#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.

#435: The Empty Room, Part 2

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It feels like I hit a big reset button on things, like I went back in time to an era I felt was so far away by this point, like I had graduated from it. I felt mature enough to live on my own, capable enough to do this all by myself. But I guess I depended on her too much. I feel terrible about it, after all, because I know in retrospect that it’s true, that I made the mistake of putting my trust too strongly into something that could break so easily.

I feel somewhat betrayed, like we had agreed to this after all months and months before. To bring up money as something that divided us, to have that as a factor, it broke my heart. I know that my decision to leave my Milford job had a ripple effect on the rest of our lives, and I know it divided us in ways I wish it didn’t, but I never expected it would lead to this. If only I had stayed there, maybe we’d still be together. Maybe this wouldn’t fall on my shoulders as heavily. Maybe that’s how it would be, and maybe it wouldn’t be like this. I wonder if it would’ve been worth it just to stick it out, I wonder if I made the right choice at all; even after she encouraged me to do what’s right for myself, it feels now like I didn’t make the right choice for us. I wish I chose us over myself, and I wish I didn’t feel so selfish about it in response. I keep thinking whether things would’ve ended up differently.

Watch the shadows cross the floor, we don’t live here any more.

I dread going back to that empty room. I dread every second of physical memory.

#434: The Empty Room, Part 1

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Upon entering an empty room, what do you see? Sunlight? Moonlight?

I see memories, cast aside by time and human decision making. I feel nostalgic wondering what life would have been like had we stayed together, had things turned out a little bit differently, had we grown up on the same advice.

It’s a pain that stops and starts. It doesn’t ever seem to last for long, but then it reappears out of nowhere, takes over my feelings and completely overthrows everything else I’m doing. I could be waiting in line for a sandwich at Subway, or sitting on the futon in my (new but old) room, and then suddenly it all comes back to me. Our whole conversation on Saturday, every word we spoke, every apology I made and every instance of regret possible. Every interaction we had weeks before, when everything seemed so normal and alright and fine. I remember when we had our first falling out, and she came to me afterwards and apologized and said that this apartment, this place in Stamford, that’s home. Not with family, but there. She said it was home because we had built it ourselves, out of nothing, and it belonged to us. I guess that’s not so true anymore, but when she spoke it for the first time, I believed her. I really did. It does still feel like home to me, and nothing about this new place will ever feel right again. Not after having a taste of what it’s like to live the way we did together.

Even though the room is empty, it feels like home to me. Nothing about it will ever be the same. I half-heartedly wished that she would feel the way I did during this week of absence; I wished she would feel alone, insecure, out of touch, and without the same companionship we had depended on all this time.

#433: The Sandwich

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I don’t always eat my lunch when I bring it to work. As soon as I discovered, thanks to the help of one of my coworkers, that I can leave the school during my lunch break, I’ve taken that opportunity seriously, sometimes going out to places for food instead of eating what I brought with me. The reason for this is not because I dislike the lunches I have; more often than not, it’s because I just want to leave work and have my head in a different airspace for awhile, and getting food is one of the few excuses I can think of that justifies me doing that.

Unfortunately, it’s an obviously unhealthy habit. I don’t like that I do it, and I wish I would stop, but when push comes to shove and I have the chance to relax for thirty minutes in a different environment, I usually take the opportunity. I’d like to kick this habit in 2020, and hopefully restore a bit of normalcy to my lunchtime routines. Here’s hoping it works out for the best and I can lead a healthier, more nutritious lifestyle.

But today, on this day of days, I decided to eat the sandwich I prepared for myself. I actually ate it, and I enjoyed it, and it tasted nice. Of course, I could have told you that beforehand; it’s just a basic ham sandwich on a roll, nothing extraordinary or difficult to gauge the taste of. A ham sandwich is a ham sandwich, and there’s usually nothing dramatically different between one or the other. Maybe the cut of meat, the cheese, the roll. But those are really the three major (and only) ingredients that go into this thing. It’s really hard to mess up. Then again, ham sandwiches aren’t the pinnacle of nutrition either.

