the retreat: saturday

Not sure what happened to me last night after getting home from Ale House but I watched about twenty minutes of moviepicture n.340, Anatomy of a Murder, and then had another beer, got into bed, and fell in and out of this crazy fitful sleep all night where I was dreaming that I kept waking up to answer texts from Rosie.

Got outta bed at 7, confirmed that all those texts had been imaginary, and then after taking Mango for a quick walk I kinda putzed around the apartment, feeling weird, fatigued, bummed. Drank some water and then walked a mile to get breakfast at El Pub and then came back to the apartment, collected some things, and set out with Mango for my childhood neighborhood, about an hour south of my apartment, so’s to housesit for my boss.

I’m calling it the Retreat because I’ll be alone in this house for three days just reading and watching movies and, hopefully, writing a lot.

I’m well along in mending from the breakup but I’m noticing that the nights are kinda fitful in general. Never so fitful as last night (I’m really confused about what happened there) but close. Keep wondering what she’s up to and for some reason feeling like it’d be a confirmation of my, what?, shittiness or smallness to think that she’s out and about, doing her thing, totally over things. But meanwhile I’m over here doing my thing, bingeing on movies and whatever, being moderately social.

Last night before Ale House I popped in for a drink at John Martin’s where S., the bartender who got out of a long relationship at the same time I did, assured me – after I vented some of these concerns – that there’s no way that a person just goes cold turkey offa thinking, wondering, worrying about and, in at least some mild way, longing for the person they held as their most intimate confidant for several years.

“She’s thinking about you,” he says. “It was two years. She’s not just gonna forget.”

He’s a good bar tender.

Spent much of the morning running errands and getting things in order at my boss’s place, tending the animals, but I managed at around 2 PM to watch moviepicture n.X, The Apartment, which is directed by Billy Wilder (Double Indemnity, The Lost Weekend) and, predictably, he makes a swift and engaging couple hours of it. There’s lots of stuff in it about heartbreak and tryna get over somebody. Shirley MacLaine plays an elevator operator who’s devastated after a breakup with one of her bosses. She’s super eloquent about the feelings. Rang my bell.

Brought the wine back and couldnt find a corkscrew and figured, just my luck, I’d brought wine to a house with no corkscrew. Alas, I found it.

After that I went to get dinner. Veggie wrap. Brought it back to the house and ate it with a RedBull while watching the first half hour of moviepicture n.330, Some Came Running, which has Sinatra in the leading role flexing a remarkable new set of acting chops. Maybe his most persuasive character yet.

Internet is weak here at my boss’s house, the video stream keeps breaking up, so I have to resort to the DVDs I brought from the library. I’ll finish Some Came Running when I go for coffee tomorrow. Trouble with the DVDs is that I couldn’t get them in chronological order. I’ve got a couple from 1960, a couple from ’61, a couple from ’62…

I feel bad about that.

Only 11:30 but I’m calling it a night. After pausing Some Came Running at the fortieth minute I watched Breakfast at Tiffany’s (outstanding) and The Manchurian Candidate (even better) back to back.


I stopped at Walgreens before dinner and got a new toothbrush and a bottle of wine. I haven’t opened the wine and would rather not. I think last night’s drinking, though nothing prodigious or remotely special, is what led to the strange fitful sleep, the long nightmare, the lethargy in the morning. It’s also when I’m drunk that I send messages to Rosie – which I haven’t done in ten days, but still. Being a little tipsy seems to allow for quicker clearer access to my emotions, and I’m questioning whether that’s really what I need right now. It’s no delight to just sit here sober and think my thoughts and then try to get some sleep, but I’m gonna aim for that tonight. Walden as fuck.

Drank a ton of water, too, on top of the vegetarian dinner. Watch me grow taller overnight.

What’s also gonna keep me up is I’m guessing she’ll go out tonight and that pictures will roll in slowly on Instagram, and I’ll wanna indulge this masochistic urge to look at them and think, “this is the life that doesn’t involve me” – stupid self-loathing thoughts that are probably more about pitying myself than punishing myself.

I hate being so hung up on this still, and I hate how I’m behaving – but I’m not sure if I should look at all of this jittery woundedness as a toxic indulgence, or is it just the natural grieving/recovery process?

Is it more constructive to forbid myself these behaviors, or let them play themselves out?

The movies are helping. Romantic plots, tormented portrayals of longing and rejection and regret. It’s like you watch a movie with friends and you take in the story and enjoy it but then when you’re alone, and you’re watching them closely with your heart on your sleeve, you see through the story to the message beneath it, to the feelings that rendered it, and it feels like a kind of conversation. These stories are all showing such a recognizable heartbreak and you realize it’s because everybody involved has experienced the exact same thing. It’s pretty heavy.

11:41 now. Off to bed.

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