Sigh. I'd say more, but a huge allergy attack is... uh... attacking... my sinuses and I really just don't feel up to much. Jeffie and Seth took me to see Walk the Line. They're good boys. I'm not sure what to do about one of the movies coming up that I want to see, however: Brokeback Mountain. Quoth Seth during the preview: "Is this movie about gay cowboys??" I'm not sure they're the right audience for the gay cowboy movie. Heh.
Today exploded and I'm spazzy and tired but Craig and Brandon had beers with me and I got to giggle at Sky High because I am, as everyone knows, a huge nerd and a huge dork all at the same time but now oh goodness I need to get to bed.
I'm home and I feel better tonight. Kittens and TV and Mexican food and company. Good stuff.
Reading is a time-dependent cursed activity. I fly away, entranced, elsewhere, losing hours at a time, only to be called back to myself, moodier the longer I've been gone. If I read for under an hour, I tend to be fine; but as that time spent gone extends, so does the amount worse I feel when I return. I've often wondered why that is, and still have no explanation. I devoured a novel this afternoon, with predictable results... I'm gloomy and on the emotional edge (the raggedy edge?) of tears. Watching Cold Case after dinner had me sniffling, and it'll likely only get worse from here unless I bury myself in another book until I fall asleep (sour look). Bizarre.
And oh god oh god, do I miss him so very much. It's not fair, this continual pain.
Damn, damn, and double damn. I chose to watch a schlocky Hallmark movie tonight (it was on, and kept distracting me from my book until I finally gave up, as I was unable to find the remote). Not the best idea, given my current emotional teetertottering, but I figured that at least it was guaranteed a happy ending. And happy ending it did have, the buoyancy of which carried me to the bottom of the stairs. And in the dark I turned, and looked out the lower windows of my grandparents' house, and burst into tears. Surrounded by the nothingness of the open land around their property, bounded by the distant lights of Boulder and Denver, and alone. So very alone, despite the grandmother asleep upstairs, the grandfather on the computer in the study; alone despite the friends that logically, I know I have waiting for me back in Seattle. So ridiculously, horribly, alone.
This time of year has always been bad. For so many years, even in the trials of last year, I had Jim's family as a refuge. I miss them all such that I could wither, curl up at the edges, and blow away for the pain of it. But there's nothing to be done but to push it out and away, letter by tapped letter, for here is no place for that. There's no place for that anywhere.
A little under a year ago, I laid here in the same dark, in the same twin bed that has seemingly always been mine on visits, and I sobbed the same sobs I fight down now. Then, I sobbed quietly, that Jim, breathing deeply in the other bed, would not hear me. I hoped he would anyway, that he would wake, and kneel beside my bed, and press his forehead to mine and put his arms around me, and ask me "what's wrong, honey, sweetheart, tell me what's the matter and we'll fix it, it'll be okay, please, tell me?" But he did not wake, and if he did he did not stir, and so I cried then just as I cry now, for the not having him.
Would I that everything else could be stripped away, all the situations that have been created and all the people that we know. Would I that if that were so, I'd find that he'd miraculously changed, that he'd appreciate me the way I denied for so many years that I needed (or so desperately wanted that it makes no difference). One of those is about as likely as the other, and it all moot anyway. "Third time was to be the charm, or third strike was to be the out," I told him, and coldly, logically, I still hold the latter in my arms. Left holding a heavy, icy, weight, standing, crying in the dark. Charms and strikes all aside, I loved him and I love him still and there is no more potent torture for my mind than the possibility that throughout 2004, I did not try hard enough. That I failed him, that I failed us. That it truly was and is all my fault.
That thought, along with its associates, shreds me on a daily basis, and has for eleven months of daily bases. No matter how much it may have seemed that it didn't. Sigh. And tonight it has shredded me into extreme badness, as we need to drive out of here in about 5 hours so that I can catch my plane. Why, hello, insomnia. I hadn't seen you for over a week!
