I go out walkin’ after midnight
Out in the starlight
Just like we used to do
I’m always walkin’ after midnight
Searching for you
When Pure Luck is away, I’m busier than usual. I have to make sure the garbage and recycling get out on Thursday mornings, and all the dog-walking responsibility is mine. But the really hard part is Friday nights. The house is empty and sad without him, especially because the children are away, too.
Since the dawn of time, or rather since The Father of My Children and I separated in the Year One, Friday night has been my free night, 98% of the time. Except for a brief time about two years into the new arrangement, we’ve never done the classic every other weekend thing. It just worked out better this way for all of us.
For a long time, Friday nights were just the utter misery for me. I was exhausted and needed a break after a week alone with three kids, but oh! How lonely was I? It was several years before I even considered having a social life of my own; I was depressed. I used to go and pick up Thai carry-out and rent a movie, or just watch Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. I think I cared inordinately about the characters on that faraway space station because I was feeling so isolated myself.
You see, when you’ve had no friends except married friends, and you are newly single, you don’t have anyone much to hang around with on a Friday night. And frankly, I wasn’t very good company. I hardly even remember the first year, but the Friday nights once the divorce was final, and I had moved with the kids into a rental, they are horribly memorable. Just a few months after the move, my father died, compounding my grief, and a few months after that, the best cat ever, Pepper (who could hear you thinking about opening the front door) ran out one evening and was killed by a passing car. It was a hard year.
I remember renting–oh, shoot, what’s that movie with Alan Rickman as the musician ghost? Truly, Madly, Deeply, that’s it. The Friday I rented that movie, I cried so hard I didn’t think I would ever stop crying. And, hooboy, you should have seen me the weekend Princess Diana died. It was not a pretty sight.
You may wonder, how did this all change?
I went to help out at an audition at the local children’s theatre where my sons had been in some shows, and I discovered they needed some adult women. I tried out for the play. I got a part. I began to make some friends. Friday night became a treasured time for seeing my new girlfriends, all single, all creative, all fun. I did another play. I developed a crush on an English musician who worked in the theatre. And although it went nowhere, he did cook a nice dinner for me and kiss me, a breakthrough moment in my post-divorce reality.
A couple of years went by, and Pure Luck came onto the scene. He had just returned from his AT thru-hike, and now that he was back in the area, we had a talk about what we were both looking for in a relationship. Now, truthfully, I was head over heels for him (he knows this), but he was not quite a year out from his divorce and wasn’t sure he would ever be able to love anyone again. That was hard to hear, but I had a feeling that I shouldn’t just show him to the door, so I said, “Do you know what I really want? I really want someone to take me out on Friday nights.”
We both needed a time-out from the intensity of the conversation, and he took me out to lunch. As we sat there, I thought it was quite possibly the end of something rather than the beginning. Somehow that made it easier to just be, since it wasn’t clear that anything was at stake, and he told me some things I hadn’t known before that helped me understand him a bit better. Still, I wasn’t sure what to expect.
As we got up from the table, he said, “Would you like to go out on Friday?”
I stop to see a weeping willow
Cryin’ on his pillow
Maybe he’s cryin’ for me
And as the skies turn gloomy
Night winds whisper to me
I’m as lonesome as I can be
I go out walkin’ after midnight
Out in the moonlight
Just a-hopin you may be
Somewhere a-walkin’ after midnight
Searchin’ for me