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I’m a picture whore, and anyone who knows me knows that. I take TONS of pictures, ALL of the time. I just went on a week long vacation and I only took about 600 and I find that to be an amazingly small amount.
But really, I know there are hundreds of pictures on my iMac that should be deleted, ones I never got around to deleting. You know, ones that are fuzzy or blurry or of people I met once at so-and-so’s bbq. Ones that were taken rapidly so it’s the same face of my uncle 4 shots in a row, except for the movement of the eyebrow. Ones that I take for artistic purposes but I don’t like or they didn’t make the cut. And then finally, finally – there’s the ones of my previous life that I really have no desire to keep around. I mean, don’t get me wrong, of course I’ll keep a lot – it was a great six year run, after all – but many of them are just no longer necessary.
So I’ve spent time tonight going through the archives and I find myself deleting images both intimate and formal. I’ve deleted lots of pictures of EJ, lots of pictures of our past everyday life: cooking together, laying in bed or on the couch, sleepy morning kisses, us doing yard work, renovating the house… I’ve deleted lots of pictures of not so everyday life: inseminating sperm and the negative pregnancy tests, Christmas mornings, vacations, birthdays… I can’t help but be sad, looking at some of it. I can’t help but still be surprised at the end result – the pictures tell the story: it really was a wonderful life. And so I do my best to come away with just that: it was wonderful. We were happy and in love and shared so many amazing moments together, so many of them captured in a still. And although it makes me a little bit sad it mostly makes me grateful to look back through them. It’s pretty cool to see the evolution of yourself and your life through pictures.
So I’m actually burning some pictures to give to EJ, pictures that she’d want as they are of her family and such, most of them which I’ll be deleting when I’m done burning them. I’ll keep enough so as it’s not as if things never happened but I’m glad to get rid of the excess. I’m finished for the night because it’s late, and I’ve probably only gone through 20% of my pictures. I’ve deleted about 2,500 (which doesn’t count the pictures I have yet to burn for Liz which I am then deleting). That’s a LOT of cleanup.
It’s been a little overwhelming going through years and years of my life in a two hour period, but there’s already a lesson learned here, a re-reminder of sorts: I have amazing friends and family. I have (and always have had) a lot of love in my life. My time with EJ was not in vain. It was essential and it brought with it love and happiness and experience.
It brought me to B and the new experiences she’s given me. It brought me to applying to grad school. It brought me to traveling to the Bahamas and Tennessee and Myrtle Beach and Mehoopany. It brought me to see the woman with strength beyond her wildest dreams. It brought me here. To today.
B has a hot-ass jeep. It’s an ’86 CJ 7 and I’ve increasingly fallen in love with it over the past year. She hasn’t been wanting to take it out a lot lately because, well, there’s a few things that she wants to work on. But on Saturday, in the 100 degree + off the charts humidity of a day, we took it out, doorless. It is my favorite way to country-drive.
I’m kind of fascinated with all of the corn that grows near her. She’s taught me a lot about it (hello, I didn’t think you could even learn that much about corn) and I’ve decided that I not only enjoy eating it from the cob, but watching it pop up in rows, too.
Later that evening we went to her sister’s pool party and left around 11:30 pm, still wearing our bathing suits because we had just recently gotten out of the pool (night swimming is the best).
It was still unbelievably hot and sticky at this hour so B decided she was driving home with no shirt, just her sports bra on. She called this “topless.” So I decided that I was going to be “topless” for real. I took off my bathing suit cover up and pulled the top part of my bathing suit down to my waist and let my tits hang out, literally. B was delighted.
I tell you what – I loved doorless jeep rides before, but now I’ve found a whole new love. The feeling of the air on hard nipples, leg propped up and head back, eyes closed, hair whipping in the wind – it was magical. B made me smell the air and taught me that was corn, fermenting. I opened my eyes to see walls of corn, taller than the jeep we were in. On top of them, floating and hoovering, were heaps of fireflies.
It was something else.
This has been a difficult month for me in regards to missing my dog. I don’t know what it is but I’ve had so many triggers and I haven’t really been able to direct them into positive emotion. I have wept – that hysterical, can’t breathe, painful crying – twice in the last few weeks. Once alone in my room and once with B.
I still sometimes can’t believe she’s really gone. Still.
