Travels with Myself

The Occasional Blogs of Doug Jordan, Author

37. Dating 2

I had been dating for about three months and already beginning to feel discouraged. Rather than feel the excitement of the new, I felt only increasing cynicism. I may have been living as if my hair was on fire but my energy was being sapped. But I was compelled to carry on, and match.com kept sending me prospects.

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36. Dating, Oh My

I preferred ‘organic dating’ – going out with people I already knew, if only slightly, or be introduced to somebody – but I knew the name of the game in 2018 was on-line dating. Kinda like a lottery – if I wanted to win a prize I had to buy a ticket – and maybe just as soul-destroying. I took a deep breath and posted my bond and my profile on match.com.

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35. The Question of Suicide

After that dream, and all through that awful summer of Emily yo-yo-ing me I had considered hanging myself more than a few times from various staircases, but now, while visiting Marlene, I thought the branch of the tree reaching over her headstone would do nicely. I wondered where I had put my rope.

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34. WOTS 2

Word on the Street (WOTS) is one of the biggest [outdoor] book fairs in the world, certainly the biggest in Canada. And you’ve got to admit, it’s a clever name, both of them.

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33. WOTS

If I was to be a real author, not a closet pretender, I needed to sell a lot more of my books.
Despite my reservations, and fear, I wanted to get wider exposure. I wanted affirmation. Endless ego needs may have been at the base of all this, but if I wanted exposure, I had to promote my books. As any author, successful and otherwise, will attest, the better mousetrap gets no attention by itself.

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32. Hair on Fire

It may have looked like desperation to others, and maybe it was, but to me it was about regaining my life force, to live with eros, not in a rocking chair.

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31. Lost

My plunge into the abyss lasted four months. Maybe abyss is the wrong metaphor; it didn’t feel like falling into a black hole. It felt more like I was walking underwater, trudging, dragging my feet on a sandy bottom with an undertow holding me under. And maybe this agitated aimlessness lasted longer than four months. It wasn’t as if I suddenly woke up one day and felt well. But from August to December I have only fractured memory of what happened to me. Here’s a list of what I do remember.

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30. Jump with Me

I drove back to Ottawa the next day. She called me at four o’clock. We talked for two hours. The upshot of the whole conversation was simple.
‘I’ll jump with you.’
Okay,’ I said, ‘We’ll jump together.’

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29. Into The Abyss

I knew I was having an emotional episode, even though I had never experienced anything like this before. This is what is commonly called a ‘nervous breakdown’; though professional people don’t use the term anymore, it nevertheless feels apt if you are experiencing one.

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28. Yo-Yo

I wanted her back, but after my anger and petulance, how was that possible now?
Help came from an unexpected quarter: A former neighbour who was also friends with Emily.
‘I’m going to fix this.’ she said.

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27. Writing Mania

One Sunday afternoon of hopeless staring I suddenly saw my story unfolding in my head. I rolled out of bed and sat down at my computer. The words started to flow from my fingers. And in the erratic days and nights of the next three weeks, I wrote. And wrote. And wrote.

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26. The Flute

I drove to the cemetery to consult with Marlene, but she had nothing to say to me. In the fog of my grief I had hoped Emily would be the answer to my next stage of life. Now I felt completely alone. I was a mess, an admixture of anger and anxiety, possessiveness and petulance.

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