Five years ago today, my wife left me.
I was due to DJ at Big Blue that night as it was Halloween. People had been texting me, excited at dressing up, excited to hear what I’d be playing. I couldn’t let them down. So, heart like a boulder, I packed all my gear up and I went. And I DJed. Here’s a pic from that night:
I look okay, don’t I? I’ve always been good at hiding my feelings but that night was a strain. I had to smile and chat and DJ while, inside, there was this kind of howling, terrible fear. I was nervous and sad, a strange combination.
When I got home to the empty house and the empty bed, I broke down. I was doing that kid crying where you can’t catch your breath, you start hiccuping and the ridiculousness of the sound simply makes the pain feel even worse.
But I had hope. I could win her back. I could show her we could work out what had gone wrong. This is was the love of my life and she’d told me many times that I was the same for her. We could fix this.
When she came to talk, a few days later, she told me it was too late for all that. For her, our relationship was already a thing of the past. Those fourteen years were sealed off, snipped away. I begged her to change her mind. I literally got down on my knees and begged her. You often see that in love song lyrics, “I’m down on my knees, begging you please” but actually finding yourself in the emotional position where it’s the only way you can appeal to someone you love is horrible, particularly when your obvious pain doesn’t change their mind.
In the last five years, no-one has loved me or kissed me or held me or even wanted to be held or kissed by me. This is not because I’ve been a hermit: I’ve forced myself to go out there and be positive and adventurous and I’ve been amazing places and met some incredible people, through gigging. Most of my friends now are intelligent, beautiful women so I don’t lack the feminine in my life. But no-one has fallen in love with me. To be honest, no-one has even given me a chance.
Maybe you’re thinking that I’m obviously stuck and afraid to move on. I don’t think that’s true: I have opened my heart but the result has been more pain and confusion and tears and sleepless nights, heart pounding. And the re-affirmation that, yes, no-one wants me.
This is the longest I’ve ever been single and, truthfully, I’m the loneliest I can ever remember being. That’s including when I was five or six and all the kids at my school were being racist to me with the encouragement of a particularly fucked-up teacher. I feel that same sense of abandonement and unlovability, of being an ugly little boy that no-one wants to sit near. For the past eleven, twelve days, I’ve been dreaming of my ex every night. I haven’t been sleeping well and as a result I’m jumpy and exhausted, I feel haunted but not by a ghost, by the vision of a life where I’m happy and loved.
I can’t believe it’s five years. I can’t believe five years have gone by. If I could only travel back five years and one day, could I change everything? I’d certainly give the old me a slap and warn him about the future that waits for him. Maybe he’d take heed and go to his wife, my wife and hold her and love her and let her know they could work things out. He could wrap her in his arms and never let her go. Ever.
And this timeline, this five years would cease to exist. With a smile, not fake this time, I would mercifully be erased from existence.
You have no idea how much I long for that.