Secrets of the Suddenly Single by Joanne M. Lozar Glenn

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The truth is you sleep in your day clothes.

You are prone to drifting off in odd postures: sideways at the breakfast bar, next to the pile of mail with his name on it; face down on your laptop (the earpiece on your glasses leaves a trail of commas on your screen); upright in your IKEA chair, the cup of tea in your left hand now deadweight on your lap.

single, lost gloves in reykjavik iceland by donna talaricoSome nights, instead of crawling into the double bed with the goose-down comforter, you sleep on the couch. Its blue striped ticking makes you think of pillows, naked like how you used to sleep before you moved here without him.

Lunch might be eggs; breakfast a grilled cheese sandwich. You drink Coke in the pre-dawn. Grocery stores are problematic. Butchers shrink wrap pairs of salmon steaks, slap on gold foil labels that say “Dinner for Two.” Where is “Dinner for One”? Forget Costco. The kitchen shelves in your new old apartment with character—cozy, its charm in small spaces and cracked plaster, badly patched—are too shallow to store anything bought in bulk.

Sometimes you are okay with this. You wash dishes once a week instead of nightly, and do laundry every two.

The truth is you are less lonely here than when he decided to sleep in the guest room. You never sleep alone when you turn in at night: see, there you all are, sleeping in the same quadrant of your painted brick building, apartments stacked up like bunk beds—A2, B2, C2. You, B2, groan when the ceiling creaks and creaks and creaks. It’s 7 a.m. on a Saturday. C2; newlyweds.

Beneath you, something atonal vibrates through the floors—a fugue, or Fleetwood Mac’s Tusk. You remember his fondness for bands. You have always loved the solo artist.

joanne-lozar-glennJoanne M. Lozar Glenn is an independent writer, editor, and educator based in Alexandria, Va. She writes and edits content for clients in healthcare, education, and business, and leads writing retreats at the beach and in the mountains. Her essays and poems appeared in Amaranth Review, Peregrine, Under the Gum Tree, Ayris, The Northern Virginia Review, and other print and online journals.


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