I hear the voices; I see the images almost every day. I know which seat I was sitting in in the emergency room at Deaconess... I kept looking up, expecting to see Roxanne walk around he corner snap her fingers and say " they'll never get the best of me."
I see the supervisor coming to my and saying "we have some information about your wife." Of course I noticed the odd verbiage. I see myself walking in a daze, as she said "let's go into this room." And finally, I hear her telling me to wait in there, and saying "The coroner's going to come talk to you in a moment."
That pretty much told me what had happened. It's not the coroner who tells you about a miraculous recovery. And I realized that day that whatever would come to pass from here on, that I had died as well. All the things we shared: the jokes, the looks, the rules for our game of life, those were all washed away.
And I was left with no comfort zone. It was five years ago.
I was talking to a friend of mine before I went to work this morning. She told me "you focus too much on being alone." I tried to explain that I enjoy being alone when it's an option, but not when it's required all the time. It's just not a romantic thing. Because of my physical limitations, it's painful to walk. I often need somebody there to do things for me, simple things that I used to take for granted, such as carrying in a load of groceries from the car, or lying down on the kitchen floor to fix something under my sink. I don't say this to elicit sympathy. I say it just to make sure that I'm not falling into the trap of feeling sorry for myself. I really don't mind being alone from the emotional standpoint.
Of course it would come in handy if I had some more mobility, but you play the hand dealt to you.
What I am saying is that I don't want to think that the rest of my life is just going to be a repetition of the same sort of day over and over and over until the inevitable moment when my body finally gives out.
I need a sounding board, someone who can listen to me and let me flitter about until my turbocharged emotions wind down. I lost that quite a while back and haven't again found it, even though I've needed that in spades over the past year.
I've been through a negative period, one I'd not wish on anyone. Personally, I lost almost everyone whom I held close. Medically I was in constant treatment, with frustratingly slow progress. Professionally, I went from a position I knew well and at which could flourish, to one where I was uncomfortable and uncertain. The supervisor who prompted me to jump into news left, and the stations have been sold. I've virtually disappeared from the speakers, steered toward the background. I'm a professional. I understand the strategy behind all the moves, and I'm okay with it, to a point. If you start taking things personally, you drown.
Still, it colored my judgement. Day by day, immersed in negativity, I grew less confident of myself. It smothered my spirit, and left me reeling to the point where I cared about very little. People were having to tell me, "Dude, clean yourself up. You look like a bus station toilet." It was so bad that I knew I couldn't even blog about it until I had emerged from the other side. And I burst into the light just in time.
But I learned a lot. More to the point of LIFE 4.0, I learned a lot about myself, and about who I could count on. I toughed it out and came out alive and stronger. I always re-purpose myself each year, knowing that nowadays I judge my years by September 29th. It's hard for me to believe it's been five years since Roxanne died. Believe me, if she were still around, I would treasure every bit of alone time that I had. As much as I love her, she was the most intense, most focused, most balls-to-the-wall New York bitch from hell that there's ever been. Anyone would need a breather every so often. I guess this is all by way of saying that for my own survival, I may start acting weird -- even for me. I have exerted myself so much in the past couple of months physically, that it leaves me sore.
So, back to focusing on being alone, and the whole "life goes on" thing. What do you say to people when they say you have to carry on, have to go on living. What do you say when you just desperately want them to understand that you can't go on living, because you don't exist anymore. Physically I'm still here, emotionally, mentally, spiritually. There is still a being in my body. there's a soul here, a spiritual entity, a consciousness, a life force.
But its not me. Not at all. That person, that spirit, that soul, that emotional bundle of joy and paranoia and genius and idiocy was so intertwined with her that its gone. As to what I have left, it's a good thing. There's a lot of love, a lot of compassion, a lot of fire. There's a giving, loving spirit. Forgive the immodesty, but there's a lot of intelligence, a lot of talent, a lot of ambition.
I can't second guess God, but perhaps what He's trying to tell me right now is that I need to learn to love myself, and to accept myself, because that truly is the first step. Once I do that and I'm able to find that permanent peace, and that joy, then nothing else will matter. Eternity is a long time. Probably, one day I will reach a point where I look back and say "Wow, remember how it was right after Rox and died I didn't have to deal with anybody? I could just have time to myself. What I wouldn't give for that right now."
The hardships of which I've written today will be long forgotten, because like all of our bad times, the memories soften the harsh edges.
And I won't remember what it's like to have to be alone.
Today's lesson? I don't relish trying to do this alone. But I have no choice. Again the duality of the Southern thing comes into play..
Pila moya, this is really getting into uncharted territory. Almost everyone else has left. I may need to learn to fly. I certainly need to learn to love myself. You were always so good at that. Slip me some pointers on how to love myself. You told me in a dream last year that I needed my radio wife. You were right, as usual. And so, as always, you've been there. I know that when I talk to you every day and laugh and cry and pour out my heart, that you're taking it all in. And you're waiting. As I am. Five years without you is so long. Someday soon, cute and loveable honey, someday soon.