The summer started uneventfully, with a mix of rainy weather and cold nights. I long for afternoons in the bright sun, Lou Reed during his Velvet Underground years crooning to me over small speakers, with nothing better to do than wiping the condensation off a cold drink. It’s a life that doesn’t seem far away, and yet a life I never imagine making for myself. I always think it’ll just happen some day, that things will fall into place if I can take care of everything else.
Aaron has me over for dinner every week with Karen and the two kids. It’s a ritual he has yet to break, even though he told me he didn’t want it to be a calendar event when I asked him if we could do something on a regular basis1. Every Wednesday he leaves work early to let me in the house, and makes up the time by working longer hours on other days, a sacrifice that means more to me than he’ll ever understand, and something I never had to ask him to do. It’s nice to be able to look forward to regular plans, and something I share only with him that makes me feel like I belong.
About as often are Magic nights with Trolley and Steph, and these invariably include something delicious for dinner, when Steph takes the culinary arts to a whole new level. They take care of me with food and conversation and booster packs that they never let me pay for. I’m sure I owe a great deal of my sanity to them, when Magic was the only thing that took my mind off the fact that everything fell apart.
In between are things less frequent, but no less important. Musical projects with Jesse or Seth that give me the kind of goals and purpose I’ve been looking for. Sessions with Lisa, when we get to share the things we don’t share with anyone else. Hangouts with Tiana to debrief on our ever-changing lives, and to give each other advice or a pair of ears. Dinners with Heather when I need my dose of optimism and adventurism. Not to mention the people who send me messages of check up on how I’m doing when they can’t be here for me physically.
It feels strange to be busy again. To be productive, and social, and to need days off when I’m not even employed.
Not that it’s been an attempt to stay occupied; more like making sure my needs are being met. That I have fulfilling relationships that provide me with what I need, involving people who make me feel hopeful and worthwhile and connected and nurtured and protected and satisfied and accepted and understood and validated and loved and confident and safe and in control.
- Only because it’s something he wanted to keep casual, where neither person felt any pressure. [↩]