All our times have come.
Here but now they’re gone.
Seasons don’t fear the Reaper, nor do the sun, the wind or the rain. We can be like they are.
Come on baby, don’t fear the Reaper.
Baby, take my hand, don’t fear the Reaper.
We’ll be able to fly.
Don’t fear the Reaper.
Baby, I’m your man. — “(Don’t Fear) The Reaper,” Blue Oyster Cult, 1976.
Almost the end of June, and I try to get in one post a month now. Back in 2014-2015 I tried to make it two, but eventually I ran out of flashback stories, and work schedules took their toll. For the past year it’s been less about that and more about my handicapped mother and I facing a lengthy eviction proceeding at the hands of our cruel slumlord. It’s stretched over a year and two proceedings, but a trial date is now imminent. It’ll either be in mid July or, at best, sometime in August. And without an attorney I expect this to be a kangaroo proceeding. While we pay our rent, our landlord has claimed we are “hoarders.” The apartment isn’t the prettiest, but that’s mostly because there have been some 50 violations within it which were not fixed for the past 6-plus years. Only in America, or New York, can a landlord demolish your apartment with neglect, then evict you for having a messy apartment. I expect we’ll get a nice trial. And the be evicted. It’s all about formality and delaying the inevitable.
Technically I was homeless once before, but I was about a year old, and so thus don’t remember it. Being homeless twice in under 40 years is pretty damn crappy, to be blunt. Our lives are worth nothing more to the landlord than an extra $21,000 in annual revenue from new tenants without rent control. Considering he (or at least his limited liability company) is involved in ownership of some 30 buildings and likely makes multi-millions in revenue, it seems a paltry amount of money to destroy lives over. But, it’s New York. Greed is good.
This post is more of a sequel to one I made in November, titled, “Vs. a Life Not Lived.” I waxed philosophical about what my life may have been like had some things shook out differently, and of being tired of the grind. But lately the more I have thought about some things, the more I see one advantage to how things have shaken out, at least in regards to the intended premise of this blog — my love life, or lack thereof.
I got to thinking how my life will now enter a phase; how it was before being homeless, and how it will be after. I see the end of the road coming faster now, as I will enter an era worse than death, or imprisonment. After all, inmates have rights, such as free legal and medical care. I expect to find myself wearing everything I own, in a shelter alongside ex-cons, getting nostalgic about that time in my life when I had things like a door that closed or personal space. It’s the kind of era where it is easy to think back on all the things I never got a chance to do, and now likely never will. That includes being in a relationship, or having sex. My odds were bleak before, but now will be all but nil. Even if I manage to claw back, it will likely cost me, at best, the rest of my 30’s. No man — NO MAN — outside of fiction has had a satisfying romantic life which didn’t begin before forty. None. At least not without having to pay for it.
But the more I thought, the more I thought of the downside to if I’d been more successful in love. If I’d had one lover, one relationship, then the odds of having more would have been statistically higher. And the odds of being in the middle of one now — when I have been going through such horror — would also be higher. As bad as this is for my mother and I, and some of my friends, imagine how horrid it’d be for a lover of mine. The stress alone would likely end the relationship in an ugly fashion due to arguments. Over the past year I have seen myself get angrier, more bitter, more frustrated with my lot, and have much darker and more cynical thoughts in general. It would be terrible, for me and a lover, to put her through such emotional anguish. Even if I handled it like a saint, it’s a rough emotional thing for her to have to watch a boyfriend go through. I wouldn’t want to put someone I am dating through that, whether we’d been dating for years or weeks.
