I’ve been lost lately. I’m sure you’ve noticed or maybe you haven’t. That’s neither here nor there. I’ve had a lot going on and I haven’t been able to find that positive rainbow of a person that I usually am. She’s been hiding or on a long, long pilgrimage to destinations unknown. And so I’ve been silent, again, because I didn’t want to spread any negativity. However, I’m writing today, not because anything has really changed, but because the less I write, the more lost I feel. I find myself going through my daily activities and I’ll stop and go to my notepad, record something that is important to me at the time that I wanted to share, but by the time I get home and unwind and shower, I’m so physically and mentally exhausted that instead of pulling out the laptop, I pull the covers over my head and block out the world for a hopeful eight hours of sleep. It’s partly the weather. It’s cold and dreary. It doesn’t help that the mountains have been on fire and hundreds of acres of land have burned. I want to be one of those people who can look at the smoke blowing in the wind and shrug my shoulders that it’s just the way things are, but I’m not one of those people. I love everything so much it hurts. I’ve cried myself to sleep because of the fire. I’ve broken down in tears on my way to work as I look at the smoke filled air. Maybe that’s not the exact reason I’m crying. Maybe it’s just the catalyst. I’m not crying every single day, though, like I was, but I’ve still cried more in the last three months than I have in the last three years.
I was told that crying is good. It’s cleansing. It’s cathartic. I haven’t found any of that to be true. Crying just makes me want to cry more. It brings me down into depths of darkness that I’m not used to being in. I’m always the most optimistic version of myself. That’s not to say that I’ve lost all that, because I haven’t. I still try to be optimistic, though, I guess I’ve just been stuck on hopeful with a chance of realism. It’s not a good look for me. Not a good look at all. I don’t know how many people know what I’m hiding behind this smile of mine, but every day I feel like a liar. I act like everything is ok and I work really hard to help people and to be positive for everyone else and I don’t remember a time in my life where I’ve been so lonely and felt so alone. I know it’s my fault for alienating myself. I just can’t find the energy to do the things I used to enjoy. It’s like I’m super depressed but not enough to write a suicide note. Just depressed enough to binge eat chocolate and cool ranch doritos and then hate myself for it before I swallow the last m&m. I’ve even tried going on dates, mostly to make plans and then cancel or get cancelled on. I can’t even bring myself to have sex. Well, I have a few times but eh. I’m also spending way too much time at work and not seeming to get anything accomplished, although I did inherit 15% of a granite company a couple weeks ago (incidentally it had nothing to do with the sex). And that should be exciting for me. I guess it would be if I didn’t have to keep it a big secret so the guy I work with didn’t get his panties in a wad. Then I have to work with said guy and try to make a competent human being out of him when he’s really just an entitled little prick. So I guess work at the moment is right up next to root canal and natural childbirth.
I have made up my mind, though, to change the way I look at things because “when you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.” So I’m determined to make things successful. I just hope it is before I get charged with homicide.
And then there’s Joe. The love of my life who I never got to love. I still get to go to Nashville every week to see him. I went today and got a three hour visit. His condition hasn’t changed much. He’s awake, but he is not speaking or moving much. I love that I get to see him, but it is sometimes overwhelming sitting there talking to him and he can’t say anything back to me. I don’t have a whole lot of memories of him because we were 21 the last time we stood in front of each other, held hands, kissed, or even touched each other. Every other contact over the years have been through telephone calls and letters. That’s probably why I love him so much, because he’s probably the only person I ever really got to know without the looming physical demands. I think that’s why I feel so alone. He’s always been there. Even when I was out here searching for the physical needs to be met, he was always there emotionally. He was my best friend. I knew he would always be there. I was wrong. He’s not there anymore. He’s a shell of the person. I go to see him and his face is the same. His beautiful eyes are the same. His lips are the same. But he doesn’t say my name anymore. He doesn’t call me angel eyes. I sit next to him and talk his ear off and he can’t reply. He can’t laugh at my stupid jokes. He can’t even swallow the saliva that rolls from the side of his mouth. I wipe it away with a wet cloth and tell him don’t worry about it. I tell him I know he would do it for me. And I pretend I don’t know that he’s wearing an adult diaper. And I imagine that he knows who I am when I come in even though I don’t really know, I’m just hopeful. I talk to him for as long as they let me stay and when it’s time to go, I kiss him a hundred times on his face from his forehead to his cheek and I tell him I love him and that I will see him next week and I get in the car to make the three hour drive home without washing my hands because they smell like his hair and for a little while longer I get to be close to him.
And then I get back home and put the smile on my face and pretend for the next six days that I’m not thinking about him and praying that when I get back to see him that he will have improved some or I will have finally gotten the phone call that says he can come home instead of slowly withering away like he is now. And I realize that he is another one of those things that I love so much it hurts.