At the End of the Day

Dearest Rachel –

I’ve never been much for making friends, especially once we got married. After all, I thought, I had you, my best friend in the whole world. What more could I possibly need or want?

Now, you had your friends, both old ones that came up to the area at around the same time you did, and new ones you made along the way, and they became mine purely by means of association. But over all that time, I could never really develop any friendships of my own, particularly among other guys.

And that was my fault; I have always been more comfortable around females that I have with other guys. I don’t know why that would be – you’d think women would be uncomfortable around me, after all. Of course, maybe that hasn’t happened because I was “yours”, and therefore “safe” somehow – I wasn’t likely to do anything untoward, because, again, I had you and vice versa. Although, you’d expect that dynamic to change now, given the circumstances – actually, maybe it will yet, eventually – but so far, it doesn’t seem to have. At the same time, I can’t relate to other guys for the most part – I think I gave up a lot of what I might have in common with them (such as sports, for example) over the course of our marriage. Since you weren’t interested – and it’s no fun to indulge in a pastime where you aren’t – it simply ceased to be enjoyable, and I let that part of me just wither on the vine.

Now, I’m not blaming you for this situation; I could have cultivated these interests, and friendships, had I made an effort to. I simply didn’t see the need. Again, what more did I need, when I had my closest friend with me at any and every hour of the day?

Only, now I don’t. And I need to find somebody – lots of somebodies, in fact – to fill that gaping void.

The weird thing is, I’ve been sought out. I have messages on my phone I still need to respond to – if I only knew how – of guys wanting to meet with me, and see how I’m doing. I’m grateful for their concern, but I’m also a little taken aback by this sudden… interest? is that the word I’m looking for? I really can’t say.

I’m not suspicious of their motives or anything; I know they mean well, and I’m pretty sure they are genuinely concerned about me and my situation. But I literally don’t know how to connect with them, and on what level. Yeah, I suppose I could just talk, on a superficial level, and that would pass the time, filling up the empty hours here and there. Certainly, I’ve enjoyed the lunches that Pastor Scott and I (and Daniel, on alternate weeks) have spent together. But with him, I know I can speak deeply; I’m not so sure about anyone else.

And then there’s the question of timing. You see, at the end of the day, anyone I spend time with needs to go home, And it’s at the end of the day (and, correspondingly, the very beginning) when the house is at its emptiest and quietest, and the responsibilities pertaining to Chompers are their heaviest. And I can’t ask anyone, even a close friend (which again, I can’t say I have) to deal with me or my life at those hours of the day or night. But those are the truly difficult hours.

And so, I find myself talking to you here – in what I, at least, consider to be the wee hours of the night – as I wait for Chompers to fall asleep so I can do likewise. I don’t have anyone else I can talk to, nor would I wish to inflict myself on anyone at this hour. It’s not an urgent situation at this point, but rather a chronic ache that gets worse at the least opportune times.

And at the end of the day, it’s only for someone who’s willing to live with me to deal with – and in turn, for me to deal with the issues she would face.

They say a burden shared is a burden halved, but until someone is able to deal with these hours with me, I’m going to have to (as John and Paul put it) carry that weight a long time, on my own.

Until the morning, darling, thanks for listening.

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I am Rachel's husband. Was. I'm still trying to deal with it. I probably always will be.

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