I paid my room and board in physical labor today, helping Grandpa and Grandma unload, load, and tie down firewood (in that order, nonsensical as it may seem). The gorgeous weather we have been blessed with these last few days is predicted to succumb to snow, theoretically tonight, and the wood piles did them much less good in their original half-mile-away and open-to-the-elements locations than they will now, tarped and wired and bungeed a few yards away from the house. The sun was still out and hot when we were working, but by mid-afternoon and a trip into town, the wind had picked up enough to half-seriously worry me that their Subaru Forrester was going to be carried right off the highway. I still do not see any snow outside, nor even snow clouds (the stars are spitefully visible). I feel distinctly cheated.
Town-trip brought a chance to utterly pwn myself with Barnes and Noble. When I first texted Craig a message that Barnes and Noble had owned me, I was disingenous with my sentence construction. As in, I outright lied. The store has no fault other than existing; a few hours later, I am willing to admit that I bear full responsibility for walking out of there with something like seven books: two books on design, one novel I've already read but never been able to find before, a few novels to read for me, and one book that's technically for the Fool at Christmas. I say technically because I spent the whole evening reading it cover to cover and am now considering whether he'll actually get this copy or another one.
Money quote in maybe-Bryce-book, from Maxwell Planck:
A new scientific truth does not triumph by convincing its opponents and making them see the light, but rather because its opponents eventually die and a new generation grows up that is familiar with it.
Sometimes I wonder if today's scientists have as many good quotes in among the theories in their heads, or if eloquence in addition to scientific brilliance is a thing of a bygone age.
Grandpa and I were present today for possibly the worst and worst-timed ass-spanking CU Boulder has ever gotten in a football game. Not only did we get creamed, we got creamed by those I was informed beforehand are the arch-rivals of the Buffaloes: the Nebraska Cornhuskers. Oh, ignomy! Grandpa and I stayed until the bitter end, to confirm in person that yes, we were actually going to get through the entire game having scored not a single touchdown. Heh. I found the game entertaining, despite the score, if more for the fans than anything else. Going in, the CU fans were as rowdy as I've ever seen in person, but the exodus that begun around half-time was near complete by the time the game ended. Sad, but fascinating, to watch the mood shift and deteriorate. I'm glad I'm not an actual fan and was awarded the luxury of my external viewpoint. Heh.
The weather in Colorado was absolutely lovely today. Not that I left the house much to enjoy it; Grandma Gloria and I did drive down to get the paper and take a detour up to the railroad to enjoy the view in the sun (darn my camera being in my bag and not with me, as we saw some beautiful deer), but other than that I eschewed the outdoors in favor of the sublime food, book, and nap trio so integral to a good Thanksgiving. About the most animated I got was in two games of rummy with my grandmothers during which each of them roundly kicked my butt (best part: when Grandma Vera threw her cards at her daughter and called her an evil girl).
One of the best, subtle things about being here is how Grandma and Grandpa have pictures all over the place of family. My parents have a very few pictures (including a grand total of perhaps two of me) hidden away in Mom's office, but here, my extended family's faces smile out of every corner and off of every wall. I remember telling Jim about one of the reasons I most wanted to bring him out here: here is a place where my picture is on the wall, a place where I am unabashedly loved and cherished, a place where I am missed when I am not here.
I was told the other day that I talk about here as if it's a fairytale paradise. It's just that the thing is... it rather is.
Wow. In the last hour or two, I learned more about my family history of depression and bad mental juju than I've ever heard before. I spilled to my grandparents much more about Mom and Dad's recent physical, mental, and emotional trials than Mom and Dad would have me spill, which is to say, anything at all, and in return a flood of stories came my way. I never knew, for instance, much of anything about my family on the side of Grandmama Marilyn (my grandfather's first wife and my dad's mother). I certainly never heard anything before today concerning the fact that, at least when she was a young woman married to my grandfather, she was terrified of losing it and committing suicide as her mother's twin sister had sucessfully done and her mother and other aunt had attempted.
This information will take some digesting.
I love my trio of grandparents (Grandpa Chuck, Grandma Gloria, and Grandma Vera, Grandma Gloria's mom) so incredibly much. After a long and rather depressing conversation, we filtered off to different activities, but within a few moments, Grandma Vera re-entered the kitchen. "You know what you need? A hug," she said firmly. I jumped up and hugged her close as she hugged me back and told me how much she loves me.
That's the kind of family that's wonderful.
