never married, over forty, a little bitter

nice work

One unscheduled Thursday, I spent the morning drinking tea and reading old newspapers, not sure of how to deal with the chunk of taskless time in front of me. After lunch, I stretched out in a rainbow hammock and propped my book on my chest, but it was hard to concentrate. Other people walked by, presumably on their way to or from shifts of childcare or planting or cow-milking. They had the satisfied posture of people with purpose. It turns out that being busy means something different in a world where most of your work goes toward feeding, clothing, housing, and healing your friends and neighbors, instead of enriching anonymous corporations. And so, for a place with so many hammocks, Twin Oaks does not exactly cultivate a lounging atmosphere. It’s home to the kind of people who will tell you that their work is fun. And, since they get to more or less choose when, where, how, and with whom they work, that may well be the case.

the cracks

As I slowly say goodbye to my work mates, they have expressed sadness to see me go, and I think, for the most part, it is genuine. I like to think I’m a decent person to work with, especially in comparison with some of the difficult types I’ve come across.

I told an unmarried female neighbor last night about my plans to leave and she, who is determined to stay on, spoke to me of her years-long spell of unemployment and how it has eaten through her entire life savings. I’m relieved that through a combination of practicality, modest living, and a small measure of luck I’ve saved a nice nest egg that should see me through my transition.

Reflecting on these things– my skill and diplomacy as an employee and my modest amount of financial savvy– as well as my loyalty and dependability as a friend, I can’t help but feel that when it comes to romance, I have somehow “fallen through the cracks.” That I have the raw material to be a good partner but no real way to advertise it and perhaps no market for it.