Ten minutes to blog, so here we are.

I’ve been thinking about, you know, my life, and I’ll tell you the toughest bits are some odd ones. I have this cognitive dissonance that just rings my bell sometimes. I’ll be grocery shopping, and out of a habit I taught myself, I appraise items based on if he would like them or eat them. I see his favorite treats and I almost toss one in the cart. I’m out with friends for hours and I reach for the phone to text a quick check in. And I have to stop and remind myself, over and over and over, that’s now how it is, anymore. It’s nice to not have to try so hard. It’s nice to not have to strain and reach and be so mindful. But it still hurts in a hollow way, like when you’ve a loose tooth and been pressing and tugging on it for ages and you’re so used to the hurt and the soreness and the irritation. Then, finally, it’s out and the mature tooth is coming into place. It hurts because it doesn’t hurt, and you press that spot a hundred times a day, so used to the pain it still hurts even when it’s gone, but it hurts BECAUSE it’s gone.

It’s so strange to still be in contact. He talks to me like normal, sometimes. We’re arranging the sale of our house and we email and text about odds and ends. And I don’t know what to equate it to, because it’s so odd. We’re breaking up, but we’re still working together toward this common goal.

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He broke up with me in front of our therapist, said he didn’t want to try. Didn’t want to be married. Didn’t want to be married to me. It felt a terrible sort of right, that the year was dying and the light was dying and the marriage was dying. It would take two weeks for the light to come back. Two weeks of asking myself if I’m okay and I am but I’m not but I mostly am. This thing that I tried to keep alive for years was finally dead. And it was dead because I wasn’t feeding far more than my share. And he didn’t feed it at all, and so it died.

I feel good, in a way. I know for sure it wasn’t me. I know it was him. I tried. I tried incredibly hard. And when I asked him to try back, to come halfway, not even all the way, just half, he didn’t want to and couldn’t and gave up.

I don’t like not being wanted. It is, however, far superior an experience to appear as lonely as I feel. To not pretend and make excuses and hope and hope and hope for time and attention and to receive a fraction of what I give.

Now all I want is to be on the other side. I don’t like packing up my things and making arrangements and living in this half-place where we still own things, together, and still have things, together, but we’re not together. The house is slowly clearing out and it feels like a race. Like I need to prove that I really am okay with this, and I can not-care and be as relieved as he is. He found a place and is moving and will move out/in before me. I don’t like it. I want to win. But so far he’s winning. He has a place to take some of the bigger furniture, and the house keeps getting emptier.

I asked my friend if I should make my new year’s resolution be ‘get divorced’ but she figured since it was already in process, that doesn’t count.

Nikolai doesn’t like certain phrases, for whatever reason.

If I ask him to go on a hike with me, he will say no immediately and will not be gainsaid.  If I ask him to take a trail-walk or a nature walk, he would love to.

His other trigger phrase is go to the beach.  Often, my idea of a good time is ditching everything and driving the 2ish hours to the beach, and just wandering around some small town or whatever.  He would probably enjoy it, but refuses to go to the beach.  I asked him if he wanted to drive to the ocean and he was instantly delighted.  Other possible substitutions for “beach” that my dad suggested: sand-water place, and big splashy.  I think Big Splashy works best.

Nikolai got a small raise and a small title today, since he’s been in his new job for three months and hasn’t lit anyone or anything on fire.  To celebrate, we went to Benihana’s which was delicious and ever so much fun.  We came home and I notice a massive insect flitting around our front door in the early evening gloom, and wow that thing was huge.  Certainly the biggest dragonfly I’d ever seen HOLYCRAPTHAT’SAHUMMINGBIRD.  We piled inside, Nick being careful to not lure the beast in where it could dive bomb our heads and stab us in the eyes with its flinty, sharp beak.  But I realized poor little hummy bird would not be able to fly low enough to get out of our stairwell thingy, so I would need to help him.  I could save him, just like I helped save a swallow in high school!

