On the way to work this morning, a bird took the initiative to evacuate the contents of its cloaca in a thick, white and brown splatter on the sleeve of my black hoodie. I tried not to think of this as a harbinger for the day to come, but it was impossible not to. For the second day in a row I’d been awakened two hours early by my upstairs neighbor’s alarm which she refuses to shut off after waking. I trudged to work in the typical gray Seattle drizzle, scowling at every passerby and mentally exploding their oversized heads as I walked past.
I posted a picture of the bird poo on FaceBook and my friend Gitai cleverly commented, “Quit experiencing metaphors for your life!”
It was a great line, and I approve, but it wasn’t exactly accurate. My life, upstairs neighbor notwithstanding, is generally pretty good. I’m healthy, in decent shape, working on advancing my career, shopping for real estate. I feel like in my forties, my metaphorical shit is basically together.
Then I think of the one area of my life that has been, and continues to be, an absolute disaster. Namely, my love life. Most of the time even the thought of having to have a conversation about where to eat and how to divvy up an evening is exhausting and I thank the universe for my continued singledom. Then there are the weeks of rain, the endless evenings that stretch into one gray line of film stills. A man sitting on a couch alone. Eating teriyaki alone. Walking to a movie alone…and back alone. In these moments, I think, maybe a boyfriend wouldn’t be so terrible.
The problem is, I no longer have any idea where to find one. In my twenties, it seemed like I could make a boyfriend coalesce from the ether through sheer power of will. In my forties, I could maybe get a guy to look at me by punching him.
I’ve tried classy apps like Okay Cupid, and sleazy ones like Grindr, with much the same results. The only interest I arouse comes from men already coupled or throupled in polyamorous relationships of which I have no interest in partaking, or guys that I’m literally old enough to have fathered who message me with declarations of my apparent paternity.
What I want to know is, where is the online dating for the middle-aged?