The elevator doors unexpectedly opened on the fourth floor yesterday as I was heading out.

A girl with a huge dog and a big smile said she’d catch the next elevator — she was still waiting for her boyfriend.

I burst into tears just before the doors fully closed.

Damn hormones.

I thought about how it would feel to say that. To know there was someone I could count on … someone waiting for me and looking forward to seeing me. To take for granted the most-basic thing on the entire planet. I bet she’s one of those girls who’s never gone a day without a man in her life.

I can’t understand why my life is so different from everyone else’s. Why I can’t just have a normal boyfriend and a normal job and a normal existence.

Look, I know normal is boring. But I was built for extraordinary and I haven’t gotten that yet, so maybe I need to aspire to something a little more attainable in the meantime.

For the “Scandal” watchers among us, you probably appreciated Olivia Pope’s missive at the end of this week’s episode:

“You have nothing. You have a pile of secrets and lies, and you’re calling it love. And in the meantime you’re letting your whole life pass you by while they raise children and celebrate anniversaries and grow old together. You’re frozen in time. You’re holding your breath. You’re a statue waiting for something that’s never going to happen. Living for stolen moments in hotel hallways and coat closets and you keep telling yourself they all add up to something real because in your mind they have to but they don’t. They won’t. They never will. Because stolen moments aren’t a life. So you have nothing. You have no one. End it now.”

I put it on Facebook because there’s a particular character in my life who needs to see it. Maybe a few, really, but one in particular who has made themselves at home on the periphery.

But the more I read it (to the point of memorizing it), the more I see my Buddha-statue self in it.

A terrible character from Mom’s past apparently now lives one county north of us. (The post wasn’t for him.) Their 14-karat fuckup of a relationship is the very reason I am so damaged when it comes to the opposite sex.

So these days, I find myself with a small but significant cast of characters that, if you combined them into one supreme individual, I’d have mostly everything I wanted.

But reality being what it is, I have the single guys whose hearts are either elsewhere or guarded, the not-so-single guys whose hearts spend a little time over here but their assets are elsewhere, and basically not a one doing anything to sweep me off my feet and keep me all to himself.

I want it all. I deserve to have it all. I just wonder if, because I don’t actually BELIEVE in having it all, that’s why I don’t and probably won’t until I change my outlook.

I just saw my mom attract one asshole after another all my life, and the one who lives nearby now was the only one who appeared when she was taking care of her sickly parents. Now that she’s thrust the very role she ab(w)hored onto ME, now I can’t meet a guy worth a good god damn who is happy to have a live-in mother around. (But so many of them have kids — which, ugh — but at least kids graduate and move out at some point.)

But I made a friend recently who not only lives with his long-term love, but her father lives with them too. Now THAT is a man.

So I have recently acquired the hope that there is a good guy out there who WILL take on my parent, too.

I wonder how different life would be, were my grandfather still around. Today would have been his 87th birthday. My plan was always to send money to mom and him so they could live so much better than the miserable, meager existence that he always portrayed as more-fabulous than it was.

It’s funny. Everyone always tells you to have faith in God. And I do. And when it comes to problems, to give them up to God and go about your life.

But having a sickly mother on my hands for six and a half years, I’ve given her up to God and tried to get about the business of paying the rent and hoping He’d come through with her. I mean, God turned His back on us with my grandfather’s shoddy medical care. Perhaps He might help mom out to make up for it?

This family has been doomed, it seems, to a pattern that just won’t break. I refuse to succumb to it. But it’s hard to do anything about it when you spend your days and nights chained (sometimes willingly) to what pays (most of) the bills instead of trying to figure out how to break the chains of sickness, illness and living at the poverty level for the only person left in your life and the only one who really DOES give a damn about you, no matter what.

Are you there, God? I’m not sure what — or WHO — else I have left to give up for Lent and I don’t know what difference it would make. But whatever it is, I’d do it in a second if that meant we’d finally see Your work in our lives.

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