A long (long) time reader wrote me a kind note about a month ago.
Big work project? Yes (always).
Seedy motel room? No (never). If I’m going to be alone and drink myself silly, I prefer to do it in the comfort and safety of my own home. And about that…
Several empty bottles of vodka? Yes (on occasion). But that’s not much of a departure for me. It’s no surprise to readers and twitter friends that I like a few or twelve vodka tonics at the end of a work day (a work day that’s never really over). What might be surprising (to you, not to me) is that I went almost completely dry for nearly two months after J left (save for a drink or two at social events and the last of the vodka J and I shared). That decision was a strategic one — while a few drinks is the best and quickest way to quiet down my noisy brain, it’s also the best (worst?) and quickest way to amplify otherwise manageable emotions. I know myself well enough to know when it’s best to keep my wits about me and keep my emotions actual size.
Introspection? Sure (but not because J’s gone). I’m introspective, but no more or less than before J left, or even before we even met.
How life is going? Well. Really well. :) Things are going well at work, and my work is my life, so I’m good. I’m still teetering a bit on that knifes edge between success and failure (there is no middle ground for me), but so far, so good. *fingers crossed*
Life… following J’s departure? That’s more difficult.
Although it’s been months since he left, I feel like J and I are in some sort of suspended animation. The dust hasn’t settled between us yet, so I can’t yet see what the terrain looks like. I’m not sure what’s been damaged and what’s still intact. Maybe J knows…? But I’m not sure.
I haven’t been slow to process things (I’m not sure what there is to process?), but it has taken some time to get used to J being gone (that’s different, right?). What’s taking FAR longer than expected is reaching some peace about what things were and how we left it (and what we are from this point forward).
That makes some sense, I guess, as always thought our relationship progressed slower than what might be expected of “normal” relationships. It’s not surprising that our relationship is dissolving (evolving?) slowly too.
I keep moving to write about it (more accurately, I keep returning to drafts I’ve already written), but each time I tiptoe up to the edge of that cliff, I find myself backing away. In part, it’s because I’ve had thoughts and reached conclusions I haven’t yet shared with J. They aren’t fair to share because there’s nothing he can do to make it better. The only thing he can do is react, and he won’t react well, and that will make things worse. But I want to share… so I’m stuck in suspended animation, and he’s stuck there with me, whether he knows it or not.
In part, I’m hesitant to return to the issue here (on the blog) because it’s been so long. While it’s absolutely ridiculous, I fucking hate that the story is unfinished and fragmented. It’s a disconnected narrative that poorly represents thoughts and feelings still very much intact. (There’s something there with detachment, or the perception of detachment, but I can’t quite put my finger on what it is or why it matters.)
And in (final) part, I haven’t shared much about my thoughts post-J’s-departure because I’m getting progressively more ridiculous (meticulous? careful?) about how and what I write. It’s not purposeful, but it’s absolutely happening and I can’t seem to get past it. Believe it or not, while the frequency of my posts has decreased (slightly) in the past few months, I’ve spent more time writing here than I did a year ago. It’s incredibly rare for me to sit down and write, revise, and hit publish on the same day. I can think of exactly two posts since J left that I wrote and published in the same day (and I do mean “exactly” — I know which ones they are).
So… I’m here (not in a motel), and I’m having a cocktail (but not emptying bottles). And all things considered, I’m doing great (I have sad days, but everyone has sad days). And sure, I’m introspective, but that’s my default. While I’m well, I’m not sure about J and I. I’m hopeful, but terribly slow, and I can’t expect J to sit around forever for me to make peace with things. At some point (soon), he’ll be well within his rights to close the door on what was a beautiful time together (and on what is, currently, little more than an uneasy friendship).
As for what and when I’ll write more about the last days we spent together, how we said goodbye, and what’s happened since… I have no idea. This isn’t the first time I’ve written such a post with the intention of following up soon.