I’m going to be completely honest with you right now: I’m fucking miserable. I don’t want to be. I think Qatar is awesome, and my cats are the best ever, and I love my wife.
But I’m beyond lonely, and she’s not helping.
In general, I’m in an awkward time zone, so most people are in bed when I wake up, all the way until my early evening, when my wife comes home. This has meant that I have quietly dropped out of the routine of most of my friends. Every Wednesday evening, I went to a writer’s group and hung out with some great people who hardly seem to miss me anymore. My roomie, who was my best friend, is too busy with her new career and, you know, sleeping to be around for me.
The compound where I live is populated mostly by entitled parents and international yuppies, and so it’s been difficult to make friends here. And it’s five kilometers to the nearest store, through roundabouts full of traffic that’s not afraid to drive onto sidewalks (not an exaggeration), and another ten kilometers to anyplace that might be fun to explore.
And then there’s the madness of My Evil Sister’s Wedding from Hell and her little dog too, which have utterly consumed my thoughts. My father took a big step to include me in everything, but once that fell through, there’s been nothing—not a picture, not a Facebook message, nothing. Same thing with the dog—once I stopped asking, nobody told me anything. My Evil Sister lives in the same town as my parents, and it seems like, in regard to this feud, they’ve decided that life is more convenient without me.
When it comes down to it, the only person other than myself I see most days my wife.
She is not doing well either. Her job is twice as difficult as it should be, because her predecessor made a huge mess out of it, and there’s a lot of mess and mistrust left to clean up. She comes home from work in the foulest of moods—impatient and indecisive and exhausted, and sometimes just plain fuming. Her response to the stress of it all (and I can’t blame her for it) is to withdraw into herself and her iPad games. I don’t even know if she likes being around me anymore. When I’ve tried to discuss how her bad moods affect me, she either defensively tells me how tired she is, or she tells me about all the times she hasn’t been rude or short with me.
Lately, I’ve been aggressively writing query letters to literary agents. On Thursday afternoon (shortly before opening of business on the East Coast), I sent out the first batch. Early Thursday evening, I received the first rejection. I shouldn’t feel embarrassed, but I do. I mean, I spent at least an hour on each one, researching their books and their likes to tailor-make a pitch for them, but they don’t want to waste their time on it. It’s not their thing. Is it anybody’s thing? It makes me wonder if it’s any good; I mean, after all, I can hardly get people online to read what I post, and these are my friends (there are many legitimate reasons for this; I’m just describing what the mean voice in the back of my head is telling me).
I need my wife right now, so, so badly. And she’s not there. In fact, she’s the opposite of that.
So I keep it to myself. Because my loneliness and rejection feel petty compared to her job. Her criticisms of the way I went about dealing with the dog situation (or the way my family or Gallup Animal Control handled it—all her anger directed at them by proxy through me, of course) make me want never to discuss the issue again, even if it still has me worried. In fact, she’s just too flat-out exhausted to deal with my depressive episodes, which have been exacerbated by the isolation and culture shock. And worst of all, she’s incapable if just listening without offering advice. Because that’s all I need right now.
I’m really suffering, and I don’t know what to do …