CALLING IN THE ONE
My Godmother walked into my apartment & handed me a workbook about the size & shape of The Artist’s Way. “7 Weeks to Attract the Love of Your Life” I saw on it’s cover & gave her a dirty look.
“Hey, you don’t have to do it now, but eventually you may want to give it a thought… Just add it to one of these shelves until then.” She waved her hand around my apartment in a circle, her eyes following finding numerous bookshelves within eyeshot, before pulling the cover back revealing a beautiful, bright purple note in her signature script. When she slapped it closed again I hugged her tightly knowing she is far wiser than I will ever be in this life, for she will always be an elder. As Chapter One in Dirty Thirty reads, What They Say Is True… And eventually she was right when I finally decided I was ready – almost two years later.
I segregated this book as my treat for finishing Dirty Thirty… “Once I have this accomplishment under my belt, I can start dating again.” But then again, things changed. Plenty of guys were waiting for the completion of my book, simply to have a chance at fucking me again I’m sure. My self-imposed pseudo-celibacy was so that I would remain entirely dedicated to my book baby, but when I finished it on the eve of my 30th birthday, all of a sudden didn’t seem a good enough achievement to get back into the dramas of dating & – ahem, or – sex.
The point of a book is to spread knowledge – to be read – & nobody had read it. Nobody has read it, to this day even. My friends & family all ask for copies, but I know it’ll sit on their shelves or nightstands or desks for ages with no feedback to improve subsequent drafts, nor any understanding of what exists inside it to possibly recommend it to anyone else… So my treat changed: “I can start dating again when my book is published,” I told myself. And Katherine Woodward Thomas’ book went unopened again.
After 7 months of submissions & no luck, I finally finished a 2nd round of edits & sent my baby off to a literary agent waiting to add it to his (god only knows how many months long) reading list in NYC. In reviewing all this effort & feeling very little reward, I was in a weak headspace when a guy from a dozen years earlier popped up in my Instagram account. All of a sudden, regardless of not being where I wanted to be in life, I was considering him as a possible partner. The 2nd guessing of this natural chemistry came from a nagging notion in the back of my head that I didn’t want to live in the aftermath of the same mistakes I’d made before, & had looked at the burgundy spine of Calling In “The One” many times up on the shelf with this focus.
I longed in my glares with expectations that if I finished it, I would find it very easy to decipher if the guy in front of me was “the one” I truly wanted to be with… Or if he instead just happened to be whoever showed up at a specific time. So out of the motivating fear of remaining ignorant, I finally cracked the book – absorbed it’s style, designated it an orange highlighter & added it’s repertoire to my Type A calendar of daily routines.
It didn’t take long to get results, let me tell you, & – as is usual in life – they were not at all what I was expecting. By Day Seven: Making The Space For Love, I hit a breakthrough… My heartfelt reality is that whenever I daydream about a truly intimate, truly fulfilling love entering my life – it isn’t a man, or a person at all: my heartfelt reality right now is that I am entirely in love with my work. Thank goodness I found that out quickly by doing the exercises in this (at first I called corny) book, instead of spending the next year+ of energy, frustration, time, weight-gain, tears & all the rest of it on a guy that I was never going to allow to be “the one” anyway.
A few days later, in Day Eleven: Renegotiating Old Agreements, I was passing the uppity eatery Norah on my walk home from a late yoga class. It was a random Tuesday night & I had an excerpt from the book The Philosophy of Andy Warhol, being read through my ear buds during NPR’s TED Radio Hour Podcast, which included a classic 1950’s song playing in the background; the subject is Warhol’s famous interpretation how the magic branding of Coca Cola proves The American Dream.
I’d like to build the world a home,
And furnish it with love…
Grow apple trees and honey bees,
And snow-white turtle doves…
And as I turned my head across the open doorway of the restaurant, I stumbled upon the perfect frame, around a perfect moment, of a perfect image that somehow mirrored the very separate – yet perfectly reflective – scenario happening in my own life’s bubble.
A couple leaned toward one another’s lips as they stood alone in front of the host stand & stole a kiss.
Not too short to skip conveying their love, not too long to nauseate any possible onlookers... But appropriately, just perfect. And the coolest part was, they’ll never know what an impact witnessing that moment had on me: this quick-paced stranger passing through the night behind their backs.
That significance being a very true peace that came over me in seeing this kind of love existing around me even as I consciously continue to reject it... There was a comfort in knowing that others are carrying the torch (& the burden) while I remain cocooned in my own space & time resisting the foggy & dull idea of being (dun-dun-dun)… In a relationship.
Dear Missed Connections – to the couple who kissed in the West Hollywood doorway at Norah tonight… Thank you.