Dashing into the apartment, I brainstormed what I would need.  Lacking a fishing net, (but not fishnet stockings AWWW YEAH) I realized I need to create one using two golf clubs and a hoodie.  Nick helped by giving me one of the heaviest hoodies EVER, made of super dense fleece.  I ran the clubs up the sides and to the sleeves, and then took my impromptu net/scarehummingbird out the door to help the wee fellow.  He made laps of the landing, zooming over my head and then back out to the milky glass of the wall opposite me,  under which he needed to duck to be free.  I waved my heavy contraption at him whenever he got close, trying to impress upon his mind that he needed to go down to get out but either I don’t speak hummingbird very well or his english is dreadful because he never did duck down.  He did cling onto the walls a few times, trying to catch his breath.

After looking quite the gallant saviour of small birds and not at all silly but in the end unsuccessful, I decided we needed a new method.  When I went back inside and Nikolai yelped that I needed to close the door lest the hummy bird come in, the perfect solution struck me.  We would make a hummy bird tunnel to our balcony!  I marshalled my troops, directing Nikolai to open the blinds and the back door, and Patrick to turn on every lamp in the living room as the bird seemed drawn to light.  I held the door open and stood very still.  It totally worked.   Our simulated daylight lured the poor creature inside!  The next step would be to get Nick to stop ducking and flailing, and then we could get down to business of saving the hummy bird by getting him out the back door.

Yeah, that didn’t work.  Nick eventually stopped ducking and flailing, but it took two beach towels, a lot of standing on chairs, gently waving a red shirt, and wow so much giggling.  Well, that’s what it took to save the bird.  Nick stopped flailing all on his own, I swear.  The crux of it all came when the hummy bird retreated to our kitchen and perched on a box atop our cupboards above our stove. He just sat there, breathing heavily, probably reciting a hummy bird prayer or two in his mind, convinced that the end was nigh.  I crept into the kitchen, and he didn’t move.  I walked up underneath him, he didn’t move, so I prepped for Operation: Brave And Daring Hummy Bird Rescue by putting one foot on the counter.  Nick crept up behind me slowly, to provide muscle.  In our very dim kitchen, we eeeeeeeased me up, and I sneeeeeeaked a hand up to mr. hummy bird.   He squeaked indignantly at my impertinence, and flapped his wee-but-mighty wings against my carefully curved fingers, but I was already hurrying across our small living room and out the door to set him free, so I didn’t listen too closely to his hummy bird profanities.  He was free, and I was happy, and Nick has never looked so relieved.  I am a dang American hero.

Nikolai has had three teeth pulled this afternoon.  His oral surgeon (the word oral always makes me think rather tarty thoughts) was an expeditious man, busting those three suckers out in an hour, tops.  The “procedure” (a word that makes me feel as if I am in a bad medical show or perhaps a likewise bad sci-fi flick) was scheduled to start at 2:30 ( get it?  Tooth-hurty? I bet the oral surgeon had no idea. snicker)  and end at 3:30.  I was asked to collect Nikolai at 3:15, or at least return about then to get him.  I got a call as I was in transit at like, 3:20.  He was ready.  Dayum, Dr. Teeth was efficient!  I ushered a pale and ice-packed man to the car and home, flustered about getting him installed on the couch in comfy clothes and far more cushy pillows and blankets than were strictly necessary.  He managed to drool blood panache, bespeckling ojbects that would otherwise have faced to the background of my attention.  Once we corralled his numb mouth and got him settled, I set off to the grocery store for his meds, a hell of a lot more gauze, and soft foods.

First off, I have never put in a prescription at a pharmacy to be filled.  Honestly.  I have never done such a thing.  So I wandered in, trying to be honest and open, and I explained to the gal at the counter that I had no idea what I was doing.  She was sweet and directed me over to the “Rx Drop Off” counter and only rolled her eyes once, while an astonishingly attractive pharmacist-man laughed at me.  Really, dude?  I am honest that I have no idea what’s going on, and your response is to laugh?  Well thank god you only went into pharmaceuticals.  If this is how you treat people once they’re recovering, I would hate to see your bedside manner.  HA HA HA YOU HAVE CANCER WHAT A NERD WHO GETS CANCER?   I am extrapolating, of course, but I feel that this is a distinct possibility.

