Can I tell you this?

December 20th, 2013, 1am

I was listening to Radio Times with Marty Moss-Coane today and it was a show about secrets, that if you share them, they shrink in power. My story isn’t a secret, it’s just something I experienced. Every time about this time of year I feel it, probably always will. Where I am today, far away and not so great, I would never have imagined it back then. It’s what I remember and hits me in my gut, it’s good and bad which I’ve come to figure is just how life is. Tomorrow I’ll be walking with my dog in the fields as sun sets on the ‘shortest’ day, and in the glow of dusk, wind blowing, I’ll remember this. Again, not good or bad, I’ll just remember.

This is from almost 9 years ago. My boyfriend of 11 years had just dumped me. It was totally unexpected. For most of that time we lived at his Baltimore home during the week and spent weekends at my New Jersey house:

It was my first weekend permanently here and alone. I went that December late afternoon to IKEA by Newark Airport to buy a bed. It was dusk as I drove which is my favorite time to be alive, when I get my real energy and my soul most at peace. I was driving my huge ‘99 Cadillac and listening NJ-101.5 which is a real ‘Jersey talk station. It wasn’t so much the yammering I listened to, rather I looked forward to the frequent traffic reports. Back to my world of the Holland Tunnel, delays at the Lincoln and backups at 8A. And so at dusk, still a late winter chill, the lights everywhere twinkling and the sky crisp and pink with glowing grey and purple clouds I found myself barreling up the Turnpike. Refineries like golden cities, trains gliding past and jets landing on runways. I intentionally got lost and drove around Edison for a bit. Like watching a movie. Busy crowded streets, lights everywhere. And I loved the splendor of it all.

It was a strange time. I was free, the most free in years. And completely alone. So was it that I was ‘cool guy’- free and clear bachelor or ‘lonely middle-age loser’ hitting IKEA alone on a Friday night? I was both, always both, which is just how life is. Loser when the 20-something gay couple sauntered past, young, hot and in love and knew that they could read ‘loser’ all over my scared face. But then, ‘super-cool guy’ as I passed a hot latin guy, built like a prize fighter, chewing gum like if he chewed hard enough his misery would end. He was with his getting-heavy wife and two toddler daughters and I could see the fear in his eyes. Life forever with the wife and kids, at IKEA on a Friday night when you could see every inch of him was fighting to not be out dancing, screwing every hot latina within smelling range. So again, that is just life.

I bought the bed, a minimalist white birch platform bed. I loaded up the cartons alone. Drove home alone. Put the bed together and admired my handiwork. The most perfect bed ever, I thought. Around 4am, the financial reports out of Kuala Lumpur start coming in on CNBC. It always comforts me somehow that somewhere, and always, the world is up and alive, people busy doing the things people do. And so I stood there, marveling at how perfect the most perfect bed was. Bright white sheets, dark grey flannel comforter folded just so at the bottom of the bed. It was perfect. Then I grabbed the comforter and a pillow, turned off the light and headed to the living room where I always slept. On the floor. Alone with the glow of Asian market updates playing on the TV. The most perfect bed ever would have to wait for another night.

Samantha and David Wade said thanks.

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Kinley Borden

Artist, writer. Currently a Pet Shop Boys playlist is the soundtrack to my life. I'm getting more into branding/logos and you can check that all out on my site:

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