Today, Mark and I drove around the North Shore, allowing me to admire old houses and wave-lashed coasts in equal measure. The weather was grey grey grey, chilly and rainy, and altogether wonderfully stark. I'm sad that I've not had my camera along on any of my sightseeing days so far, but such is the way of things.
And all the king's horses and all the king's men could not put Jen back together again... rumbling around, through, and over my brain the last few days. Be that as it may, however, I'm having an altogether lovely vacation. Mark and I tromped all over Boston on gorgeous sunny Saturday, talking and sightseeing and eating delicious food and downing several beers. Sunday was given over entirely to The Show. Mark did the set design for the MIT Theater Guild's fall production of Star Wars Trilogy: Musical Edition, and so on Sunday I laughed for three hours and then helped take down the set for the next six hours. Lots of heavy things were carried; today I am bruised and battered and barely felt up to the trip out for to dinner and a bookstore. Heh. Good excuse to take a real vacation day, really. Tomorrow is more city wandering before I head to Boulder on Wednesday for Thanksgiving proper... I'm making a gigantic triangle across the United States.
Wonder: waking up to the smell of coffee; chatting over breakfast in a bright kitchen; turning on Suzuran to have The Street Dogs come on immediately; curling up in a chair in a sunny room. Vacation is getting off on the right foot.
I arrived in Boston yesterday afternoon exhausted and a little wigged out (finished the Schrodinger's Cat Trilogy on the plane, heh). Mark met me at the airport around 4:30 or 5 with a huge hug... we talked nonstop until after midnight. It's so very good to see him, long-lost more-than-friend, undefinable force of goodwill in my life, only recently re-connected. Sometimes I find myself doubting that he is real. But my mind is no good at conjuring up such kindness; if he is a figment of imagination, it is someone else's imagination that I am beyond grateful to temporarily co-opt.
I'm in a fixy mood tonight. That's not good, considering that I both am very sleepy and have to get up early tomorrow. But I have disallowed external access to my mp3s (Chris and my current theory about why zoggins has been so slow were mass mp3 downloads) and fixed my gallery navigation (the GET array changed its name when Chris rebuilt... whoops!), so I think I should convince myself that I have fixed enough. And hopefully the site will stop being so slow and annoying.
(throwing head back) I'm exhausted and I have things to say about this week so far and my vacation (starting very early Friday morning) that won't be said as a result of that exhaustion. Irritating.
I had a very fine dinner-and-beers evening with Craig tonight, discussing Timothy Leary and behavior paterns. I made some good progress at work this evening, completing several things that had fallen by the wayside over the last week. We shall gloss over the insomnia and the other dark bits of the day in favor of such pillars of light.
Would it be possible to say that I am darkly mooded tonight? It really wouldn't be quite right, or at least, quite in line with what I've meant by "dark mood" the last few weeks. No, tonight, I am simply sad; sad, and nostalgic... maybe I could say that I'm in a distinctly charcoal grey mood tonight. And I'm exhausted and supposed to be up and out of bed in about 4 hours. Sigh.
My toes are painted, for the first time in years... it's possible that the last time my toes were painted, I was still in elementary school. They are a lovely shade of gunmetal silver with a hint of purple; I'm quite taken with them, I must say. I had a quite nice day today; Carina and I did in fact go out for a pedicure, my first ever. If I'd known that a leg and foot massage was included, I would have been all over it years ago. The two of us gabbed and had dinner and gabbed some more, and then Dan invited me out for dessert, Japan chatter, and used-bookstore wandering. In fact, today would have been utterly lovely if were not for my nagging suspicion that Dan's and my two would have been three had I not been one of the two... but my toes are painted and I have consumed chocolate mousse, and I am determined to not let my day not being utterly lovely prevent it from being somewhat lovely at all.
Bah. I tried to right an annoying wrong today, but my cold-induced absence from work and a misunderstood idiom slammed the brakes on that idea. I'm starting to think that it's likely to not be fixed for months if ever; frustrating, particularly considering that the wrong mostly stems from me not being able to keep my goddamn mouth shut. Grumble grumble grumble. Oh, I am cranky, yes I am, and I think I'm going to get drunk by myself. Take that, life.
