#445: The Vein

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Though I’ve never played Code Vein before, I know a decent amount about it because of my friends who have played it a lot. Earlier today, the day that I’m writing this, my friends were still playing Code Vein into the morning when I woke up at 6:40am. They were doing their thing, playing the game and beating all the available levels and bosses in front of them, and I was just getting ready for work. It almost felt surreal to see them still online, still talking to each other for almost 14 hours straight. I felt exhausted after only one hour of talking at a time, because it gets exhausting not being within my own head space for awhile. I know that probably sounds a bit selfish, but what it really is is just that I am the kind of person who prefers total peace of mind. I try not to stir the pot or make things worse for anyone, but I also like being within my own head, if that makes sense.

But again, this post is about Code Vein, which seems to be a Dark Souls-like game that features action elements and companion-style combat. It’s like Monster Hunter if the palico was actually really useful and helpful, beyond just providing buffs and healing from time to time.

But really, it was great to listen to people talk about their game while I was driving to work. It felt totally normal to hear them and chat with them, and continue the conversation that had started before I went to bed. It felt completely natural to move from one right to the other. And it kept me busy during the drive, which is great because usually I’m just listening to music or something else to keep my brain occupied. It’s wonderful.

#444: The Cat

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One time, when I was still in college and commuting from home, I spent some time watching Madison and Mike’s cats, Romeo and Juliet. I didn’t seem to have a good time with them and, to be completely honest, their friend Dylan had to come over and take care of them for the rest of the time. I didn’t do a good job. I ended up being allergic, which meant that I had a difficult time falling asleep in their bed because the cats would want to sleep with me. And when I closed the door, they scratched underneath it and tried endlessly to get to the other side. It was almost a nightmare, and I hated it, but I’m glad their friend was able to cover the responsibility for me.

Regardless of all this, let me fill you in on something new that’s been on my mind, and that something new is adopting a cat. Even though my doctor thinks the idea is silly and ridiculous, I feel a strong obligation to have a new companion and friend in the downstairs area with me. I need someone calm and lowkey, someone who will keep me company and be a permanent member of my family without being too much of a hassle. That’s a cat, in my eyes. I don’t think a dog would be appropriate, because having a dog necessitates the idea that they’re active and require regular physical activity and walking and so on and so forth, whereas a cat will lounge around, be your friend sometimes, and just relax with you. That’s I think what I’m looking for the most. It’s a shame that so many cats are up for adoption these days, but I’ll need one that’s long-haired and doesn’t mind staying with me. We’ll see how that goes.

#443: The Goodbye, Part 3

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This blog post is a continuation from the last three blog posts, which were about saying goodbye and farewell to certain things in my life that had previously been such a staple.

I know I’ve written about Angus considerably on this blog, and he’s become kind of a regular, recurring character here. Anyone who’s read this blog over time knows about his habits, what he’s like, and how much I love him dearly. Having the camera around helps but I still haven’t signed up for it yet. I can’t bring myself to have a continuous camera view of him, as I think I would just end up watching it all the time. It’s something I wouldn’t be able to give up.

It’s not the same, but also, it feels like she’s acting as if she’s the only one who takes care of him. We both love him equally; in fact, I saw him more often than she did because I got home earlier in the day. I spent more time with him, and now he spends more time alone and without regular interaction. It makes me sad to think about, because I know Angus craves interaction and intimacy and being around other people as much as possible. When he’s alone, he gets depressed.

When I visited the apartment the other day to grab more of my things, I could tell that Angus missed me. He jumped on me four times and wouldn’t let go. He started panting immediately as soon as I arrived and didn’t seem to stop throughout the entire time I was there packing stuff up. And when I had to leave again, when I sat down on the ground by myself and absorbed the surroundings in Stamford for the last time, he sat on my lap and allowed me to pet him over and over.

