It’s Sunday morning. I’m drinking coffee in bed from my “I Love NY” cup for the first time in a while. I loved our Sunday mornings. I would get up, make coffee, bring up two cups… one with just the right amount of half & half to make it the appropriate color. Kateri would look at bathroom designs, gardening shit, far away places that have beaches and blue water, pictures of friends and family, calendars of events happening in the area, or cool shit going on just far enough away to warrant a road trip. I would look at Craigslist, check my email… the weather… and the headlines. I’m sure we weren’t the only couple with that sorta routine. It wasn’t anything unique or exciting, but for me it was perfect… and I miss it.
Yesterday was the five month mark on this messed up adventure. I’ve been itching to get out of Dodge and was hoping to skip out of work a little early and hit the ocean, but sometimes things don’t work out as planned or anticipated and you have to adapt. Luckily, I enjoy my job and am surrounded by some pretty cool and supportive people. When you start your day not knowing if it is gonna be business as usual or some memory or emotion is gonna pop into your head and put you in the corner for fifteen minutes until the tears dry up and you can focus on not cutting the tip of your finger off with the ten inch chef knife you’re still holding… it makes for an interesting day. (I feel the need to point out that I’m never really worried about cutting myself… I’m a cook… it happens… sometimes badly… and we still don’t get stitches… smart, I know. Plus, when you use a tool for 24 years… muscle memory and skill can play a big role when needed. It’s like when you have to dice 25#’s of onions. By onion fifteen, when you can’t see shit through the water pouring out of your eye sockets and everyone in the kitchen is trying to be witty asking why you are so emotional… training and skills take over… and you finish task. Hopefully, with all your fingers.)
I was never really worried about losing my shit because it was the five month point or anything. I’ve been pretty even keel with the emotions and life lately. I mean, I’ve got my moments but I’m doing okay. I think it comes down to just being another phase of this process. I feel as though at the beginning of this phase in my life (Kateri’s passing), it was such a traumatic, emotional, and confusing event that my body and mind did everything it could just to keep me going… and I can’t tell you how much time and energy that takes. It’s relentless. That’s why I felt the need to keep telling myself to “roll with it”, to just get to the next point, whatever that next point may be. At some point, the body and mind says, “OK… I’m tired… you need to stop and sit for a bit”… and everything kinda goes numb. Which is sorta helpful when your philosophy has been to “just roll with it”. It’s like a forced, continual, fucked up meditative state with moments of feeling like Dustin Hoffman in Rain Man talking about KMart.
So… I didn’t go to the ocean… but I went for a little drive. The great thing about going for a drive is that the scenery is always changing… you are always somewhere different… and you just need to figure out where you’re going and what the theme song is gonna be. I left not knowing where I was gonna end up, but if I hadn’t given into the need to cover some ground I could have missed a spectacular sunset. Sometimes… sunsets provide the perfect light to end the day.
So here, for some reason I felt the need to talk to my phone before I took a bath on Friday. Well, I guess there was significance attached to the bath taking… besides getting clean and relaxing, but don’t worry… I’m fully clothed throughout the whole thing. (Ummm, I still don’t know how to make the video thing any smaller)
- While writing the last sentence I thought about Kateri taking a bath, Once Upon a Time playing on the Ipad or Etta James on the radio, a glass of water on the floor next to a hand towel in case she wanted to flip through the Eating Well magazine. I thought about how she sooo wanted a claw foot tub so that it would be deep enough to allow her boobs to float. That was always her pet peeve about tubs… just not deep enough, but she still loved soaking in them. Another sucky thing about the cancer was it made her innards feel as though they were on fire… a bath never sounded good to her through a lot of it. It’s those random little thoughts that kill me… and the tears they produce remind me of just how much I miss her.
- The house is the same… although, I have played with the idea of rearranging the living room.
- Keeping everything going (watering plants, dishes, lawn, laundry, etc.) helps me believe that I’ve got my shit together.
- I’m okay with being alone, but the loneliness is a hard thing to deal with when handed instant independence.
- I’ve been keeping to myself lately for no real reason except that’s just how it’s been going.
- I’m eating more fruit… less ice cream. (Really, just supplementing the lack of Ben & Jerry’s with more Smarties… 2#’s to go!)
- The sheer number of “Firsts” and changes in life can be overwhelming so I’m trying to take them as they come. There’s all the little shit like taking the first bath or having my phone next to the bed, but there is also more significant events and points in time that remind you of what has happened… like the five month mark, or birthdays, or our anniversary coming up in 5 days. That’ll be interesting.
- Music. Whatever you are going through… it helps. Listen to it, play it, or both. My old guitar has provided me with more support than I ever could have imagined.
- I have now drunk three quarters of a pot of coffee.