"What's it like there?" my driver asked after I told him (upon request) where I was from. "Are there hills? Do you grow crops?"
"Gently rolling hills," I replied. "And we do grow things - there's lots of land." I nodded when he told me he'd moved to New Jersey. That it was quieter. Better for his family.
"That's nice," I said, meaning it. It strikes me as lovely when someone finds a happy spot - where days seem brighter and sleep deeper.
I do not currently reside in one of those spaces.
Though I have no desire to relocate, my days seem dark and difficult. I awaken with gasps from vivid dreams and nightmares. It's oppressively hot outside and the dog has peed in my basement. Which I swear I still smell despite all the bleach and mopping.
It is not just work - scheduling an important meeting and forcing people to prepare and finessing the message and artfully arranging supporting material. Only to be informed that person for whom the review was designed has no plans to be there. Which leaves me to scramble and regroup or to just say 'fuck it' and move on.
Chienne is a major component, for I spend my time at home peering into her eyes and depositing drops at regular intervals. And she still worsens. I winced when she tripped twice going up the steps a few moments ago, knowing there's not much longer for her to see the world. That she can hear and smell and feel it will be a comfort. But I ache over every stumble right now.
I don't want it to be boys, for I've officially decided to take a break. Yet that stray attraction and hope remains difficult to extinguish. So it lingers - the memory of a voice or phrase or curl of fingers around a palm - and taunts me. Mostly gently and easily ignored, but still.
"He owes you an apology," she said when I passed her in the hall, late for my next meeting and still scowling over my last one.
"Who? How? What?" I asked, pausing and cocking my head at her and sighing when she explained.
"He does not owe me an apology," I offered. "It wasn't a big deal. I just had a headache and was taken aback by the emotion behind his comments and didn't handle it very well. It was fine."
"It's not fine when someone treats you badly!" she argued.
I closed my mouth over a retort and nodded before moving toward my meeting and perching on a chair to prepare for the next round of arguments. Life sometimes treats you badly, I think. And you find ways to endure (sleep, silly games online) or find moments of happiness (pretty shoes, lunch with Sibling) and hope it eventually does ease.