Friday, July 18, 2008


I am sneaking up on the second anniversary of leaving home, and I am halfway through the Goat's summer absence in Vacationland. The weirdest thing at the moment is the fact that I can still feel the depression and anguish of two years ago, but it is a phantom pain in a phantom limb. It took me six months to make up my mind I could leave, and six months to fully commit myself to what leaving meant, and act on it -- or be ready to act on it -- or want to. I am aware of that pain, and that period, but there is a dream-like quality to it, as though not only the interim between that life and this, but my marriage, family life, and children were all dream creatures. That pain has passed, and I am not entirely sure how to deal with that: the consequences of the realization are painful in their own way...

What occupies me at the moment is the love I am in, and the pain caused by the absence of its object, my Goat. Somewhere along the line, my life became about the two of us. I love my ex-wife and I love my children, but that is a world that has literally come to an end. I am beginning to understand my mother, to whom her first marriage would never have happened, if it hadn't produced two children. My case is not so extreme [my mother's first marriage lasted all of five years, not twenty-five], but the similarity is no longer to be denied.

My life is becoming a long chain of things that can no longer be denied, which means that for a while at least, it had become a long chain of things I was denying. I have no doubt what some of my erstwhile readers would assume on that score...

So my former life is gone, and now the Goat is gone as well. Not gone, although by now they should be, are the remaining nagging doubts that our "relationship" will survive constant contact. We did survive a week's trip to the Coast, three weeks in Vacationland, and recently had a week together that was so good the prospect of a month-long absence began to make me crazy. He has social obligations in his little village there, but he kept reassuring me he didn't want to go, even though he was headed for Fabulous Beaches, friends, and "family."

I spent a lot of time reassuring him that he would in fact have fun once he got there. He quite seriously tried to tell me he wouldn't. That was sweet, as was his claim that going without me made no sense, but there was some whining mixed in about how I had refused to go with him. That was a very simple decision based on two things: my schedule, and my bank balance. I would have loved to go, but I couldn't see coughing up a thousand dollars to accompany him, or screwing up my first Real Job in Years to sit in the sand. In the end, he left for the airport around the time I headed out to my second Big City meeting. He called every day for the first few days he was gone.

Then it got quiet. I took that as a good sign that he was, in fact, having a good time. And when he called me today, he told me that he had been staying up until the wee hours of the morning preparing for the big village festival that happens this weekend, and spending the middle of the day asleep in bed. Somehow, the fact that he had gotten over missing me cheered me up as much as it saddened me.

Go figure.

I heard a lot about all the fabulous meals they had had in this town or that. I do wish that his phone calls weren't all about food. Don't get me wrong--I love food, especially shared with him, but the constant chatter about it makes me feel like that's all we share, that we only live on the same planet when we are actually occupying the same space. I know our relationship is not based on Deep Spiritual Communion, but a little significance beyond the physical bread and wine would be nice. Some day...

I have a two-week hiatus between meetings in the Big City, and should be using it to get ready for the move. I'm nowhere near ready but I have finally started:

I've gotten a post-office box and a safety-deposit box in the Big Woods, submitted a change of address form to my current post office, found out how to change my cell phone number to what will be a local call out there, and have started gathering a list of people and things that need to be notified of the move. My landlord knows I'm moving in August; my new landlord is installing windows in what will be the "living room"... soon, I hope. It would be nice to have things finished before I show up, as there will be no room left for anything much bigger than a gnat once I have moved my [ahem] "stuff" in, so making way for construction and such would be a bit of a bear...

I've started winnowing out the mountains of "stuff" I just jammed into the Weird Little House two years ago, but winnowing is something I should have started doing months ago--OK, two years ago. But I didn't. I'm winnowing, but I really need to start packing. NOW. In the process of winnowing, however, I have found some things that I had no idea I had, and in one case at least, had actually assured my mother I didn't have anymore.

I've made up my mind to get rid of a certain amount of clothing and books; books especially seem to breed like rabbits whenever I'm not actually watching them. And then sometimes I even help them out: I can't believe it, but I did in fact order some new ones from Amazon when the Goat asked me to help him find some "classic" gay novels he wanted for his trip, and as soon as I had hit the "confirm order" button, I knew I had made a mistake. One more damn thing to pack and unpack. I suspect that once August gets here and I really have to do it rather than prepare for it, I will be a lot more ruthless than I am at the moment. It is going to be a bit of a train wreck, I'm sure --what our Aussie friends refer to as a "shitfight." Well, I can't say I wasn't warned. I did the warning myself, and then sat around picking my nose as the weeks slid by...

The one thing I was not prepared for was the sudden rash of queries from the Goat, asking me if I was sure I wanted to move out to the sticks [as if Nowheresville were some sort of social or commercial hub]. It began to sound like he was trying to put me off, but he assured me that it was just that he knew what a nightmare, what a huge adjustment, moving would be, and wanted me to be sure. I came pretty close to repeating my silent scream of a year-and-a-half ago: "If not you, who? If not now, when?" Instead I just repeated that I had made up my mind a long time ago that if this [i.e., us] was going to have a future, I had to give it a chance to be more than a weekend event.

I was telling my mother how glad I would be not to be driving five or six hours a weekend to see the Goat and she was pretty silent -- a rare event in conversation. A little later she reminded me that she wasn't moving, and she hoped I would still be willing to drive up to see her... so there is a certain amount of highway life ahead of me even after the move. God help me. Now why didn't I think of that?

So I have two more weeks or so until I see the Goat, which is a trial, but at least we're half way there. And then there's maybe another week after that before I get sucked into Project Mayhem--heading into production now. What's great is meeting all the "guys" again: my grandfather really missed the guys on the shop floor when he retired, and I know exactly what he meant. You get used to being in a crazy mess together, and finding a way to pull rabbits out of hats you had no idea you would have to deal with... You bring what you know to the table, and they bring what they know; you may know about this particular rabbit--they're the ones who know about hats.

It's actually my favorite thing about the Big Time: the people you get to work with, especially the guys on the floor, are the best there are. Not that there aren't great people working on all my little assignments, but the guys who have spent years pulling Really Big Rabbits out of Really Big Hats are a breed apart.

I miss the Goat.
Other than that, I'm OK.
Just not where I should be, and not sure how I'm going to catch up.

Hang in there, guys.
I'll try it myself once I catch my breath.

No comments:

Post a Comment