Friday, December 29, 2006
Take my love.
Take my land.
Take me where I cannot stand.
I don't care,
I'm still free.
You can't take the sky from me.
-Sonny Rhodes -- Firefly
I suppose I like the stubbornness in those lyrics from the theme music of everyone's favourite dead-in-the-water sci-fi series, Firefly.
This morning was the first morning in almost three weeks where I woke up feeling less than absolutely shitty.
I still thought of Claire in the dark of my bathroom, the early morning sun streaming through the window. Somehow staring at those black and white tiles, endlessly repeating, always seems to make me even more sad. But then, everything makes me more sad. A single glass of wine, even the nice pinot noir my brother got for his birthday, is enough to send me into a tailspin of epic proportions. An episode of Curb Your Enthusiasm with Larry David being an asshole at his father's nursing home somehow reminds me of Claire and her fondness for pink Bingo dabbers and cafeteria nanaimo bars between games. Fucking BINGO! Stupid? Yes. Suburban? Oh yeah. Small-town kitsch to the extreme? Somehow still loveable? Curse my broken heart, yes.
I woke up early this morning despite not having to go to work and took a bus for an hour and a half out to a beautiful windswept park by the ocean, to go for a walk with a friend from bookclub and her dog. Let's call her Mary (my friend, not the dog). She's 28 years my senior, drives a truck for the post office, never went to university, and describes herself as an introvert. And yet somehow we seem to have loads in common. She gets me, and this is a rare and valuable thing.
It was a lovely walk. It was sunny at first, but only around the horizon, which continued to glow pink and orange all morning. Huge flocks of cormorants dotted the bay, and the little feathered creatures seemed to move in flawless unison. Mary's dog chased her ball all over the park, and we hiked and talked and stopped for coffee at the upscale coffee shop nearby. It was the first time in ages I felt something close to serene.
The last few weeks have been extraordinarily rough for me. I didn't really expect to be so physically affected by the distress of losing Claire, but for the first week my stomach was in knots all day and I could scarcely bear to put anything into my system but tea and crackers. The second week was better only in that my stomach was slightly better, but everything still tasted like dust and my days were punctuated by brief periods of distraction followed by overwhelming despair. This week I got quiet, which I know is a sign I'm depressed. Nothing I wanted to say seemed worth the energy of saying. I was tired all the time, and strep throat hit me like a ton of bricks. There's nothing quite like the misery of sadness and sickness combined.
Part of the reason this has torn me to pieces is probably the simple fact that while I never would have said anything after three months of knowing her, I could see a future with Claire, in a way that I've never seen a future with anyone before. Hayley was fun for a while, but I knew she wasn't forever. The Boy was lovely and a big part of my world, but I knew at the heart of it that we were too fundamentally different to last.
Well, she had potential. She was smart and sweet and funny and beautiful. She lit up my world and made me feel like I could be satisfied with the simplest things in life. She was special to me. And now that she's gone it has been a struggle to continue getting up and going on.
But I'm doing it, slowly but surely.
Thanks to anyone who's still reading.