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November 04 , 2010

Seeking the Company of Women


My name is Eric Nodwell. My life thus far has been a continuous carousel of rented apartments, third hand cars all with bad transmissions, and unusual eccentric girlfriends. My mortal adventure upon the planet has been both unpredictable and arbitrary, but never boring. By virtue of birth, I’ve bought the ticket, but like a bad movie, it’s not yet so terrible I want to walk out.

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For twenty six years I was married to a woman who in addition to me, loved cigarettes with equal or even greater fervor. Her addiction proved to be a flawed health maintenance strategy. She died not long ago, leaving me a reluctant widower with an adolescent son afflicted by Asperger’s to raise alone.

This book is my largely autobiographical account of a middle aged man trying to reconnect with women again. Unaccustomed to loneliness, he does so with the intent of finding lasting companionship and maybe even love. It’s rife with blind date disasters; internet enabled dating debacles, crazy neighbors, and friendship. I discuss how I managed debilitating grief, deep introspection and self-doubt, to eventually rise to find resolution, and remarkably, hope. Included are a host of tangential but amusing escapades and situations in which I found myself ensnared, too numerous to enumerate here.

I detail my sons struggle with Asperger’s, and how I overcame my shortcomings as a single father, and advocated for him in his schooling. I relate how I was able to identify and isolate love, really for the first time, and my shock when discovering I’d been mistaking it my entire life. I suspect others might find themselves in a similar situation.

Life filtered through the prism of death has changed me. I now question the validity everything I believed true. I’m certain I’m not alone in this. This process, although painful, has made me a better man.

I’ve learned to reap pleasures in simple things, like vinyl record collecting, chili, and the fellowship of friends. My wife’s ending for me became a grudging beginning.

This is a largely humorous account written in the first person as a window into my dysfunction, for other people who for whatever reason; find themselves suddenly single and unaccustomedly vulnerable, that at this very moment might be groping their way blindly along an unfamiliar landscape, wondering where they went wrong.

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