Goodbye stranger, it’s been nice. I hope you find your paradise…hope your dreams will all come true.
I have a flair for being a bit…melodramatic. Perhaps “overemotional” is a better word, which I’m sure will make some of you gentle readers furrow your brows in confusion, especially those who know me personally. How can a woman such as me be overemotional when I hardly ever express myself verbally? How the fuck does that work? I am as perplexed as you all are, but trust me: I am one moody bitch. I can be perfectly fine and relaxed one minute, and the next, want to fly into a murderous rage at something trivial.
As I’ve gotten older, this has gotten worse. I never used to cry at commercials on TV or at movies, and would always make fun of my mother for doing so. Lady, it’s a Hallmark Channel movie. It’s predictable and cliche, but here you are losing your stuff over Candice Cameron-Bure falling for the lovable oaf of a man–most likely the rugged, handsome small town handyman or carpenter or some shit– just like she did in the other twelve made-for-tv movies she’s in. Stop.
But here I am, a little over a month shy of turning 37 years old, and I cry. Often. The show “This Is Us”? Out of the two seasons, I haven’t cried at maybe two episodes and that’s being generous. And we’re not talking a tear slipping down my chubby cheeks crying, we’re talking a proper tear fest, with some episodes leaving me sobbing, gasping for breath, ugly crying. It’s the goddamnedest thing. I was driving back from the gas station up the road just a bit ago and as I was coming down the road to turn into my subdivision, I saw an elderly couple walking together and they were holding hands. Tears.
I’ve always had a problem with crying. For whatever reason, I had it pounded into my head that crying should be done privately. I’m embarrassed as hell whenever I cry in front of other people. Whenever I feel my eyes start to sting and my bottom lip start to tremble, I clench my jaws and try to fight it. I don’t know why I’m like this. Growing up, we were a fairly emotional family, I think. As I mentioned, my mother would unabashedly cry at anything. My father was more of the stereotypical dude and I don’t ever really remember seeing him cry when I was a child, but in his later years, he was far more open and expressive about it. Truth be told, it would make me uncomfortable. What happened to this guy that he’s suddenly Mr. Openly Crying? To make matters worse for me, once he was like that, he’d press harder for me to be that way, as well. That was obviously met with much opposition and stubbornness. Weird, right?
The shit of it is, I actually greatly admire people who cry freely like that. I want to be like that, too. I don’t see it as a sign of weakness in anyone but myself. For me, when I dare let myself slip and shed tears around others, I’m honestly mortified and silently berate myself for letting my guard down. I hate that I’m that way and would like to be able to just let the tears rip and not be concerned about what others think of me for doing so, but I just can’t shake it. I think I’ve gotten a teensy bit better about it over the last few years, but not much.
Having said all that, the last month has been in a word: fucked. Regular gentle readers remember someone I hold dear just moved away and my emotional rollercoaster has been stuck going around in a loop for the last four weeks. Thinking about him leaving gets me. Certain songs gets me. Thinking about how he’s no longer in the same city, zip code, state, time zone gets me. Thinking about all the things I regret not doing or saying while he was here gets me. Thinking that I no longer have a solid, reliable, always willing to help me with anything I asked for person (when I wasn’t being a stubborn cow and actually swallowed my pride and asked for help, that is) gets me. Thinking that I no longer feel like I belong here or safe in a town I’ve called home for over fifteen years gets me. Thinking how he’s going to slowly distance himself from me and we lose all contact gets me. Thinking if he has had the same kinds of thoughts about me and if he’s broken down over it like I have gets to me. I doubt he has; he’s always been the more levelheaded of the two of us. Thinking that I should have talked more to him, that I should have reached out more to him whenever I was feeling sad or lonely or just wanted someone to sit with me and how I never did because I didn’t want to bother him or be annoying gets me. Thinking that I have greatly elevated my role in his life far more than it really was and I’m just a delusional asshole gets me…in fact, that one gets me the most.
As you can see, my brain is having a hay day with this and I’m letting it. It’s a hoot. I love it.
But let me also say this: there have been three days in my life when something happened and the next day, the entire world seemed different and indifferent to what happened, which tends to throw a gal into an existential crisis, which is also hoot-a-rific.