#442: The Goodbye, Part 2

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This blog post is a continuation from the previous one, which was about going through a breakup. I’m going to talk today about another part that stung and has continued to make me feel worse and worse about things. Not having a dog around has made me lonely, and it’s made things difficult to adjust to life by myself. Usually when I’m sitting on the futon playing Destiny 2 or Monster Hunter: World, I wonder what it would be like if I had Angus beside me, playing with me. He’s my companion in all of those games, and even in Final Fantasy XIV I named my Chocobo after him. In Monster Hunter, he’s my palico. It’s always the same no matter what happens. And the thing is, I can’t change his name in either game. He’s stuck as that, so no matter what I’m doing, I’ll always be reminded of the distance between us when I play those games. In some ways, it’s ruined those games for me, because I can’t bear to see them when I know that I don’t have the actual dog around me anymore. And even if I were to replace Angus with another pet sometime in the near future, which I’m thinking about doing, it wouldn’t let me switch the name.

Saying goodbye is so difficult, and I know that I can’t expect things to be easy but it’s still so hard. I wish I could go back in time and fix whatever it is I could fix, and I wish I didn’t leave my job back when I did two years ago. Maybe things would be different if things stayed the same all this time. I do sometimes wonder about that, and I think the chain of events really started with that decision. It sucks to think about.

#441: The Goodbye, Part 1

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It’s so hard to say goodbye after spending so much time with someone or something. You grow attached to certain places, certain people, and even just small changes in scenery trigger an emotional response from you. When I went into the apartment the other day and saw that the picture frames were adjusted, that made me realize how much was really changing in the apartment. It made me realize that I was no longer a part of it. I know I wasn’t really a part of it anyway, because I was being replaced and pushed aside, but to see everything I ever had be replaced with something else made me sad. The pillow with our faces on it is probably in the trash somewhere, never to be seen again. The mugs with our anniversaries on it, the mug with all of Alex’s nicknames, those are probably going to go away as soon as Alex realizes that they’re still there. It’s not easy enough just to replace things, you have to erase them entirely from existence first and foremost. You have to completely rid those things from your life.

I guess I shouldn’t really be talking, considering I archived a bunch of pictures of us from my Instagram, too. But I guess it feels different when you’re the person all of this is being done to, the receiver of all these actions, versus the person who instigated them in the first place. It feels different because I still feel like I’m being pushed away. This is what a goodbye feels like, and saying goodbye after three years of being best friends is so incredibly difficult. All I want is for that to return, even though I know how difficult it would be to go back in time. I guess some things are meant to be this way.

#440: The Suitcase

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Continuing my trend of discussing small items or artifacts that are significant to me or hold memories, today I’ll be discussing the suitcase. There’s one suitcase I’m thinking about in particular, the one my mom lent me while I was moving home the first time. I brought it during the day on that Monday (after moving out on Saturday) and I collected as much as I could muster. I put framed posters and clothes and other assorted items in there, like pictures I had around the apartment but didn’t know what to do with. I brought a few books with me, too, even though I never read them and didn’t read them much after. They were just mementos to hold onto, things that I wanted to keep just in case.

When I visited the apartment the other day, she had moved her pillows onto the middle of the bed. It took up the center of the space and was occupying near where I used to be. At least now I won’t take her pillow in the middle of the night any more. I always felt bad about my unconscious habit of doing that. But I guess that doesn’t matter any more.

The suitcase is where I keep the mementos that remind me of what life used to be like, before everything changed. I just need to move on and move forward, and I need to keep thinking one day at a time until I feel grounded again. For some reason it feels especially difficult to plan for the future when I have my stuff still in a suitcase. It feels like that piece of prose I wrote about teaching all over again, called “Shoebox.” It feels so similar to the life I used to live, it’s just all over again.

#439: The Blue Sweatshirt

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I told her she would keep it during our hypothetical divorce. I meant it as a joke, but I did in some ways take it seriously, even though I never really expected we would separate, even well until the end.

The blue sweatshirt has dark stripes on it, and even though it was expensive, Alex bought it anyway for the very first StitchFix box we ordered. She liked it and said that even though it didn’t fit her well, she wanted it around the apartment anyway, and it was sort of a present for me, so she bought it. It has a very specific feel and look to it that makes it wonderful to wear, and she wore it a few times, although not really that much. It was mostly the kind of thing I wore around the apartment on a weekend, or after work, or any time I was traveling to Northford to visit friends. I would usually wear this blue sweatshirt around even though it was hers.

