Oh what a life

Sometimes I joke with myself (because I am my best friend, shout out Ariana Grande) that God must find my life fucking hilarious. Because sometimes…. it’s just ridiculous.

Ok, so I met this guy. And by met, I mean that I’ve met him before, (like years ago, according to my friend. Although I only remember meeting him once. Although I definitely knew of him because we have a thousand mutual friends and one of my friends tried to set me up with his roommate, haha.) But I was always in a relationship when we met before. But this time when he met up with my friends and I, I was a free agent. And he confessed his attraction to me to my friend (because this is high school) and bada bing bada boom. So then he wanted to take me on a date. And like pick me up and wine and dine me and holy shit, he’s way too nice/conventional/etc. for me. (The friend to whom he confessed the crush to warned me that he’s way too nice for me. And I was like “Riiiiight?”)

I went on the date. Because why not? I’m a free agent.

On the date, my phone starting ringing. I have like two friends who ever call me, and both of them knew I was on a date and wouldn’t interrupt a date with such a nice boy. So I looked at the phone and who should it be, but my darling exhusband. Who never fucking calls me, much to my chagrin. (Although to be fair, he had called me two weeks previous and we had a nice nostalgic night together. But then radio silence the next weekend, which led to me sending him a bunch of nasty messages about how he never came to my dance show in Cyprus and is an evil human.) So I ignored the call because I assume he’s just drunk and whatever, I was on a date. I’d deal with him the next day. (Hah, foreshadowing!) So he sent a message that I read and ignored and he called some more and I just kept ignoring, obviously. Tomorrow, tomorrow, I’d deal with him tomorrow.

So I went home with the date guy. And he is all nice and shit, so of course he woke up super early to drive me back home at 6am so that I could change and go off to work.

I walked in the door and saw that there was a key in my key card switch (Yes, I live in a hotel room.) So I turned on the lights and saw my exhusband sleeping in my bed like he still lives here. And I just burst out laughing. Because what the fuck?

He woke up from my laughter and the light. And started trying to talk to me. And I was like, “I can’t deal with you right now. I have to go to work.” So I went to work, taught some stuff, and came home to find him still in my room. Waiting. Because apparently he thinks we should be back together. Because apparently I need to stop dating the nice guy and go back to him. Because apparently he’s not done fucking with me.

It took me a few days to get it through my skull that such a plan was idiotic. But eventually I told him that such a plan was idiotic. Because he divorced me three times and under sharia we cannot be back together, ever. And because I have to find the entertainment all the time. And because he never came to my show in Cyprus and he still wouldn’t. And he got upset and said “fine whatever have it your way.” And then he blocked me. Which is understandable, really.

The timing is so ridiculous though. Since I’ve been back from my summer holiday, I have literally been waiting for the day when he’d just appear in my room and say all the stuff he said. (The hotel knows he’s my husband and gives him keys to my room upon request, so it seemed rather inevitable that he’d show up at some point.) But of all the days for him to choose, he had to choose the day that I stayed out all night on a date… What crazy turns of timings. I suppose it’s for the best, since, all things considered, we shouldn’t be together. Sure, our babies would have been beautiful and probably helped create world peace, sure he’s my best friend, sure he’s the only one who can tell me the most boring story in the world, and I’m somehow still enthralled by every fucking word… but sharia. Divorce. Khallas. Right?

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Hate the man, love the poems

There’s this one Bukowski poem that I cannot for the life of me find and it is driving me mad. Once upon a time I owned a collection of his poems, and it was one of those books that I actually took the time to pack up and move with me. I tend to leave stacks of books at all my residences. And hotel rooms. There are roughly five books I’ve ever bothered to move around with me. This Bukowski book made it from NYC to Abu Dhabi, through me getting fired, through me working a shitty job for a year and a half, through me getting rehired. And then I gave the collection to someone. Some idiot I loved. (Not my exhusband, as it were. He can’t read for shit.) And now I have to fucking read all the Bukowski poems I can find online, searching, searching, searching for this one fucking poem.

I’ll probably never find it. But it’s something about how you can be sobbing in a corner, and then eventually you realize that the edges aren’t painted very well.

Ugh, reading all these Bukowski poems reminds me how much I love/hate him.

Last night all my friends went home at like 10pm because they’ve accepted that they’re adults or whatever, so I went to a bar by myself and sat cross-legged on a stool until the people approached me. One of them commented on the pose, and said “You look like a Buddha waiting for people to flock to you.” And it was so on point. And then we talked about American politics for like an hour. And my exhusband doesn’t get it. That’s what I need in life. I need to perch on a bar stool and learn that sanctions being lifted can be bad for an economy and that people from Africa can name Speakers of the House better than I can. I need that type of interaction in my life sometimes, and it’s not sexual or romantic at all. Maybe for the men it is. But I don’t give a shit what it is for them.

Because I’m Bukowski.

Also last night I watched an old video of a dance I spent months choreographing for my students in N. Cyprus two years ago. And my exhusband didn’t even come to the fucking show. Because he was too depressed and mad at me and childish and whatever. I nearly cried at the sight of my little babies following the steps and so obviously counting in their heads and how totally cute it was and how much work we all did to make that happen and he never even saw it. Because he’s a selfish asshole.

Because he’s Bukowski times twenty.

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Passing the time

I wish I could build a time machine and just fast-forward. This school year is my time to heal from divorce and heartbreak, but that is a really lame way to spend one’s time, honestly. All the self-help tells you to feel the pain and allow the hurt and caress the scars or whatever, but after a few months of that, you’re emotionally exhausted. And you’re ready to stop wallowing and start moving forward in the lonely solo life you’ve been forced to accept.

