Monday, May 21, 2007


In a surprising turn of events, Maria was sitting at her desk when I got there this morning. The department has, for the most part, left for Germany so I was anticipating a day of calm quiet. Maria is neither boisterous or noisy, so I didn’t mind her presence (well, until she turned the thermostat up to 70. I like being cold! Shivering is fine! It probably burns calories). She worked quietly, speaking several times on the phone. The second time, I noted that she sounded annoyed, her lyrical accent becoming clipped and stern.

I continued to analyze data and printed a copy of my chapter. I was going to bribe Friend to proofread it – she says she’s skilled at such tasks – then go through it again myself. It’s been nearly a month since I’ve looked at it and I’m nearing the deadline. I was organizing the pages that had printed, putting my figures neatly behind the body of the paper, when I noticed a man sitting in the corner.

“Hello.” I said, then glanced at Maria. She was ignoring him. Before I could ask if he was in trouble, she turned and jerked her head toward the door. I raised an eyebrow, amused that the young grad student was clearly bossing the scholarly older man.

“Have you met my boyfriend?” She asked as she gathered her belongings.

“Nope.” I answered, reaching to shake his hand. Weak, I frowned, then eased my expression of disapproval. The poor guy was obviously already being scolded for his tardy arrival to take Maria home. He offered his name, then lifted her bag to his shoulder and started listing the tasks he’d completed that day as they walked from the office and up the stairs nearby.

I smiled, returning to my pages containing my chapter and seeing that my analysis step had finished. Then I winced momentarily. I officially skipped my last therapy session with Dr. Counselor today. Apparently the “finished forever” line was a trick to make me work harder. I disapprove and have chosen not to return. We exchanged a couple emails and he wondered why I didn’t want to come back and I said he told me not to come back then I didn’t answer the email he sent after that. No more rejection! This time, I'm calling it done. I never get to end anything - I'm the one who gets to say no more here.

I should see someone else. I know. Given that I’m waiting on doing that, I shouldn’t feel jealous and inferior and miserable that I don’t have anyone. That there is no man to come carry my bag and drive me home. That there’s something so wrong with me that the men I do grow to love somehow can’t escape me fast enough. And while it makes sense taken individually, as a collective romantic past, it’s hugely depressing and demoralizing. Not a single one keeps in touch or shows a speck of interest in how or what I’m doing now. That’s not good. In some way I alienate them so completely that erasing the memory completely appeals. Again, not good.


I met another patient in the afternoon, as sweet as could be and equally sick. Even I, with my ‘let’s discuss every private detail I can muster!’, recognize that it’s inappropriate to discuss such events. Suffice it to say that it hurts. Each patient, every visit, each moment I spend considering their data – I ache with regret and sorrow.

So that happened, then I headed back to my office to find my method of choice had failed miserably. I took a break, did some reading online, and was starting to click productively instead of recreationally when Jill poked her head in. I smiled briefly, then turned to quickly finish what I was doing.

“Have you heard from Dawn?” She asked, and I turned to dig through a pile of papers. I came up with a card shaped like a terrier.

“She left me a card – it was here this morning – but I haven’t seen her.” I replied, swiveling in my chair. “Why? Did you hear from her?”

And in dramatic fashion Jill so enjoys, she stepped aside to reveal a sheepish-looking Dawn.

“Hello!” I smiled at her, then felt myself get weepy. I blinked back unexpected tears while Jill shooed Dawn into a chair and closed the door when she left. We talked for about an hour. Job searches and pets, family and possible locations to work, hair styles and movies. She stayed for about an hour before leaving to battle traffic.

“We could have dinner sometime.” I offered tentatively when she stood up. “I know you have family and friends here, but I don’t have very many. I really do like you and I’m so proud of you for how you’ve acted. So.”

“I have your number.” She said, smiling. “Most of my friends have left, but we could definitely get together.”

I nodded and turned back to my desk. Sighed.

While I moped over people who refuse to stay in my life, I gently moved Winnie’s violet from its perch on my file drawers and carefully removed the dead blossoms. The deep purple blooms continue to appear, but it’s requiring more and more maintenance. So I work at it, allowing room for the new buds to open. I hope she was happier than I knew her to be. I hope she’s somewhere perfect now.

As for the other people I loved and lost, I have some sense that they’re well. And that’s good – I like knowing (or assuming) they’re happy and healthy and busy. I want to be happy and healthy and busy. And in love.

The day actually wasn't so awful. It just could have been a lot better.


Locks said...

I have trouble keeping people in my life as well and I often wonder why I make the choice over and over to remain alone or to push people away.

I suppose I always feel that to love someone else one must love oneself first, which for me is a process that takes some serious continuous work---and some days I don't think I'll ever really get there.

Anyway, if it matters, I am one of the many many people that look forward to each of your posts and read your blog all the time. I'm not sure what the term is in internet-speak but I value your writing, your opinions, and in some kind of weird distant creepy voyeur way, I consider you a good friend.



Grad007 said...

I'm surprised Dr. Counsellor suggested terminating therapy in such an abrupt manner. I'd feel abandoned if that happened to me. I hope you are able to find an even better therapist.

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