I always pack in stages when I’m going on a trip. First there’s the stuff I know I won’t be using regularly on the days before the trip. Then comes the stuff I know I will use on a semi-regular basis before I go to the trip. These things will always be accessible should I need them. Lastly, and this happens either the night before or several hours before embarking on the trip, I put the stuff in that is used regularly and often.
I took a trip to Charlotte, NC a few weeks ago to see the kids. They moved there in July 2014. I’ve been there twice before and both times have been uneventful. That is to say, they didn’t include trips to amusement parks or to any other venue the city of Charlotte might have to offer. We dined, we walked, we shopped. I enjoyed our time together and I believe they did as well.
When I was about to leave only one of the three said goodbye and gave me a hug. The other two, because it was so early, were still in bed and fast asleep. I didn’t feel right leaving in the darkness of the morning without saying goodbye so I went into their rooms, nudged them awake with a soft voice and said goodbye. They both managed a groggy goodbye back.
I don’t know why this bothered me so. I imagined a more pronounced farewell. I imagined wrong.
I loved you like a man loves a woman he never touches, only writes to, keeps little photographs of. ~ Charles Bukowski
So many fuck you’s thrown about today, mostly at my direction. I suppose I deserved each one but they cut nonetheless.
It reminded me of the time I sat there while my ex- and mistress took turns slicing me with their words. And when the words didn’t slice deep enough, they resorted to physical violence.
I suppose I deserved that too.
My doctor was more concerned with me living alone for the first time in my life than he was with my excessive drinking. Having my family move hundreds of miles away and leaving me alone in a large house was not, in his eyes, a healthy situation.
Although I explained to her that I had friends, the only ones I could think of mentioning were people who I never met in person. I have a bevy of online friends but my doctor argued that having mostly online friends could be a source of great loneliness. I haven’t had a close friend in over three years and even that friendship had its dysfunction from time to time.
I wish there was a way to be alone without that pesky human need for companionship.
It’s been Gershwin for the last four days. Gershwin on the way to work, Gershwin on the way home and Gershwin while I sleep. Just Gershwin.
The young lady behind the counter handed me my tall coffee and I poured it down my throat as quickly as I could stand it. I carried the empty cup for a few blocks before I threw it into a garbage can that looked like a relic from the 1970’s New York. It was dented and stunted from years of being thrown in and out of garbage trucks.
The young lady was distracted by a young couple who were making out in the far corner of the coffee shop so much so that she forgot that I didn’t pay for my coffee. I reminded her though.
Some days are better than others. Obviously. Today was a good day. Not better than a year and nine days ago, though. That day was wonderful. Like a dream. Today was generic. Sometimes generic is good.
Time for more Gershwin.
I arrived home safely from a long day’s work. I normally drive the speed limit but something clicked inside of me tonight and, whatever it was, made me sink my right foot deep onto the gas pedal and speed through twenty-five, thirty and thirty-mile per hour zones at seventy and eighty miles per hour. I tapped on the brake only to maneuver through the many sharp turns I encountered and when I thought a shadow could be a deer slowly moving into my path.
I grabbed a root beer from the fridge and went upstairs. It’s very warm here and nothing feels right. The conversations I’ve been having have been tap dance routines because the truth of the matter is I’m exhausted from acting normal. The more I speak the more I distance myself. I don’t know what that is. Or perhaps I do know but I’m just not telling anyone or admitting it to myself.
So the root beer is almost gone, the cats are lying about, and my next work day is slowing creeping up. I have an itch that is almost impossible to get to and I’ve accepted this and have put it out of my head.
Time for bed.
I’m not feeling well. I’m lost. I’m trying to move on but I feel that I hit a wall every other day.
Today started out well. I planned a nice quiet day for myself. I was convinced that I would drink myself to oblivion but instead, I pigged out on two pizza pies and wings. I had a beer and a half. That was it, a beer and a half. I couldn’t even motivate myself to drink myself into oblivion.
I work tomorrow. It will be a busy one and I will be preoccupied with whatever is thrown at me. I’m looking forward to the next few days. It’s when I’m idle that it is hardest. I think my visit to the kids also plays a part in my malaise. I love them and miss them. It feels good visiting them but when I leave I fall into such a funk.
It’s not healthy for me to be friendless. All of my friends are online friends. It’s not a bad thing but it’s not what I need. I need to be a part of people lives. I need to be there for them and for myself. I don’t know if that will ever change.
For now, I will sleep. I’m not doing anyone any good by being up and being depressed. I need to sleep. I need to forget what’s transpired over the last few months and sleep.