With less than a week away, I cancelled my New Year’s trip to Jamaica. It sounded adventurous, to climb the blue mountain peak alone at night on New Year’s Eve and watch the sunrise on New Year’s Day but the fact was I wasn’t going to be able to do it within budget. No Backpacking/hiking trip should cost over $1k but after 6 weeks planning, it became clear to me that no foreigner, particular a lone American woman, would truly be welcome to live like a local. The cost of living may be inexpensive there but I would always get the American Price. A 50 Cent bus ride would cost me $20. Free beaches would charge me a fee. I hate the idea of haggling for everything I eat and Everywhere I Go. So much so that I was no longer looking forward to this trip. So I took a friend’s advice, took a hit on the plane ticket, and will spend another New Year’s Day with toes in the sand with good people rather than alone on a Mountaintop. I still look forward to hiking the Canadian Rockies for my birthday amd I may be squeezing in a few dance trips in between. So Merry Christmas, happy Hanukkah, Happy New Year, to all of you. And Bill, my dance partner and precious friend, no New Year’s Eve swing dancing for me this year. Not without you here.
I woke to a heavy heart. Dreamt of him. Not a good dream. I wish I didn’t remember my dreams so vividly because they play out in my head all day like a memory of something real.
I compare my moods to a game of shuffle board: I’m hung up on a feeling until something else–good or bad– comes along to knock that original feeling out of the way or push it deeper into my psyche.
I hate December.
My thoughts are racing so much these days!
I’m enjoying the sight of my Hooker Tree ( a hot pink tinsel Christmas Tree loaded down with sci-fi geekery) with a kitschy blue electric menorah burning beside it in the window.
Then I plunge: He goes home in a week and a half. I have one weekend left with him. And I panic. My stomach lurches and my heart feels like its trying to break my ribs.
Happy thoughts! I tell myself. I brew decaf coffee (with my anxiety, I can’t have caffeine anymore) and the smell soothes me. I light candles and open the back patio door to let the fresh chilly air purge the funk that I am releasing into my environment. I buy a few gifts online for my family.
Then I look at my phone. Nothing from him today. So attentive when we are together but when we are not…Last weekend as I got in my car, he leans in through the window to kiss me and says “Love you, drive safe.” I started because Im the one with the bleeding heart, always dropping the “L” bomb on him. He hasnt said it to me. But this was a slip of habit, I know. Like him hugging a family member (or his clinically insane wife) and the automatic, obligatory “love you, drive safe” comes out. He probably didnt even realize he let it slip out and if he did, he probably thought “Crap, hope she didnt catch that”. But what I wouldnt give for him to say those words on purpose.
I’m up! We’re drinking cheap wine, eating pizza and laughing. He’s such a lightweight! Two glasses of wine and he’s giggling like a girl. We’re in the middle of nowhere with nothing to do but hang out and watch movies. And it’s wonderful! Until the crazy starts pouring in again on his phone.
He has more baggage than anyone I’ve ever met. I try to be strong, I want him to lean on me, but he hates that I internalize his problems. But that’s what happens when you care about someone. You want to help and when they hurt, you hurt.
Because of this, he makes no promises. He doesnt talk about a future of ‘we’. He focuses on the now. He has to: Custody battle first, then divorce, then the next career move then…what? It’s not that he doesnt consider the future, he doesnt consider the future with me as a factor, as a Major Player in his life. Or if he does, the doesnt tell me. He just doesnt want to let me down. Or get my hopes up.
I told him, “Remember when I said I had no expectations and would be content if we came out of this as friends? I lied. I cant be your friend. I still have no expectations but I DO have hope.”
And I’m down. He’s not even gone yet but if this is a precursor–a taste– of the despair that is to follow when he leaves soon…G-d help me.
We both need something good to happen in our lives. Just give us ONE solid “win” on the board.