are you lonesome tonight?
The man at the table closest to me is calling me over.
"Yes?" I ask, already knowing the cold air coming in is bothering him.
"Is there anyway we can move tables? Every time the door opens my wife gets a blast of cold hair and I think she's going to kill me if I don't try to do something about it..." He's kind but there's nothing I can do. They are a walk-in table and the rest of the restaurant is booked.
"I'm sorry sir, I have to give the walk-in customers tables by the door, because everyone else has reserved, and if they come and I seat them here they'll slit my throat."
It's Valentines Day, I'm sick with a feverish cold, the phone is ringing off the hook, the restaurant is booked to capacity, and I've lost my ability to communicate with human beings. I wince at the thought of just saying a customer would "slit my throat", and crawl back behind my hostess station.
I have received no roses today. I'm over it, but with the stress building along with the flem in my throat, I'm feeling like it's just not my day.
When a waiter asks me how I'm doing, I grin and answer: "Sick and single, how are you?"
I walk home at 11 p.m., wind and snow blowing in my face, my body weak, and my face freezing. I love being single, but nights like this can feel like it's me against the world. No one will massage my soar back tonight, or tell me I'm beautiful, and my single bed is a mess, the sheets torn off the bed and sitting in the washer.
It isn't until I stand in the living room and let out a final rant to my room mate that I can smile, "I'm going to break. My clothes are everywhere, the dishes are all dirty, my sheets are in the dryer, I'm sick, I'm single, and I'm tired!" I finish by breaking into laughter, realizing I really don't have much to worry about.
Because at the end of the day I have a lot of love. I love my family, my friends around the world, the women I live with, the chefs I work with, Toronto's blue skies, fresh snow, and hell, I even love myself.
Romantic love will come when it wants to. It's something I've never been able to force.
I'm no stranger to love, I sometimes just have to remind myself how close I am to it.