Something about this weekend has hit me really hard.

Tim’s been in Portland for a month now. He’s really enjoying it. To a large extent, I’m enjoying the freedom of living alone for the first time in my life. I know I’m not technically alone, since there’s a 17 year-old son lingering around most weekdays. But 80% of the time, I’m here by myself.

Maybe it was seeing my daughter. Maybe it’s being around more than a single taciturn person. Maybe it’s the reminder that my interpersonal skills have slipped in the time I’ve spent alone. I’ve seen it happen to other isolated people–are we called isolates, like in science?–who just can’t handle simple conversations after they’ve lived alone so long.

Maybe it’s realizing how bothersome this hearing loss is, now that I’m around people that suddenly I cannot hear.

Things have changed.

And while things are changing on a tectonic level, I think there was part of me that expected–or hoped?–or just didn’t think about the fact that the year apart would present no more than an inconvenience, a difficulty through which we would bravely grow stronger simply by saying “I love you” a lot and thinking fervently of each other every waking moment. We can get through this, I believed, if we just held on!

The childish part of me saw us frozen in place for a year, at which time the world would fold in upon itself (like a tesseract!) and I would magically be transported to the apartment Tim has rented for us in Goose Hollow. After we were thawed from our cryogenic states, our lives could begin.

Instead, life is going on. And on. My details are private, but anyone with a life and commitments can tell you that things get slippery if you’re not paying attention. Things are changing. Bits are falling apart. And I am worn down from missing him and feeling alone. I didn’t comprehend how much strength his presence gives me until I didn’t have it anymore. When I look directly at his absence, I burn from the inside out.

When I start working again (who knows when that will be, but I’m trying like hell to make it happen immediately) I will have a distraction. Another ball to juggle will keep me moving. Maybe then, my silence and solitude can become productive, instead of just mental idling.

But right now, I’m just so cold.




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