When It’s All Said and Done, I’ll Follow the Echoes
Sometimes I think there’s something wrong with me. At night I don’t sleep. I can’t. I’ve had this problem in abundance for as long as I can remember. Partly, everything I didn’t have time for during the day starts creeping into my veins like a blood infection. I lay down and it’s all I have left in my head. No dreams, no fatigue. Just the burning sensation of shit I can’t lay to rest when I put my head down at night. Inevitably, as it happens, I wake the next day, half dressed or pen in hand, the beginnings of untouched projects still strewn where I left them. I just feel like a machine that won’t stop chugging until it has no fuel- there is no warning light.
My house is insane. It’s a mess. I lived large when I was single- I had everything I could feasibly need. I hung onto as much as I could so I’d never have to replace it when I finally went my own way, and as a result, I had enough on my own to care for several. This, of course, was exacerbated by my moving three times in a 12 month period- everything was in boxes, and was generally forgot about despite the need to access it, and thus, many things were in a sense “replaced”. Only now I have access to the boxes and a stable home in which to unpack them, and I’ve discovered that what I really have are duplicates of things coming out of my ears.
Ironically, the same problem has plagued my Husband. Now, of course, that my in-laws are both near to their seventies (my Father-in-law is, my Mother-in-law is coming very close) they’ve decided to reclaim their basement from being lender space to the several many people they’ve donated basement acreage to over the years- my Husband included. This action, of course, prompted my Sister-in-law to do the same, and every two weeks one or the other (sometimes both) show up at my door with a shipment of crap. Some of it, of course, is worth keeping. But a lot of it is garbage/recycling. They’ve driven two or three hours one-way to drop off what is essentially garbage. I’ve been throwing away 20 year old homework for weeks- some of which has been eaten away and pissed on by rats. I love bringing rats nests into my home, near my infant son.
I’ve learned this family is not down with the letting go. Stuff must be passed on like a shouldered burden birthright. Of course, my Husband is not one for sorting, tossing or parting ways with anything either, so the entire responsibility of keeping my house off of TLC’s “Extreme Hoarders” is on me. I get to be up filing phone bills from 1995 (I was like 10 years old) while my Husband sleeps. And everyone wonders why I have severe insomnia. I am supposed to sleep when? Between this and my clingy but miraculous wonderchild, I have no time for sleep. My life is chores and appointments with stints of messy-haired, slack-jawed television brain-sterilization.
I’m homesick. Fucking homesick. Like batshit crazy homesick as holy fuck. I spend a lot of my spare time looking at Instagram pictures of Vancouver- because as I’ve discovered, other sites don’t have the same wealth of pictures. I love my Husband, and I love my Son. I hate my circumstances. I hate the crushing anvil of a stress attached to this house. I hate this economy. I might enjoy this city more if we weren’t so miserable here. I miss my family. I have no family of my own here anymore. Like clockwork, as soon as I showed up, they all moved away. It’s a trend that’s been ongoing for nearly 30 years. I’m tired of chasing my family. I miss my friends. Man, oh man, do I ever miss my friends. People here don’t get me. I’m expected to fit in, to adapt, and when I can’t, keep my mouth shut. Because of course, any alternative to this life is “no life at all”. I miss the skyscrapers, and the feeling of the air blowing in off of the strait while I drink coffee. I miss the sea bus. I miss transit. I miss my boss and my job and my routine. I miss always having somewhere I can go- even in the middle of the night. I miss the advantages, and the enjoyment. I miss always having something to do and see. I miss sleeping at night. I don’t do those things anymore.
I miss my best friend. I miss her. I miss her more than anything in the world. I don’t know if she understands how I feel. I think so. She’s the female version of my Husband, essentially. She’s how I would want my daughter to be if I’d had a little girl. She’s one of the most precious people I have ever known, ever will know. And she and I have been long-distance for four years. That’s a long way to be away from your very best friend. She just got engaged, to the same guy she was with in high school. She actually did it. She stuck it out. She and her fiancee are completely meant for each other- they’re my OTP. Her going farther away is on the table now. They want to find a place to settle down together- and there is a very real chance that could be somewhere that will see us apart for a lot longer than I can deal with. We cross the pond every now and again to see each other face-to-face (I’m planning to go again in a few weeks) but it’s not enough. We had plans. Life fucked up a lot for me. I made the best out of my new deal.
I’ve done really well despite the cards I was dealt. I met a great guy who I love with my heart and soul, someone I was willing to wait for but all the same couldn’t stand waiting for. We had a baby- who, against all odds, is thriving and happy. But he and I, we get by. We just squeak by. Sometimes not even. There are no opportunities here. And I wish he were brave enough to “let go” and try, to just see, if maybe it’s time to go where the opportunities are. Something tells me that I’m being overly optimistic. I think we’d just be trading in flavors of misery.
I think about my past a lot. More than I should. I need to let go too. “Stuff” isn’t weighing me down as much anymore. But I know that the stuff is just a physical anchor, just a physical representation of what they’re all hanging onto.
My (let’s face it) one friend here barely leaves her room. She has a closer friend she spends most of her time online with, and the rest of the time she can hardly stand to even get out of bed. We mostly see one another in passing. I tried making a new friend, by association, but I find that I was supposed to do more of the work. If you want to know anything about me, ask. If it’s something I’m willing to talk about (and chances are, it is), I’ll answer. But I’m not about to offer up of myself, unsolicited, to someone who comes over and disappears into my basement unless it’s to use by television. I feel awkward going down there, expected to spend most of the hours of the day shut up in someone else’s bed room. I spend most of my time in the living room. Like 98% of it. That attempt at friendship backfired fairly royally when, after expressing that I felt left out of gatherings in my home, I was told to suck it up and nobody should have to care, and maybe it’s my fault. All attempts to inject some sanity into that argument failed. So here we are.
I think tonight, I’m going to leave everything where I put it and just go lay down. I have to eventually, right?