Reading: Still The Dogs of Babel, though it is making me uncomfortable for various reasons. I'll finish it, maybe write in the bookblog about it. (I know, I wouldn't hold my breath either.)

Watching: Tennis. Federer made me weep and weep, as did Martina Navratilova winning her 20th Wimbledon title in mixed doubles at the age of 46, as did her partner, Leander Paes, who was obviously just in awe of her.

Eating: My weight in crap food, all weekend. I did it unabashedly, as over the course of the past several weeks, three completely unrelated people told me I looked like I have been losing weight. Well, hell, I must put a stop to that. Especially since I'm about to put on a swimsuit for the first time in ten years.

It was freezing in my office today, so I walked up to the fountain in Dupont Circle at lunch to bake in the sun and ponder some things, mainly the subject of my last entry. I've been thinking about it a lot, especially because of the book I've been reading, where a husband is so distraught over the mysterious death of his wife that he becomes obsessed with teaching his dog, the only witness, to talk.

And this is going to sound morbid and gross and completely not like how I mean it, but I realized today that no one would try to teach their dog to talk because of me. But it didn't make me angry anymore.

I don't think my furor towards the lovely couple at the bus stop has to do with the fact that they each have someone and I don't, at least not entirely. There is that, but there's more to it.

It has to do, I think, with belonging, in a pure sense of the word. The feeling that comes from knowing you belong to someone or something or someplace, and the corresponding feeling that comes from knowing it belongs to you in return.

It's not about having, not about ownership. It's not gaining control, taking over, absorbing something into your realm. It's fitting together, a nook and a notch. It is filling a certain space, knowing that you are not right without having it around you, but also realizing that the space isn't right unless you're there. It is being a part of something, without sacrificing what you started with. It is existing wholly in and of yourself, yet also being where the whole of you completes something else, something grander.

Do I sound like I know what I'm talking about? Because I don't. Not a clue.

I do know there's more to this than alone-ness, though, because I've been alone (in the sense of not being half of a couple) my entire adult life (I'm expecting a set of steak knives any day now) and I can't remember feeling exactly like this before. I was alone in college, but I knew I belonged there, on that campus, with those friends. I belonged in L.A., for just the right amount of time, and I was alone there, more or less. I belonged in law school. I fit there, and it fit me back, and I was single the entire time.

But I do not belong right now. Still not to any person, and now not to any place, and nothing belongs to me, nothing fits. The need for it overwhelms me sometimes. I sense its lack, on a cellular level, and I want to jump out of my skin to escape it.

I am not home here. I think that's why I've been looking hither and yon for other places to spend my time. I left my apartment early Friday morning, and though I usually return from weekends with my parents on Sunday evening, I couldn't bear to leave last night, so I drove down this morning and went straight to work. This trip to see my brother is not because taking a vacation at this point is the prudent thing to do. It's because lately the only time I am content is when I am in my car, driving to places where I'm not actually supposed to belong, because then the lack of it is okay, see.

The truly frightening thing is that I'm not exactly sure what will fix it, if there is anything that will. A job? A boyfriend? Maybe. Once when I was visiting Melissa last fall, her husband asked how the job search was going, and then if I was seeing anyone. I told him that I had decided there was a secret door in this city somewhere behind which were all the jobs and all the men, because I have been unable to find either.

But those are things I can't do anything about, not in the end. I can send out resumes and I can troll, but at the end of the day, those things are controlled by other people, by a company deciding to offer me a job, by a guy deciding to offer me a date. (Shh, I know I could do the asking, but allow me my narrative flow.)

Anyway, if there's one thing I learned in therapy, at least in theory, it's that you have to be in charge of your own happiness. I can't sit here and wait for other people to make my life better by employing me or marrying me, because, let's face it, the odds of either bringing me endless joy and happiness are pretty long. And if they are what I need to feel at home, whatever that means, then maybe I'm just not going to be one of the lucky ones who feel it.

For now, I plan stay on the move. I shall escape and avoid with unreserved gusto. (To be honest, the only reason I'm not already on the road to South Carolina is that my brother and his wife are in Chicago right now, so I sort of have to wait for them to get back.)

In the meantime, lean over and blow on your monitor.

There. Melodrama gone. All better.

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