#432: The Commute, Part 2

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No, I don’t know how long this will last. I don’t know a lot right now, and I’m trying to find comfort in my lack of knowledge and preparation. It’s hard to find comfort while feeling so lost, so barren and without the same reassurance you’re used to. When someone great is gone, as James Murphy once said, we’re safe, for the moment.

My commute now is radically different from what it used to be. I don’t feel the same level of safety and security at my current job that I used to have. Instead of feeling like I can last here at least until the end of the year, I now feel a strange feeling of total abandonment. Nothing feels right any more. There’s so much distance between myself and my past life at this point, so it feels like everything that happened over the past few years was just an illusion, like all my efforts were in vain. I don’t want to sound super depressed, but sometimes it’s impossible to avoid feeling like everything is your fault, even when it isn’t.

My current commute is about an hour long, give or take a little bit of time here and there. It changes depending on traffic. I’m not used to having such a long commute. I know Alex has a much worse time getting to work and getting home because she has to take public transportation, but I feel like driving is a bit different. You have to be awake, active, alert at all times, and completely dedicated to what you’re doing. You can’t slip up, not one bit. That means when you wake up you have to be prepared for the worst. To some people they aren’t exactly thrilled to have to do that, and I’m one of them.

#431: The Commute, Part 1

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Commuting from one place to another is a natural part of working. You get used to expecting a job to be a certain distance or time from where you live. When I worked in Milford, my commute was usually around 25-30 minutes or so. I got used to this type of commute, and I would plug my phone into the car’s outlet and listen to a podcast (usually MBMBAM or TAZ) or listen to some kind of enjoyable music, to boost my mood. Nowadays, the music I listen to suits my mood rather than boosting it. I just wait for the music to match the exact emotion I’m feeling at the time, and I let it overcome me. It’s my way of just letting life take its toll.

Commutes are special for lots of reasons, and most of all I enjoy having a long commute when it’s decently reasonable. When I lived in Stamford and worked in Milford, which didn’t last long, I had a 40 minute commute, which was the perfect length to listen to a lengthy audio show or medium. It let me collect my thoughts right before work, and it put me in a sense of isolation. Isolation isn’t the end of the world, though, as I’ve found out recently enough; sometimes it’s exactly what you need to restore your mood and put you back in your own head. Sometimes I feel like we lose track of what our own head is thinking, how we can best serve the needs of our minds. What are you thinking right now? Is it influenced by where you are, who you’re around, the people you know? When was the last time you really let yourself live freely? I don’t mean to say that you’re not doing that right now, but that you should try it from time to time.

#430: The Older Dog

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Ango is the perfect dog, and I miss him immensely. It’s not the same being home with Minnie, even though she’s great in her own way too. I’ve known her for longer, first of all; I only knew Ango for a year. But I feel like we had a special connection between us. I saw him more than anyone else over this year, because I got home from work sooner than Alex did and I was around over breaks and the entire summer. We hung out considerably and had lots of fun together. I miss when he would jump up on me as soon as I got home.

To think about it, this has actually been the longest stretch of time I’ve spent without having Angus directly in my life. He’s still alive, obviously, he just doesn’t exist in the same place as I do. And that sucks. I want him to smile, I want him to feel safe and warm and loved. I worry that he’s not going to get that as much with the schedule that he’ll have to adjust to now. The odds of him getting into the trash are likely much higher than they were before, but that’s besides the point. I just miss having him around.

He took some getting used to, that’s for sure, but moving from a place with Ango to a place without Ango inherently sucks. Ango supported me on bad days, and he gave me love when he knew I was feeling down or sad. I know it probably seems unbelievable, but dogs do have a special power for recognizing and acting upon the emotional states of their owners. I know I joked often about how he was mostly dumb and not as smart as Alex made him seem, but I did so from a place of recognizing that he has some smarts that are uniquely Angus.