I told Alex it was hers, regardless. As a way of distinguishing it from the others, I would clarify that it was hers during the divorce. But then, after I visited the apartment the other day, and after Alex knew I was coming to pick stuff up, she put the blue sweatshirt on my side of the closet, signalling that it was now mine to keep. Unable to hold it back, I started to feel incredibly sad again. Even though we had joked about her keeping it, she wanted me to keep it anyway.

It’s the little things that get me going, to be completely honest. This blue sweater brings back memories. Lots of little artifacts have this effect. I need to start creating new memories with them, so as not to override the old ones, but to distinguish them in their own light.

#438: The Family Party

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I’m going to miss having Alex around for family gatherings. I feel so alone there, by myself. After spending three years with her always around to keep me company, to always confide in about everyone I was with, it feels so lonely doing all this again by myself. I don’t want to show up at all, for fear that people will ask me where she is, and what happened to us, and why I’m by myself again. She got along with everyone so well, was so nice and friendly and kind to them, and they treated her well, too.

Alex knows how I feel about seeing family. She knows there are certain people I don’t get along with too well, people I can’t stand and don’t want to be near if possible. Being around her made seeing those people so much easier, so much more palatable, because she validated everything I felt about myself. She knew how to make me feel better in those moments and she occupied all the space.

Now I get to sit at tables by myself, drink and eat by myself, and talk without a close companion around to keep me companion. I feel miserable just thinking about what the next party will be like. I don’t have the excuse of being in Stamford any more to explain why I’d leave early, either. That’s all well and done by now.

It’s just one of the things that stands out to me while thinking about the future. I know there are plenty of worse outcomes, like the fact that I don’t have a job within an hour driving distance of where I am, but for some reason this aspect in particular is what’s standing out to me. It seems the most poignant and necessary to talk about here.

#437: The Dog Camera

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One of the last things Alex and I did together, before we split, was purchase a few things from Amazon with the gift card my dad bought me for Christmas. We bought two things, one of which was a camera that my dad recommended for us when we sat together at Christmas and talked things over. We talked about our dogs, but I didn’t realize at the time how fleeting it would be, how soon it would be when Angus wouldn’t be a regular part of my life any more. I wish I knew, otherwise maybe I wouldn’t have been so enthusiastic about it at the time. Maybe I would’ve said no, or maybe I wouldn’t have agreed to it at all.

Alex recently sent me the code to sign up for the camera, so that I can watch Angus whenever I want, wherever I want. It’s on my phone now and I have the option of signing in and seeing what he’s up to at work or at home. I know he’s a big lazy bum, and I wrote about him over and over again on this blog, especially about how much of a big lazy bum he is, but sometimes it’s nice just to see him and know he’s there.

A part of me wishes that he missed me, that he made it known to her somehow. That he would sleep on my side of the bed, well what used to be my side, and moan or something. I guess he wasn’t making it obvious enough, if he did miss me at all.

It’s going to be weird months from now, after Alex inevitably moves out of Stamford and into a new town, when the camera is still running and working. I can only hope the password still works even after all that time. I wouldn’t want to have to ask for it again.

#436: The Empty Room, Part 3

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Even looking back at this blog makes me nostalgic. I mention her everywhere. It’s impossible not to know who I’m talking about, or what this is about, if you have read this blog before. I used to think that love was impervious, invincible, that we were destined to be together. That there was nothing that could divide us or stand between what we had. I felt like our life was perfect, and that we had everything good going for us, but I guess that was wrong. I feel so cynical now, like I need to just give up on ever being that lucky again. I got so lucky with her. I feel like I didn’t deserve her or her kindness.

What’s going to happen to this blog? Where will things go from here?

I considered stopping this entirely, just giving up and saying that this was enough. That #436 is the last one, and from here on out I’m just reverting this blog back to a sporadic place for my various attempts at poetry and creative writing. I’ve thought about that a lot, and I guess I’m still considering it. So many of these blog entries are just memories of a forgotten time. I know I have to keep my head up, and I know I need to make an effort to make new memories with the things we used to do together, but this blog feels tainted, corrupted in a way. Like my attempts at making this work without her will always feel half-hearted at best.

Was this all just an accident that lasted too long? Was this all just a mistake? Do I really deserve this? I mean, I know I do, and I know it’s my fault, and I know I did wrong even though she won’t agree to that.