- The day I got back from an impromptu trip to Idaho after my marriage had officially hit the skids. Unbeknownst to me, my ex-husband had moved out while I was gone. That day has a shitshow anyway due to hours long delayed flights thanks to thunderstorms preventing landing at the airport and the final flight home having to be rerouted to Kansas City after circling the Omaha airport for an hour. I was to have gotten home early afternoon, but instead didn’t arrive until midnight. It was a Saturday night and a friend of mine had moved in a few months prior to help defray rent and other such costs and he was at our regular karaoke haunt and I met him there when I got back into town. He had a cold beer waiting for me and then had the most awkward task of telling me that my ex had moved while I was gone. Returning to the home we had shared for over two years and almost ten years together and seeing half of my life suddenly gone was indescribable. The day after when reality hit me harder was a daze.
- The day my father died. He died shortly after midnight and none of us got to sleep until the early morning hours, thanks to having to wait for the sheriff and funeral home to come remove his body, but once having woken up from a brief nap, the entire world felt different. My family and I had to tend to business surrounding the funeral and arrange for him to be transported for cremation and while we were gone, I kept thinking to myself, we have to get home so we can get Dad his pain medication. Oh. Wait. Not anymore. Those days of getting up every three hours to make sure he was comfortable were gone and I felt so useless and helpless.
- Yesterday was the third day. I found it very rude that the sun rose and was shining and it was a beautiful day here in eastern Nebraska. Didn’t the world get the memo life was suddenly different again? Didn’t it know it wasn’t supposed to go about things as if nothing happened the day before? Apparently not, because the sun was shining brightly, the birds sang their usual tunes, and it was business as usual for everyone else. Bastards.
See? Overdramatic and emotional. I’m acting like the guy died–which it kind of feels that way (I did it again!)–but he moved. People move every day and don’t feel like their entire universe imploded on itself. He’s still very much alive, most likely extremely tired and stressed the fuck out about all he has to accomplish in a few days, but he’s just a few states away. Chill out, Erin. This isn’t the end of the world, but yet, I can’t help but feel it is (and again!).
I had lunch with one of my best friends and her mother yesterday afternoon and her mother commented that “it’s time to reinvent yourself!” Because it’s me, I’m thinking full-tilt boogie drastic life changes, like fuckin’ moving to Idaho finally to appease my brother’s annoying harassment to do so. The thing with me is I tend to also have a flair for going from zero to sixty in two seconds. It’s ovaries to the wall with me sometimes, as I’m also an impatient person. If I want to do something, I want to do it NOW and tend to make rash decisions. I swear I have some sort of undiagnosed frontal lobe brain damage to the area responsible for decision making and impulsivity control because Jesus Christ on a cross.
On that note, I decided I had to see my mom who lives three hours away late yesterday afternoon, so I hopped into my vehicle and drove to see her, knowing she goes to bed early for work and I’d be arriving at the time she usually goes to bed and I wouldn’t get to spend much time with her, but off I went anyway. As I was crying into her shoulder, getting her shirt wet with snot, I said I just don’t know what to do with myself anymore. She agreed I needed to do something, but her suggestions were far more rational and small, like start walking every day or read a goddamn book. Those are much more appealing to me and far more easy to accomplish. I decided on riding my neglected bike, which incidentally brought about another meltdown because the tires are flat and I can’t figure out the hitch bike rack I have and cue the waterworks again because normally, I’d have shot a text to him asking for his help with both the bike and rack, but I can’t. Well, I could, but it would annoy him and I don’t want to bother him. I am the worst.
I also mentioned that this hurts worse than when my ex-husband left, which she made an exceptional point and I knew this too, but it was nice to hear it said out loud instead of me saying it to myself: my marriage was so fucked towards the end that him leaving was almost a relief. It still hurt but for far different reasons than now.
And that’s the long and short of it. I feel crazy and lost, which neither are unusual for me, especially the crazy part, but I have dialed it up to eleven. H O O T.
I just want this to work for him. I want him to have a job he’s content with and for him to make more money and for him to live the life I know he’s capable of. I’m scared and nervous for him and worrying about if he’s gotten enough sleep or if he’s eaten recently. I’m not his friend, I’m his Jewish grandmother. Oy!
I guess there is a positive spin to all this, and that cocksucker A.A. Milne said it best via that equally cocksucker-y bear Winnie the Pooh: how lucky I am to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard.
It’s the truth, too. But seriously, fuck A.A. Milne, that cocksucker.
Goodbye stranger, it’s been nice. Hope you find your paradise. Tried to see your point of view, hope your dreams will all come true*.
*Fuck Supertramp, too.
As always, thank you for reading.