I went into work today long enough to do two things: one, take care of one thing, and two, confirm that even that one thing wasn't worth coming in considering how crap I felt. I did, however, come back home at 10:45 am with a new toy; I'm now definitely suffering from an embarrassment of computer riches, as counting the Toshiba tablet monster I acquired today, my work machines now number four. They're four machines in various degrees of weirdness, to be sure (one is on loan and has four installs of Windows on it; one is years old and barely runs; one is an x64 machine with x64 Windows on it, which, who knew, blows goats; and one is a ridiculously huge tablet), but there's still four of them. It's a little insane considering that I also have at home a Windows desktop, a Unix desktop (which, admittedly, hasn't been turned on in months because I've not had the time to fix it), and a Mac laptop. And there's the kitchen computer, running some crazy tablet software that makes it touch sensitive, but at least I consider that one to be shared with Jeff. So many machines, so little time...
The possibility exists that I will see Serenity for a fifth time today, depending on how I'm feeling in a few hours. I'm not sure I've ever even seen a movie three times in the theater before... it's not so much that I think it's the most spectacular movie ever; more that I consider it my duty to support it.
I'm a little flabbergasted. In the last hour, I solidified plans to see Serenity again with Dan in an hour or so, got Carina to come along, and got invited to go get a pedicure with Carina this weekend. Despite the being sick, today might be a decent day after all.
I figured out tonight what one of the things is that I appreciate so much about the time Jeff's been spending at home; it's the quiet contentment of having someone else around, to nod and to murmur acknowledgements, to help make dinner and to clean up the dishes, to comment on TV... I suppose it's obvious: it's company. Thinking about it makes me miss things... things like idle chatter about books and music over meals. It's been a busy, busy day; to come home to such things is one of the things I miss most about other times in my life.
I had a thought about Jim while I was driving to work this morning, one that seemed important, but it's slipped away. Something about how I never had to worry about X with him... he X'd me so much he passed right around the bend into taking me for granted. I wish I remembered what X was; I suspect it'd probably be an important thing to know.
Pomegranates are a meditation for me. I was largely joking when I said that to Kelly, earlier, but after a moment, looking at my words on an LCD screen, I thought about how true it really is. Deconstructing one is a slow, calm process. My breathing slows and I settle into a steady rhythm of peeling, plucking seeds, exploding them quietly in my mouth. Red stained surroundings, yellow stained fingers... brilliant colors that draw and keep my eyes effortlessly. The world is reduced, most conscious thought overwritten by repetitive, mechanical motion. It's peaceful.
So tragically amusing to me that I am both people in this little scenario, but tonight, I had a fireplace, and leftover chili, and L&O SVU, and kittens, and a wonderful pomegranate, and I refuse to think upon anything else.
Quiet day, today. Coffee and quiche over the paper, driving and shopping in the sun with Jeff, laundry and chili-making with West Wing and Stargate on the television. Some final programming work for Jan. A day with only a few, perhaps less than five, moments of serious depression. A day where I had the spare cycles to overjoyedly praise and stroke Aggie for being brave enough to jump up on the counter while I was looking (she's been myseteriously levitating for a few weeks, refusing to let anyone see her do it; we'd theorized she was actually teleporting). A small things day for which I am very grateful.
This afternoon, I went to see a war movie without Jim at my side for the first time in over five years. As the movie began, I tilted my face so that Jeff and Brooke wouldn't see how I struggled to hold back tears... my soul felt like an empty soda can crushing in on itself. It's been nearly a year; one would think that I'd have run out of "first time since"s by now, but apparently not. I suppose some of it may have to do with the fact that I never really saw them before I started dating him.
In other news, I wrote a basic commenting system to entertain/distract me last night (and part of today). It's an experiment. We'll see if I get mass comment spam or whether I just decide that I don't like it.
Spent the drive home swinging wildly between despondence and contentment. The former mood stemmed from the utter sadness that is my Friday evening: a night that once was reserved for drinks after work until late with friends is now the loneliest night of the week. It is the night nearly guaranteed to see me late at work, driving home sadly to a dark and empty house. The latter mood stemmed from old memories of Friday nights spent alone; Fridays when Jim had gone down to Winlock for the weekend and I was free to work on Web stuff or play games, secure in the knowledge that I'd see him again on Sunday. There has to be something of that feeling that wasn't fully driven by his presence... I just need to figure out how to recapture the goodness of that alonetime minus the company payoff at the end.