Where to start? The beginning, maybe.
-The beginning of what?
Go as far back as you can remember. What do you see?
-Stars, and the earth from a distance.
Well, maybe not that far back. Start with August--maybe early September.
-Okay. But I'm not going to make this one of those sappy, non-specific meanderings I'm usually prone to. *smirk* I've decided I have enough substance to write something a little more interesting. Or remember something more interesting to write, anyway.
-September 1st. It was warm. The movers were late at least a couple of hours and we had practically done their jobs for them by the time they got there. Ended up being pretty cheap, really. The Romanian one was slightly attractive, in a moving-boy kind of way, and we talked about guitars while he loaded up our stuff. I felt bad, for a minute or two, not helping them out more, and then I thought fuck it, I'm paying them for this. So I watched.
By the time we got all our boxes moved in and paid the guys it was after noon, and then they closed the door and we were standing there in the middle of all these boxes and all I could think was that I couldn't wait to be unpacked but I didn't know where to start. He suggested, in a very practical manner, that we put the bed together first, and that's what we did. There was sun coming in the balconette and breeze blowing through the house; it was hot but beautiful and I started to get excited about starting over again. The starting is always what gets me really excited. Maintenance is something I'm still working on--but starting, man, that's the part that makes my heart dance and my eyes sparkle. I wonder if that's why people lose it after a while, no new beginnings.
Anyway. I can't even remember that first week. Lots of boxes, he folds them up neatly into packages and squares and puts them all where they fit, behind the recycling bins in the front yard. I am happy to watch him do it, something methodical and planned and calming about someone who is precise. I am not precise. I am rarely methodical or planned. Yang to his Yin in this regard. Will his rituals rub off on me? I wonder, and then the moment passes and we tumble to the couch and I wonder where he learned to kiss like this.
I still can't quite figure out what turns him on. Something about randomness and the unexpected, he kisses me breathless and then goes back to his work, ignoring the stunned look on my face. Or we wind up in bed and when he moves over me and his eyes meet mine I sometimes wonder what he will look like at 35. Only mostly I don't think at all. He is learning me slowly, and we are now unequal: I cannot quite figure him out and so feel selfish. I take more than I give in the bedroom. He says he doesn't mind, and we try not to talk about it.
This trip away has been a bit of an eye-opener for me. I am capable of being away from him without constantly wondering what he is doing--this is a good thing, considering the summer and how it almost went. Did go, for a while. Capable, but he is a shadow next to me because I turn around to tell him things and he's not there. Pick up the phone to dial and then remember that he worries when I call him too often. Shadows of the past and all that jazz. I tried reminding him that we're in a different place but after a couple of phone conversations where he sounded panicked and hemmed in I stopped calling. It's only a week. Although sometimes I wish he were the kind of person who would just be glad that I was calling, happy to hear my voice, instead of imbuing it with meaning. I have a hard enough time, myself, not imbuing everything with meaning. I certainly don't need his help second guessing my own motives. Maybe he's just worried I'll turn out to be someone different than the person he fell in love with. I wish I could tell him I won't, but I might, so that isn't fair, really, is it? Everyone changes.
What about work?
You mean the "job" that I do? I don't really think of it as work. It's more like a very, very intense and scary vocational calling. I didn't expect to feel this way about my first job. It makes me slightly terrified that I won't ever want to work anywhere else. What if I end up stuck in Toronto forever, unable to leave the first truly inspiring place I have ever worked? I don't really want to think about it.
But I envy them, these new parents I spend time with. Especially the first-timers. I don't necessarily envy the physicality of having a baby for the first time. I envy them the experience of having something be infinitely more important than self or partner. There are exceptions, of course, but that mother who cries when she touches the crowning head of her child, and then pushes with renewed energy just to see her baby that much sooner--the father who whispers we've been waiting for you for a very long time as he looks into his first daughter's eyes? They know something I don't. I am not part of the club. For now I feel lucky to be able to witness the intiation, so to speak.
See? There I go. Sappy again.
Tell me about your friends.
Oh, I have them. They're around. Mostly we're in touch on the phone, by email, by Facebook. Somewhere along the line I became a very solitary person in some ways. Not many people know me well at all, now--at least not people I see in person. I miss that, in a way, but in a way I am not capable of expending all the energy necessary to forge new ties. What I did have in way of expendable-ness he's taken up and I don't grudge him the cost. And, really, I don't think I'm at my best at the moment. Struggling, really, to make sense of it all. I was much more carefree in Europe. *laughs* I think everyone is more carefree in Europe. I am embracing the challenge of bringing "Europe" home with me.
I do miss them, though. Especially the ones who have known me "ever since" and with whom I've managed to stay in touch despite everything. Miraculous, really.
Yeah, I miss them. Being here the past week has reminded me of two things: it is never possible to lose a true friend and a true friend picks a spouse you will learn to adore. At least, all of my true friends have so far. I just wish it hadn't taken me so long to get to know them, you know? Bits and pieces are not enough.
The good thing about going home is that I won't have to envy them their casual touches. They've seen eachother through things I haven't had to battle yet and it makes them reverent of one another in a way only hardship really inspires. Is it wrong to envy that? It's not that I want to be free of all things difficult--only that if I need to experience them, I want them to change me somehow, and make someone look at me with awe.
I'll miss the kook, though, and her kook baby. They make me happy to be alive.
It's a good thing he does, too (make me happy to be alive, that is). But I still want to move back to the mountains.
Did any of this make any sense?
If you like, yeah. I'll write it down. Don't expect it to be any good, though.