspire and enrapture me. And if you knew me at all you wouldn’t refer to my painting as my “little hobby.”
I’ve been alone for most of my life; I was never lonely until I married you.