I mentioned that fact to B when I was vomiting my emotion all over her the other night. She sounded surprised. And in summary, when talking about my grief, she mentioned to me that “It’s been almost a year,” – implying that it’s been enough time to grieve. I filled with anger. Anger that I don’t tap into very often. Rage almost. And hurt that she could think that – let alone say it.
The way she said it was almost as if I cry about Gracie every day. As if I can’t function or mention her daily in the 9 months since she has passed away. That doesn’t happen. My moments are occasional (to me) and usually really mild- like a “Hey, I really miss Gracie today.”
Who is to say how long we have to grieve? Where’s the fucking rule book that says after 9 months I shouldn’t have a good weeping session, shouldn’t find it hard to believe that my best pal is gone? You know, this is why I don’t mention it much to my friends or my family anymore – because she has been gone for some time and I’m too exhausted to have the judgment of how I grieve being given to me. And then there my girlfriend goes and does it.
It’s hard enough not to feel psycho on my own with the sometimes astounding sadness that can overcome me. Over a dog. But you know, it was just me and her. She was my family. And I can’t help it – I miss her.
I am feeling more and more ready to love another, although my living situation won’t let it. That’s probably a good thing for now.
The latest revelation though that has gotten me sad is that I can’t remember what she smells like. It bums me out more than I can say.
It has been nothing less than a bit insane since we’ve gotten back from vacation. We even came back a day early AND I took an extra day off before going back to work (granted, it was a day of errands and doctors appointments and food shopping, but still, an extra day off) and it still felt like I needed a bit more time.
Work has been a piece of work. The further along my time is here and the more responsibility I have makes me dread taking off – no matter how much I prepare people and instruct and help them to do the things that need to be done when I’m not here, it doesn’t always seem to work out. It’s good to be busy, but not this busy.
Vacation was quite lovely, although I won’t say it was all wonderful. We ended up vacationing with people who weren’t in the original plan, and they had children, so that wasn’t too fun. But overall we did get to relax and read and swim and catch a lot of sunrays and most importantly have time with each other, so I’m really grateful for it. I’m already looking forward to my next vacation, which is not yet planned, whenever that is. Preferably it’s in Maine (something like this vacation here) and definitely adults only.
And it’s kind of fucked up that I’m thinking about vacation because B still doesn’t have an “official” job, ever since her company went bankrupt back in September. She does really well doing side work (she’s a landscaper) but as you can imagine, that is a very seasonal thing. And we just found out her unemployment has just run out so we’re a little worried. I can’t tell you how many jobs she applies to – people just aren’t calling back. It is such a ridiculously tough economy we are in and there are hundreds of people applying to one job and I just don’t know how people do it.
In non-depressing news, I do believe I forgot to mention that B got me a kayak and a paddle for my birthday, as June was a pretty busy month for her. Can you believe it? It’s amazing and great and wonderful. She also got herself a kayak and a paddle so that we could go paddling together. Plus she got the kayak carrier for the top of her jeep and our launching permits. Crazy, right? We FINALLY went for the first time this past weekend, and besides it being 97 degrees out with death-inducing humidity, it was fun. I am REALLY looking forward to more time on the water. But can we say, seriously – BEST BIRTHDAY PRESENT EVER!!!
And also, I’m on the verge of almost being done my grad school application. I don’t think it’s the best work I’ve ever written, honestly, but like I mentioned before, maybe a small part of me doesn’t want to get in. Either way, I’m days away from officially submitting it, and I can’t wait to be done with it.
I’m so out of touch with the online world and you blog peeps and my own writing, but it’s been kind of wonderful. Lots of time for being in the present, getting exercise and sun and quality time in with the people I love the most. Hope you all had a fabulous 4th of July weekend! Can you believe we’re a week and a half away from August?!?! Omg!
The world keeps turning, eh?
Ok, so I’m not leaving on a jet plane, but I am leaving. And I have that song in my head.
B and I take off tonight for a 10 hour road trip to the good ‘old south for a much anticipated vacation. Our plans include: swimming in the pool, laying by the pool, reading by the pool, drinking anywhere, going to the beach, eating seafood, lots of sex, reading, and quality time with my bestie and her family.
11 whole days away from work and home with my girl. I’m the luckiest one.
So no blog posts for a while, although I do hope to write when I’m away if the inspiration hits me. And also, maybe I’ll have a post or two set to publish while I’m away, IF I’m productive enough by the time we leave.
Have a lovely and safe holiday all.
Goodbye, New Jersey.
Hello, Myrtle Beach.