Chapter no 90

Eat, Pray, Love: One Woman's Search for Everything Across Italy, India and Indonesia

Am I young and beautiful?

I thought I was old and divorced.

I can barely sleep at all this night, so unaccustomed to these odd hours, the dance music still thrumming in my head, my hair smelling of cigarettes, my stomach protesting the alcohol. I doze a bit, then wake as the sun comes up, just as I am accustomed to. Only this morning I am not rested and I am not at peace and I’m in no condition whatsoever for meditation. Why am I so agitated? I had a nice night, didn’t I? I got to meet some interesting people, got to dress up and dance around, had flirted with some men . . .


The agitation gets more jagged at the thought of that word, turning into a minor panic assailment. I don’t know how to do this anymore. I used to be the biggest and boldest and most shameless of flirts when I was in my teens and twenties. I seem to remember that it was once fun, meeting some guy, spooling him in toward me, spooning out the veiled invitations and the provocations, casting all caution aside and letting the consequences spill how they will.

But now I am feeling only panic and uncertainty. I start blowing the whole evening up into something much huger than it was, imagining myself getting involved with this Welsh guy who hadn’t even given me an e-mail address. I can see all the way into our future already, including the arguments over his smoking habit. I wonder if giving myself to a man again will ruin my journey/writing/life, etc. On the other hand— some romance would be nice. It’s been a long, dry time. (I remember Richard from Texas advising me at one point, vis-à-vis my love life, “You need a droughtbreaker, baby. Gotta go find yo’self a rainmaker.”) Then I imagine Ian zooming over on his motorbike with his handsome bomb-squad torso to make love to me in my garden, and how nice that would be. This not-entirely-unpleasant thought somehow screeches me,

however, into a horrible skid about how I just don’t want to go through any heartache again. Then I start to miss David more than I have in months, thinking, Maybe I should call him and see if he wants to try getting together again . . . (Then I receive a very accurate channeling of my old friend Richard, saying, Oh, that’s genius, Groceries—didja get a lobotomy last night, in addition to gettin’ a little tipsy?) It’s never a far leap from ruminating about David to obsessing about the circumstances of my divorce, and so soon I start brooding (just like old times) about my ex-husband, my divorce . . .

I thought we were done with this topic, Groceries.

And then I start thinking about Felipe, for some reason—that handsome older Brazilian man. He’s nice. Felipe. He says I am young and beautiful and that I will have a wonderful time here time in Bali. He’s right, right? I should relax and have some fun, right? But this morning it doesn’t feel fun.

I don’t know how to do this anymore.

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