Anyway, I got the scrip started and set off to get soft foods and other things we needed.  In process, I managed to overfill the wee little basket I had nabbed, so I staggered up to the checkout fellow with three loaves of bread and a dozed bratwurst in one hand, and a basket with pudding leaping out in the other.  He was unimpressed.  halfway through sherpa-ing that stuff home I got the call that his meds were ready, but no way was I turning back then.  I got home, offloaded, helped him swap gauzes, got his insurance info, and pranced on back to the store for the drugs.  Lucky for me, the attractive pharmadouche was no longer on shift.  I probably would not have kept the sass to myself.  After obtaining the swag as well as far more gauze than was strictly necessary, I got home where I promptly fed Nikolai a Percoset™.  I then explained that he should have taken it with food, but whatever.

He has recently requested soup.  Granted, he has recently exploded into a flop sweat and fainted, so it’s really anyone’s game.  But he’s upright (mostly) and eating now, and has just put in a request for pudding.  This may end well, after all, given that I didn’t giggle myself into a fit when he collapsed.  I totally saved him, if you were wondering.  Busted out my three-year old first aid training and SAVED his fainty butt.

 

Ugh you guys I want a pet.  I want a cat or a dog to live with me and be my friend and be really annoying and then be really cute to make up for it.  We live in a leetle one-bedroom apartment with a bathroom that fits two people only if the door is open, both are standing, and neither move, so it’s not like we have space for one.  However, these last two years of marriage (read: only two) are the only ones of my life I haven’t lived with a pet and I’m starting to go a little mad.

I’m to the point where I’m mournfully recollecting past pets, thinking about writing them some odes.  And then possibly leaving those heartfelt poems in places where Nikolai will see them and  understand what he’s doing to me with his selfish “can we afford it” and “do we have room” arguments.

For now, all I can do is visit friends and lovingly maul their pets to fill the dark, empty, fur-less void within my soul, Nick.  

I know I didn’t wake up feeling like one, but after I went for a walk one morning this week and had made and was eating my breakfast, the feeling came on rather fast.  I was zoning out, enjoying my oatmeal and raisins, when I heard a loud and horrible POP followed by what sounded like a burst pipe or sudden, torrential downpour outside the front door.  Given that the front door doesn’t have any exposed pipes and is also very much covered from the elements, none of this made any sense to my early morning brain.  I also thought perhaps the POP had been the result of malicious hooligans setting off large firecrackers at my front door, or to get at one of my near neighbors.  I got up to inquire and found something entirely unlike what I had expected.

Last weekend, Nick and I had made apple cider with my family and friends.  We had brought back some gallons of pasteurized and sealed cider, and four unpasteurized gallons with which to make hard cider.  It’s fun.  However, we had stacked the boxes in the front closet and proceeded to forget what raw cider does when left unsupervised in a dark, warmish environment:  It begins to ferment.  It had fermented so hard it had exploded a glass gallon jug.  The liquidy noise was the cider flying out of the corners of the box and soaking the box beneath it, as well as the closet floor.

I promptly panicked.  I dashed into the bedroom and woke up a very confused and disoriented Nikolai, who (once he understood what was happening) was very helpful.  We placed bowls to catch the runoff, towels to staunch the cidery coup of the closet floor, and moved things in imminent danger of being cidered out of the closet.  Nick was brilliant.  He realized that the other three jugs would likely explode as well and he unscrewed the caps on them, saving us from cidery, glass-splintery doom.

Did I mention I woke him early?  You see, his natural sleep pattern starts at about 2 AM and ends about 10 AM.  I prefer he wake up in the mornings and help me with getting ready so I don’t get angry that he gets to sleep in, so I wake him up at 7 AM.  With me so far?  This particular morning, I woke him up half an hour early, which to his body is actually three and a half hours early.  Ergo, quick thinking under such circumstances is remarkable.  We got the mess contained, the closet cleaned, and the applejack (it’s called applejack when it gets a little boozy and fizzy all by itself, did you know?  I just found that out.) into a large pot to start the hardening process.

I left for work with these final thoughts on the event:  I think this is what moonshiners feel like when a still explodes.  But I bet a still explodes louder.