I’ve been busy. Very busy. Working seven days a week (but really really not complaining, grateful for the hours) and falling into a bath at the end of the day and bed shortly after that busy.
Today is a rare day. I don’t have to be anywhere in particular, though there are things that need doing (bring in wood, dig out van, path to propane tank, laundry, spend time with dog and cat friends, write write write). I slept in a bit but fired out of bed, made tea and breakfast, fired up the stove, got dressed and ready to conquer. And then realized it had been a minute since I’d just let myself feel stuff. So that’s what I’m doing.
I mean, of course I feel stuff over the course of a day, even a busy one. But those moments are fleeting and get pushed aside to make room for the pressing needs of the day. As grateful as I am for the way working so much helps pay for things and gives me stuff to do, it also gives me permission to avoid focusing on things too.
My friend John died recently. Before Christmas. I’ve had friends go, but for some reason this one is really really hard. Maybe it’s just the years of hurt I’ve been carrying around, finally coming close enough to the surface to force me into feeling something. Maybe it’s because he was such a consistent fixture in a world of summers filled with music and magic, friendship and family and no one will ever call me Trishly Delishly the way he did, ever again. No one will exasperate me and make me laugh and denounce me for insisting he eat this fucking sandwich and drink this goddamn smoothie and then thank me as angrily and affectionately as he would. It didn’t matter how much time had gone by between visits, our connection was such that I’m devastated to know there won’t be another. He could be a stubborn fucking asshole and he was one of my dearest friends.
I’ve not even really connected with his family beyond a tear soaked voicemail that was probably incoherent at best. It’s one of those scenarios where, if you don’t face it, it might not be true. And besides, I’ve been busy. So busy. Life moves on, he’d understand. He might even hate that I’m writing this about him.
That’s not to say that I didn’t spend any free time I had over christmas ugly crying in front of my fire, but those were brief moments that I would tuck away so that I could drag them out later and say, ‘see? I’m mourning and dealing and it’s okay that I’m not calling and connecting because they’ve got enough to think about and life moves on, just keeps going, and suddenly it’s february and now it’s almost march and look at all the things you have to distract yourself… and… and…’
And today I have a day where I don’t have to be anywhere. So I’ve decided to be as here as much as possible. Doing little things for myself that remind myself I’m still here, I’m still worthy of the good efforts, the sane habits.
I’m tired of starting new 30 day fitness challenges and falling down after day three and so quitting. Instead, I do as many pushups as I can when I think about it and have a moment. On the floor, against a wall, wherever. Or have a five minute dance party between laundry loads. Or go swimming for 15 minutes before work. Or tango dancing after.
I’m exhausted from all of the emails I get from various ‘so you wanna be a writer, here are prompts for you’ entities. So I’ve unsubscribed from the majority and instead will just write when I have a minute. In a book, on my laptop, on this blog or the secret one that no one knows about (because it’s filled with dirty dirty stories) or a napkin or a notepad in a room that I’m cleaning or wherever.
And I’m sad from losing people I love and from investing my time in caring about people who are too scared to care back and from watching people I love killing themselves slowly in real time while we all watch and dance around it and pretend it’s not happening because it would be impolite to say Janice, I’m scared that you’re going to drink yourself to death and after you’re gone I won’t be surprised like I wasn’t surprised when I heard that Paul died because I watched him flail all summer and I never said a word because it would be impolite to care enough about someone to say, What the fuck are you doing? Because you know that their response will be, I’m okay. I’m fine. I’m allowed to do what I want. Mind your own fucking business. I didn’t ask you to care about me.
Is it cowardly of me to say things like this from behind a screen instead of to your face? Maybe. But I don’t think you hear it when I say it. And it breaks me that you don’t see the person I do. The one who deserves to have friends who care enough about them to say, What the fuck are you doing?
So, my other option is apathy. To let go completely of any care I might have for your health and well being. If that’s really what you want, okay. I don’t believe it is, but if you insist, it’s your life, to live as you choose.
Just like this is mine. And today I’m choosing to be sad, because I miss my friend.