Of course, since I have a nasty habit of falling in love and staying in Abu Dhabi for men, I don’t actually want to move on when it comes to men. Which means I have to keep being lonely and solo, which means there is a lot of time to fill. (Dating/relationships are very time consuming. Being alone all the time makes you realize that there are seriously 24 hours in a day, whoa.) I’ve been filling that time with wallowing or watching a plethora of mindless entertainment or playing mindless phone games or just staring at my phone, willing myself not to contact my exhusband. It has not been productive.

I need to visualize more productive uses of this alone time and set goals and whatever. So here are some goals for the next months:

  1. Get back on that OCD bullet journal train and overflow your weeks with impossible goals and to-do lists
  2. Delete your ex-husband from your phone and get some Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind therapy to forget his number
  3. Stop ordering overpriced delivery food and justifying it with “self-care;” it’s not that hard to chop your own salad, you lazy expletive
  4. Exercise more. The Kardashians do not just eat the salads, they do the workouts. Hashtag asspirations (sic)
  5. Get some new clothes. That white T you love sporting is literally stained and falling apart. Ya gotta upgrade ya.
  6. Write an essay about the impossibility of modern marriage. Or the cancer of self-care. Or the idiocy of corporate-shaming. Get your Didion on. You know you want to and on some level it would be cathartic.
  7. Join an online writing community. The only true wisdom is in knowing you know nothing, shout out Socrates.
  8. Paint again. Yes, it reminds you of him, but you’ll get over that. Inshallah. Right? Maybe…
  9. Hem those pants already. And get new contacts already. Etc. There are literally things on my to-do list that have been there for years.
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I’ve been back

I’ve been back in Abu Dhabi for… three weeks now, I guess? (I could look at a calendar, but that would ruin my flow.) My America trip was a big success. Smashing, really. But it was also extremely exhausting. On so many levels.

Two weeks before I left Abu Dhabi, bae decided to divorce me for the third and final time. (Under sharia, we cannot ever get remarried now. Well, actually we could, with penalty. The penalty being that first I’d have to marry and have sex with another man, then get divorced again, then we could remarry… he told me to read the Quran after he divorced me. I think he wanted me to find some loophole to get around that whole thing. I did start reading it, but I have yet to find the loophole.) As a result, I spent most of my socializing time in America catching people up on the last two years of our torrid marriage and divorces. I spent my alone time mostly crying.

It was good for me though. Because I am now thinking that I’ll move back to the States after this school year. So, I spent a lot of my time trying to reimagine my future and see what would work and how do-able it would be to reassimilate. And it’s do-able, maybe. I still have plenty of friends in NYC, plus I’d be a much shorter plane ride away from my other friends, so they might actually come visit me. (Americans don’t leave the country, I tell myself, to assuage my sadness that roughly zero people have visited me out here. Then they tell me about their Eurotrips and I’m like, oh I see how it is.)

I will definitely have to reassimilate though. America really is this little bubble of self-obsession, which is hard to deal with when you’ve lived outside the bubble for eight years. But I’ll get used to it again. I totally fell right back into watching horribly staged reality TV shows and pretending trips to museums are cultural. It’s still extremely jarring that everyone has an American accent, but I’d get used to it. And in a few months, I’d be just like everybody else. Except I’d have this juicy past that I’d dole out in little drips to potential suitors and new friends. “Ah yes, my exhusband used to wear that perfume.” “Ah yes, I loved the doner when I was living in North Cyprus.” “Ah yes, I’ve heard of Dubai, spent many a brunch there, once upon a time…”

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World Cup Season

In America, the summer after graduate school when I was underemployed and there was a freeze on new teaching hires in NYC, the 2010 World Cup happened. Growing up I had never really been around people who cared for the sport, but that year I cared. My roommates were also very into it. And we were all underemployed, so we had far too much time to sit around watching football all day. We printed out the schedule and hung it on our fridge and had a million inside jokes about teams and players. We didn’t have an A/C for much of that hot, hot summer, so we lived off of popsicles and football. And it was amazing.

There are only three games left in this World Cup, (or four if you count the third place game) and I would hardly say that I’ve watched all the matches, and I definitely can only name like three players (who wouldn’t learn the name of the fantastic flopping Neymar?), but I have so enjoyed it once again. The other day bae and I were watching Russia lose to Croatia and it was so fun to just cheer and pretend we care and see these strangers who’ve trained all their lives play so nicely for our entertainment.

And it’s such a lovely excuse to get together. For more than one game, I’ve gathered with people I rarely see anymore, and yeah we enjoyed seeing the game, but it was also fun to see each other. As we get older, sometimes we need excuses to get together. Because we’re all in our lives and our routines and unless there’s an important event, sometimes it’s easy for people to just flake on the plans or for nobody to initiate a plan or for the plans to only actually be realized once a month. It’s easier to just hide in our lives and continue our routines and pretend we’re going to the gym or we need to do laundry, but we’re really just going to go home and order food and binge-watch something that’s not even that interesting.

So I encourage you to make a plan with your friends to watch one of these last few games! You might not care at all about the teams (all my teams are gone – possibly because they were chosen entirely for their underdog qualities) but watch the first ten minutes of the match and then decide who you like more. Pretend you’re a die-hard fan. Joke with your friends about the players and their foibles. Talk about who’s the cutest. Mock the die-hard fans who’re in the bar with you all. And revel in the fact that all around the world, countless other groups of friends are doing the same thing.

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