Justin Hall's personal site growing & breaking down since 1994

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why I want to live alone during my divorce

Thank you for asking to be my roommate. You seem like a smart, fun person with healthy hobbies and a taste for good beer. I've seen you in the company of attractive women. We share a workplace; it could be a convenient arrangement.

I want to live alone during my divorce. I feel my capacity for socializing profoundly reduced. I go out for one night, socializing, drinking, talking, flirting even. And the next day I feel like I've had my stomach repeatedly punched. Easily exhausted, I feel physical pain from extending myself socially.

Getting divorced! I'm getting divorced! A dream is dying! I'm one set of two pair hands on a long knife handle, pushing a dull blade into a writhing moaning mist child. I have tried some distraction and still my mind returns so regularly to the pain of separation -

Yes, it's mammalian; I feel some amputation to not share space with another human body. I had a human body, besides my own, that I knew so well. I knew how it smelled. I knew how it tasted. I knew where its joints popped. I knew where the knots in the muscles were, and how to stand over a dining room chair to maybe help work them out. I brought pleasure to another human in some daily ways. And that is now severed.

So wouldn't I want physical contact? I went on a date. I sat with a nice woman and chatted for a spell. We even kissed and hugged some afterwards. In the morning I felt like vomiting. My stomach was crushed. It's too much, to be with other people, to be at all intimate. I can't handle it. I feel physically challenged, exhausted, cramped, when I extend myself too far.

Still there's hunger, and I search; I'm looking for people who I can like. Even maybe someone I can love. I board the train and I look around, checking for someone who might smile at me in such a way to open the space between us. Fuck or cuddle, what do I crave? Hah - either truth, I'm not so ready to be with other people.

I fucked up! I chose the wrong partner and/or I drove them batshit crazy with my needs and/or I'm impossible to live with. People grow apart, you know, it's not my fault. I need to come home to an empty house, with books and a meditation cushion and quiet to sit through all this crazy turmoil.

Five years ago I thought I had met my future - a perfect-enough companion to sustain conversation for all of my life. Four months ago that conversation ended. It's my drama, it's the story of my 35th year. Soon I'll turn 36. Maybe I won't think about how soon my parents will die, and how old I would be when any children I have graduate from college. Maybe I won't think about my potential to fail at another partnership. Maybe I'll just be mostly happy, being Justin. What a nice guy! Entertaining enough vocabulary, breadwinner, takes decent care of me.

Here in an empty apartment, I can find time alone to face myself. I can exercise my range of activities that drive me deeper into divorce; understanding myself. Distracting myself. Studying myself. Life! Who am I? Woah - suddenly I need to be alone. Woah, suddenly I need to be with people. I take some deep satisfaction in walking through my front door, and knowing I'll only see someone I let in, someone I want dearly to see today, or every day.

You seem like a nice person. But I can't handle nice people every day; I need space hang out with this old friend while he's heartsick - me.


Thanks Steve Rhodes - from @tigerbeat on Instagram
June 2012 dancing in the streets of San Francisco with Ilyse Magy, photo thanks Steve Rhodes on instagram!

Hi, I'm Justin Hall and this here is a personal web site I've used to chronicle my time on earth since 1994. The content on the front page is relatively recent; if you search through the archives, you'll find old pieces of Justin. Some folks have indexed my doings on Wikipedia.

Twitter: jah
Facebook: Justinreach

eBooks by Justin Hall

I've published books for sale, somewhere else online! Behold:

Now available for the Kindle: A Story of GameLayers. My experience being CEO of a tech company, 2007-2009:

"A tell-all story of a startup from the very beginning, with lots of info about real-world fundraising. A more intimate look than you'll find in other business reads." says Irene Polnyi in a 5-star review on

A Story of GameLayers, for the Amazon Kindle.