Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Home again

Before getting to the meat of the post, which I wrote over the last couple of days, I wanted to mention that the blog had its fourth (!) anniversary on December 29th. I would have written something on the day but I've been a little distracted.

Since returning, I've been incredibly productive. What have I done? Check it:
  • Cleaned the fridge
  • Unpacked
  • Gone running--twice!
  • Gone to the movies
  • Ordered parts to repair the door of my fridge
  • Scheduled estimates to replace my non-functioning a/c unit
  • Renewed my AAA membership
  • Talked to my parents
  • Emailed with friends near and far
  • Ordered a new mattress
  • Found a body shop to repair the van (it had a minor fender-bender while parked--I may just pocket the check)
  • Written and mailed a few checks
  • And a few other things I can't recall…

It's a little crazy/chaotic in my house but it is MY house and I like it there. The shower? Heaven. The empty fridge? Not so much. I do miss Kent. How could I not when the couple-oriented holiday to end all couple-oriented holidays is today? Yet…yet, I don't feel bad. I feel oddly relaxed. So much has happened and even though I did nothing while I was away I think it was exactly what I needed. When I got on the plane to fly home, I thought, "I'm not scared. I'm not going to get scared." And I didn't. (Even though the flight included some hair-raising turbulence and TWO puking toddlers on the descent. I didn't take a single pill.)

So, 1,028 posts (not including this one), four years and who knows how many left to go? Thanks for joining me!


The whole world knows that CDG (Charles de Gaulle Airport) is impossible. Today, the impossible became the incredibly easy. The shared van picked me up at 7am and by 7:54 I was checked into my flight. More amazing? I arrived at the airport at 7:45 and the trip included one stop to pick up another passenger. I guess the Sunday morning after x-mas isn't prime travel time.

On the drive, which wasn't particularly hair-raising, I tried to take in as many sights as I could in the darkness. I got a great view of the Arc de Triumph and a few other less familiar spot. No Eiffel Tower, unfortunately. We did drive by the Stade de France, which I never visited and it was impressively large. I do not regret missing it, though.

I thought about what regrets I have about this trip. Did I see everything I wanted to see? No. Do I feel terrible about that? No. Do I wish I'd traveled more in France? Yes, but there is still time in my life for that.

I realized I wasn't thinking much about Kent. I wondered why and I purposefully thought about him. I felt like crying and realized why I wasn't thinking about him. No need to feel sadder than I already do. Big, huge, ridiculous sigh.

I did plenty of sighing during our last few days together. The time was altogether too short but more than long enough to admit a generous amount of sadness. This relationship was not in our plans. It's decidedly inconvenient. It hurts to think that we won't see each other again but it's a definite possibility. Yet, I can't imagine that we won't ever see each other again, but even if I wanted to go to England in a month or two for a visit…well, I can't get into the details but he may not be available. It may be much longer before it would make sense to visit (that is, before he'd be available to see me). And who knows what will happen in that time?

The ambiguity is immense and I have to accept it because that's what it is. That's this situation. The day before I left, I asked Kent, jokingly, what I should say if someone asked about him. He said, "Asked what?"

I said, "You know, if someone asks me if I have a boyfriend. What should I say?"

He raised an eyebrow and said, "It depends who's asking." I laughed. "If it's the Brad Pitt look-a-like coming up to you in the bar…"

"Ha ha. So, what if an Angelina Jolie look-a-like came up to you in a bar?"

He said, "She's not my type."

I said, "Oh, c'mon. She's everyone's type."

"Well, that kind of woman doesn't approach me."

I said, "It's not actually Angelina Jolie."

He didn't answer.

I said, "You know, Brad Pitt isn't my type either, but I took your meaning."

When I first arrived in London, our first and second days…Kent actively encouraged me to write. I'd written a couple of pages on the novel idea and he was eager to see them. I wouldn't show them to him because they weren't good. They're not good. I couldn't get the plot started. I didn't know how to get from here to there. I didn't have a clear conception of the characters, their motivations and I didn't know how to put them into action. Instead, I showed him a story I've been working on for the last couple of years, which I haven't touched for about a year. He read it and laughed because I'd already told him much of the story in bits and pieces. I think he liked it though it's not really his kind of fiction.

I took a nap and when I got up, I found Kent working on the story idea. Amazing. We talked it through and then I apologized for being resistant to his encouragement. I tried to explain that I was touched that he was pushing me but that I felt resistant and I didn't know why and I didn't know if I could do it. We talked through the story a little. And then I explained that I actually had an idea for a novel about "relationships" ("That's mostly what you write about, isn't it?" Yes). I laid it out for him and he said, "That's a good idea. Why don't you do that?" I should do it. I still can. I tried but not very hard and I stalled out early in the process. Just because I'm going back to work doesn't mean I can't write. In some ways it means the need to write is even greater.

Being in Paris was a release--from everything, from almost all my responsibilities (though they were humming in the background)--when I get back to work, writing can be my release. Maybe.

It's good and strange being home. Strange because it's so familiar and easy to be here. My place seems huge but it's MY place and I'm happy to be in it. My neighborhood is gritty and not-quaint but I'm not shocked by that either. It's MY neighborhood and I like it despite its non-charming ways. There is a decided lack of access to decent bread…but we all know that is completely survivable. I think I'll be a little more grumpy when I  go back to work next week but for now, it's not that bad being here. Would I rather be with Kent getting ready for a drunken New Year's? Yes. But you know what I'd really like? If he were here to celebrate with me.

(Kiwi-types should appreciate this but in the coffee shop where I'm writing this, I can see a guy wearing a t-shirt that says "Pure Rugby" with the "Steinlager" logo underneath. Steinlager is a New Zealand beer. Now, I won't go talk to him because what would I say? "My (kinda) boyfriend is from New Zealand…but I haven't been there."? Heh.)

Happy New Year y'all. Have a great time tonight and be safe.

Grateful for: home

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