THE ADULT ROB GOULD ~ Waking Up Alone
This entry was originally posted on May 4, 2009.
Yesterday it was a rather gray morning. And it was Sunday. And I was just simply unmotivated. I did some writing both for work and for this blog and I paid some bills. All without leaving my bed. By the time noon rolled around I was feeling pretty wiped out from all of my strenuous activity and I decided that a nap sounded like a pretty good idea. I never nap, but after polishing off a huge raspberry chocolate brownie and a half pint of the Ben & Jerry’s chocolate cheescake ice cream that was sitting all lonely-like in my freezer, I quickly descended into a deep sloth and sugar-induced coma. I remained in that state for almost three hours.
When I woke up from my seemingly drug-induced slumber I was all sweaty. I felt nauseous. I had chocolate smeared on my face and I was completely disoriented. I felt panicked, like somone was coming home and was going to find me this way. My ex-wife, my ex-girlfriend, my former roomate? I felt like the place was a mess and I was embarrased by my slovenly post-sleep appearance and I had the distinct feeling that there was somewhere I had to be, something I had to do, that someone was expecting to see me. I felt like something was wrong, that I had missed something important and that someone was going to be mad at me.
Then I realized that no one was coming home or expecting me anywhere. I was alone, and panicked and really wanted someone to be coming. Someone needing me, or preferably wanting me.
I remembered that day, ten years ago now, like it was yesterday, when I returned home to my flat in London that I shared with my ex-wife and turned the corner into our bedroom and realized that she was gone. Forever. Her closets were open and empty and in that moment I knew that it was over. After 14 years. I just knew. I was sure. I would have just sat and cried if I were not so busy thinking about how I could get my hands on a bottle of vodka. It was the most awful feeling of panic and sadness and loss that I have felt thus far in my 42 years. Helpless and alone and final. And sick.
Somehow, that raspberry brownie, that god-damned Ben & Jerry’s and that completely out-of-character afternoon nap all came together like some kind of sugar and melatonin-fueled time machine and brought me right back to that feeling, that day. That knowing that no one is coming home. I have no where to be, no one to meet, no one to call. I have made the worst mistake in my life and I am alone in the worst sense of the word. Talk about emotional PTSD. Well, there I was.
And then I saw George. Just sitting there in the doorway to my bedroom looking at me. He knew something was up. I was sitting on the end of my bed and he just jumped up and made himself a place in my lap.
Now, I’ll tell you something, I do not like cats. They kind of gross me out even. But George, George was put in my life at a time and for a reason that I understand more and more these days. You see, George always wants me. And he is sweet and gentle and knows when I especially need him to be around. And he has this face, this big face, that you just have to love. I have friends who despise cats, who are allergic to them even, that love George. And I have grown to love this cat so much that it is hard to imagine what it would be like to come home and not have him there waiting. All this from a guy who didn’t even want cats to touch him.
So George was there yesterday, once again, as he has been through the last year and a half when I have been sorting through what I might do with my life, where I might go, who I might love and who might love me back. You see, what I know is George isn’t going anywhere. He isn’t leaving, even when all my character flaws are engaged and active. He just isn’t giving up on me.
As I’m sitting here writing this early on a Monday morning with a ferocious week ahead of me, both physically and emotionally, I can hear him snoring under the bed. Just there.
I never would have thought that a cat could have such an effect on me. But then again, I’ve grown to be much more open to the unexpected these days. The things that I really need almost never come in the form that I expect or want them to. Especially not in the form of a cat with a huge head, a crooked tail and a snore that could wake the dead. But since the universe has sent him to me I’ve been happy in a way that I’ve never experienced. And I don’t mean that George has fulfilled my every wish or made me whole or even that he alone is the reason for this new-found happiness. I mean, he is a cat after all. He just couldn’t have appeared in my life at a better time. Especially yesterday.
And I never really wake up alone.