#429: The Gym Streak

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Although the year 2019 ended on a sour note, there is one thing I can remember about that year that was positive and welcoming. It’s the fact that I went to the gym at least three times a week (usually only those three times, but with a few exceptions to the rule) every week all year, no matter the circumstances. I mention this because the year 2020 has started and I’ve already failed in continuing my gym streak. I won’t be able to say in January 2021 that I went to the gym at least three times a week every week, because I failed to uphold the streak on the first week of 2020.

Now, I wouldn’t exactly say it’s my fault that that happened. Circumstances arose that made it impossible for me to get to the gym, and I didn’t have the available equipment to continue the streak in the way I would have wanted to. Something wonderful about my previous living space was the accessibility of the gym; it was literally right across from our apartment, so I had no excuse but to go. I know I’ve mentioned this on the blog before, but it’s worth repeating because it really may have changed my life and let me live a more healthy lifestyle. I worry a bit about the person I might become here, if I’ll be as motivated to step out of my comfort zone and go to a more public gym. I did it once or twice in the past but it won’t be the same.

Regardless, this blog post was supposed to be about mourning the streak itself. I wish it didn’t end how it did, because I’ll almost always remember it as having a sour, miserable end. Sometimes I just wish things had turned out a bit differently.

#428: The Download

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Downloading, or uploading, regardless of whichever one you’re doing, always seems to take a long time. I don’t know about you, but I don’t have the best Internet connection on this futon and as a result of that, I don’t have the fastest speeds when it comes to managing files and game downloads. I struggle when it comes to figuring out exactly how long a certain game will take to download, mostly as a result of having an Internet connection that’s unstable and uncertain most of the time. No one ever seems to know when it’s going to work or if it will fluctuate wildly before I start the next download on it.

At my old place in Stamford, downloads were almost immediate. The speeds were great, thanks to Optimum being leagues and leagues better than Comcast when it comes to Internet speeds. I appreciated having Optimum as our service provider for awhile, for as long as that ended up lasting, because it was seriously worth the price we paid for it. $45 a month for that amount of service? I know it goes without saying, but sometimes when I think about how different our service is now versus the service we had before, it makes me wonder exactly whether our current service is worth whatever we’re paying.

I mention all this because I’m currently downloading FF XIV onto my laptop so that I can play from home. I took my computer with me to Northford, but I still don’t want to really use it unless I have to. It’s different using it there versus using it in Stamford, and the difference stood out to me enough to write a blog post about it, even though I know this probably wasn’t the most interesting thing in the world to read about.

#427: The Great Sea

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Cabana deeds, great seas, everything you could ask for. Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker is one of my all-time favorite games, unquestionably, and part of the reason for that is all the flavor absolutely oozing out of every moment in the story and gameplay. Whether you’re sailing the high seas on your boat or exploring deserted islands to scour for treasure, this game has it all when it comes to living a seafaring lifestyle. It absolutely captures what it would be like to live in that kind of world or universe, and Link is as fearless and intrepid as ever.

No matter what you’re after, this game has it all. It has adventure everywhere and every minute seems to be exciting. It doesn’t have many dramatic set pieces like games like Uncharted, but it does have a full world to breathe in and explore, which differs from other games like it. Legend of Zelda, as a series, has always been great because of its worlds more than anything else. Hyrule is a fantastic example of taking an idea and running with it in different incarnations. Hyrule always looks different no matter which game you’re looking at, but it also has some aspects that are the same, like Hyrule Castle being situated near the center, Link starting off with humble beginnings, and more like that.

When I saw on Twitter recently that a few more Wii U games would be coming to the Switch soon, my first instinct was in favor of Wind Waker HD, a game that released near the end of the Wii U’s lifespan and really captured the essence of the original game. After all, it basically was the original game minus a few changes to the late game to really speed things up and make life easier.