Everyone Has His Reasons

mila kunis


I’ve always been a lone dreamer living inside my head, and here’s one of my dirty little secrets: I desperately need to be connected to a woman (and not just in the obvious “plugged in” way). It makes me feel alive and whole and wanted. That’s really it – it makes me feel wanted! And that shit is like crack.

When I’m not with a special someone (like right now), I become depressed and feel less than myself. And I think that’s also it. Being part of a couple makes me feel more than myself, better than myself, or perhaps even, my best self. 

This isn’t a macho needing a woman to feel like a man type of thing as much as it’s about an almost pathological desire for the naked intimacy, shared experience and extraordinary closeness that comes when you’re connected to another human being. And it doesn’t hurt if you’re also both not wearing any clothes while doing it.

But here’s the naked truth and another little secret: I’ve been with women and stayed with them knowing full well that they weren’t the best choice for me. And admit it — so have you! Because the truth is, to paraphrase Jean Renoir, everyone has his reasons.

Mine happens to be an unbearable intolerance to the itchiness that accompanies being untethered, which is the writerly way of saying that I’m a big fucking baby. I stayed in a moribund marriage for way too long, well aware that it was wrong but too scared to experience what else life held. Life and wife were more than just two words that rhymed.

And I’ve repeated that sin with several women afterwards, denying certain truths along the way, telling myself whatever it was I needed to allay my fears, tamp down my anxiety and allow me to breathe in the fresh air of being wanted, which we all know is the writerly way of saying being loved. And if you haven’t noticed by now, I crave that more than anything (so much so that I even changed the tagline of this blog today).

I know what it’s like to be alone — sometimes even when I’ve been with someone. And I also know what it’s like to stand on my own two feet and face the world by myself. All things considered, I’d just prefer not.

Because nothing feels better than to be in the arms of a woman who loves you, especially when you wake up from a dream in the middle of the night or early in the morning and she smiles that sleepy smile, kisses you, mumbles something incomprehensible before turning over and falling back asleep.

So I’ll continue to dream.

One Good Thing About a Hurricane

hurricane sandy

Sandy, the aurora is rising behind us.

One good thing about a hurricane is that it forces you to connect with the people you love.

My sons, who are up in Binghamton and down in Tampa, both texted me the other night to see “what was what” (which is the way guys tell each other we’re concerned) in Brooklyn. I also texted with my ex-wife, who lost power in Long Island, and we joked about all of the times we were snowbound together and ended up telling each other to stay safe. I did the same with my last girlfriend, who lives in Queens, and was entertaining her small children while the lights flickered on and off.

I emailed and texted the woman I’m currently dating to see how she and her teenage daughter were faring on the Upper West Side, and checked in with my friends Tony and John, who both live downtown and lost power sometime Monday night. My old pal Steve in Boca Raton emailed to make sure that I wasn’t drowning in the Brooklyn Battery Tunnel — and I even heard from someone I was briefly involved with a few years ago, who was also sleep- and powerless in Manhattan and just wanted to say a quick hi in the dark.

My sister Patti, who lives in Scottsdale, texted to see how Sandy was treating me. And even though we were just in a big fight and weren’t speaking with each other, we were able to put that shit aside. Worrying always becomes the first priority.

When bad things happen, we instinctively need to hear from those closest to us –especially if they’re not physically near — so we know that everything will be all right. And maybe I need it more than most. Maybe I’m just a big mama’s boy (read: pussy) whose mom has been dead for more than 30 years, but the reassurance of connecting with a loved one during the bad craziness going on right outside my window makes me feel warm and safe inside. And I’m not just talking about my apartment.

Obviously, texting, emailing, and social media bring us together so much easier and faster, which led me to post the following question on Facebook yesterday:

How did we all ride out a storm before Facebook and Twitter?

An old friend answered “Drugs!” but the real answer is that we didn’t have so many choices back in the dark days before the Interwebs and simply picked up our phones. Don’t get me wrong: It was great to hear from family and friends, but I dearly missed the sound of their voices. All of our back and forth was online or texting, and I’m pretty OK with it because that’s the way we all live in the world these days. But part of me really isn’t so OK at all.

Which is why I called my sister yesterday.

“Hi,” I said. “I just wanted to hear your voice.”

“I’m so glad you called. I really am,” Patti said. “I wanted to call you on Monday, but didn’t know how you’d feel so I texted instead.”

“I know. That’s why I called you,” I said. “I just wanted to tell you that I love you.”

“I love you, too,” she said.

And that was the one good thing.

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