Even worse, desperation and circumstance may have forced my mother and/or I to move in with her, were I dating someone. And if that happened, I’d become even more of a stereotype of the modern dysfunctional man. The fact that most men STILL believe “most women” and “gold diggers” and are only after money is a laugh. Because with modern times and the economy, it’s more like the reverse. Men are more likely to be underemployed and/or under-educated compared to women. I’ve seen far more gold digging men both on TV and in real life (to a limited degree) than the reverse. Even some of my best friends who are coupled up, their wives usually are the breadwinners. But even worse are those guys who move in, become a drain on resources, and feel entitled to that. It’s an ugly cliche for a woman nowadays to fall in love with a loser who almost immediately moves in and won’t leave, citing one calamity after the next. That, along with the appalling way that men usually treat women, is one of the primary reasons why women are so hesitant to date, and why any hint of a “red flag” is bad for them. They’re not intolerant; they’re being careful!
And I suppose at this point someone might say something like, “Well, Dateless-Man, if you were dating someone decent, they’d love you and WANT to help you out, and how dare you not let her make that decision for herself?” To that I would say that you’re missing the point. I wouldn’t want to put a lover through that, to even make such a decision on her part a possibility. I do not want to even appear to be a leech and a mooch to another person, much less a lover. It isn’t simply pride; it isn’t right, period. Lovers should be partners; whether long or short term. They’re not supposed to be carrying someone’s weight. To even bring this heap of drama on a friend is heavy; on someone more intimate would be even worse. I would not want to bring such a decision to her doorstep, and it would tear me up inside to even do so.
I felt like a failure of a man for not being able to make love like one. Now, I feel like even more of one because I was unable to pull myself and my mother out of poverty despite a college education and briefly having a city job. At every turn I have failed, and any time I seem to gain a step, the floor collapses under me.
Looking back, the best window I had when I should have pursued that “last chance” at dating would have been 2014 to about spring 2016; after that is when job instability began. Perhaps when I landed the city gig at the end of 2017 was the last gap. Because I cannot imagine having a chance now. But you know what? I am glad for that now, glad I won’t be tearing a woman up inside over having to go through this with a dude she’s shagging. The fewer people close to me means the fewer people ripped apart by my failure and shame. It’s for this reason that I haven’t bothered with a GoFundMe for aid. Beyond the humiliation of begging for money online, to what end would it accomplish? My friends are broke, or investing all they have in children. If everyone I knew gave $5, I doubt it’d come to more than $1,000. That is too small a sum to be of much use, yet it would kill me to ask, and feel even worse for being so desperate that I’d accept such a scrap.
It is kind of a shame that this blog is not ending on a more positive note, but in a way that’s also fine. There are too many people who see older male virgins as being hapless schmucks who exaggerate their failings and “choose” to be miserable. Many don’t believe that some of us are uniquely cursed, and that our feelings of anxiety or frustration with poor luck aren’t entitlement, but actual human — or animal — emotions. Maybe that is my fate, to serve as a cautionary tale that failure and doom despite the best of intentions and efforts through outside actions by others is a remotely possible and legitimate outcome. That life isn’t all about positive attitude and repeating some New Age hipster baloney about positive attitude or “good vibes”. That sometimes you can hold your head high and march ahead with all the confidence in the universe, and still be hit by the train of life.
It isn’t the end yet, but it feels like it is close. But at least being the Dateless-Man means that I won’t be bringing down a Dateless-Woman with me. Ironically, my reluctance to date has spared some poor women from being drug into the abyss of financial destitution, or the stress of dealing with someone who is. I chose not to be a leech who attaches himself by his baggage to anyone nearby with a death-grip. At least if I die, I have that dignity with me. It would have been nice to have had a relationship, to have had an attempt at making art through lovemaking. But hey, in another couple of months, I’ll be getting nostalgic about having a shower or toilet paper, or clean clothes.
I just hope through my writings, that at least some of what I have gone through won’t have been for nothing. If at least one person who was a little miserable about their own love life and/or virginity gained something out of this blog, whether understanding or even a good laugh or just the relief of seeing someone who had it worse, then my job is done. And while I am disappointed that my life hasn’t turned out anywhere near what I imagined it would — even 2 years ago — there is a part of me which feels it is about time it has all come crashing down. I can’t take another 10-40 years of disappointment and misery. Best to let it end while I can still comprehend it.
I no longer fear the Reaper. I just wonder what’s taken him so damn long.