#443: The Goodbye, Part 3

ocean wave

Photo by Simon Clayton on Pexels.com

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

closeup photo of short coated white and gray dog

Photo by Gilberto Reyes on Pexels.com

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

close up portrait of woman

Photo by Trinity Kubassek on Pexels.com

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

woman walking on pathway while strolling luggage

Photo by VisionPic .net on Pexels.com

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.

#438: The Family Party

assorted color sequins

Photo by Sharon McCutcheon on Pexels.com

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

aerial photography of grass field

Photo by Larry Snickers on Pexels.com

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

abstract art black background blur

Photo by Oleg Magni on Pexels.com

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

blank frame above table

Photo by MockupEditor.com on Pexels.com

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

black ball point pen with brown spiral notebook

Photo by Tirachard Kumtanom on Pexels.com

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

egg sandwich

Photo by Mihail Mihaylov on Pexels.com

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.