Happy Valentine’s Day.

In a movie I once saw, the protagonist wondered aloud if you know when it’s the last time you’ll make love. I can’t remember if she meant the very last time ever or just the last time with a given person. If you know, dear reader, please leave me a comment!

This morning as I drank my coffee, I curled up with my dog and one of my cats and put on “You’ve Got Mail”. Remember when we all dialed into AOL and waited to see if we had mail? Seems like such a simple, if archaic, time now. In that movie, Greg Kinnear’s character says that these machines are going to ruin civilization as we know it. Given the events of the last 4 years, I think Nora Ephron (the writer, director, and producer of the movie) knew what she was talking about.

I still love a good rom-com, even if very few have lesbian characters. And I still love to see people falling in love, even if it isn’t with me. Do I miss having a relationship? Yes. Do I need one? No. Need is too strong a word. What I miss most is having someone to talk to about things that are bothering me. Not like a therapist, but like a sounding board. I have a couple of friends I can do that with, but when it comes to cancer, everyone (as I’ve said before) wants to hear only positives. And, as I’ve said before, I am positive that I’m doing everything possible to be cancer free. I’m upbeat most of the time. But in those scary moments when I am absorbing the news that yet another woman (in the support groups…on television…) has died of breast cancer, it rattles me. I wish I could turn to a partner and say, “I’m scared.” And to have a partner put their arms around me and tell me it’s going to be okay.

I miss lying in bed at night, talking about the day and making each other laugh. I miss curling up against another warm body (though Adele does a fair job of keeping me warm, when she isn’t hogging the bed). I miss making plans. “Let’s go to the park!” “Let’s start looking for our next cruise!” Lately, I have been dreaming about my exes. Not sex dreams, mind you, just dreams in which they hold me or make me laugh or just watch a movie with me. Given the way things are right now (pandemic!), people are keeping their distance or making visits very short. My son has been visiting his dad in Delaware pretty often, so I spend a lot of time alone. I hope the world rights itself soon, so I can go back to socializing. I’m a big old introvert, but surprisingly enough, I miss people.

Now, I don’t want you to get the wrong idea. I do just fine on my own, and isn’t that what everyone wants to hear? Modern society wants us all to say that we don’t need anyone. That’s a lot of bollocks. Human beings need each other. No man is an island. Even Tom Hanks in “Castaway” ends up talking to a volleyball. If I didn’t have my pets, I might be talking to the walls. As it is, I find myself having conversations aloud with God. Can’t see or hear him, but I still talk to him. Whether you believe or not, you have to admit that speaking things aloud gives them power. I try to talk about what I’m grateful for and then talk about what’s bothering me. Sometimes the answer comes in my dreams. Sometimes it never shows up. I’m really grateful for those dreams about my exes, because in those dreams, we’re not arguing or frustrated. We are just laughing and loving.

One of the hardest parts about this last year is how old I now look and feel. My hair is continuing to grow back in, and it’s silver, as I said in my last post. Because my skin is so pale (paler now than it was before cancer), I look washed out. I have eye problems that stem from the kind of chemotherapy I was on. Maybe the problems will go away in time, but for now, I constantly have irritated eyes with dark circles around them. I can’t imagine anyone being attracted to me right now because of my looks. But I hope that in time, I’ll find a happy place again and will find someone. I won’t apologize for wanting that. It’s okay to be alone, but I like it better when I have love in my life.

Wherever you are, whomever you’re with, I hope that you show them love today. Don’t screw it up.

Peace, J

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