The Fiery One called me at work today from Austria. He says that the Alps are like, all over the place. I knew that, because that’s how the Swiss got to stay Swiss over the last many years, but I liked the notion of them just lying around all over like when you upend a box of lego. We talked for over half an hour, because fuck work when I’ve got a Fiery One on the line who’s been gone for over three weeks. I barely remember what we even talked about, because it is just so good to hear his voice and imagine his lips next to a receiver that is no further away at that moment than some pulses of information-carrying light. It was such a high to get to speak with him for so long, but when we hung up, and I turned back to my computer and the letter that I had been in the middle of writing, I nearly broke down. He was suddenly just so not there. This is the longest that he has been away from me, and we still have seventeen days to go before he comes home.
Today, what I’m here to do is vent some anger. I am twenty-four days into the Fiery One’s absence. It has not been an easy time for me for a few reasons. None of these reasons are individually responsible for today’s anger, but added together they amount to a pretty sizable ball of rage.
1. I definitely have a seasonally affected depressive issue, which I generally deal with quite well in my own way every year, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t fucking hard at times. The depression comes in waves, but with none of the regularity, hitting for five minutes here and two weeks there. I take my medication, keep myself busy, take long baths, read, and wait for better times when it comes on too strong. The difference this time, though, is that I feel like I’m pretty much doing it alone this time around. I always feel alone when this happens to me, but there is a difference between feeling alone and being alone. Sure, there are people around that I care about who can help me through to an extent, but there is no one close enough to me like the Fiery One. (I mean no insult to my Cosmopolian friends, but you guys are all the way in another city. Also, I don’t mean to diss my Cityvillian friends, either. The Fiery One just has his own special way with me. It is comforting to know you’re all out there, though).
2. A filing cabinet fell on me, causing all kinds of stupid pains and minor injuries, on the same day that I started feeling a truly nasty sinus cold coming on. Today, I find myself having a difficult time differentiating between what pains were caused by having files literally hanging off my ribcage and what pains are growing out of the nasty virus I have contracted. I know that I can soak in the tub for as long as I desire and watch whatever crap television I feel like without anyone interrupting me, but it will all be done without any human interaction occurring. No one asks me how my day was when I come home, no one asks if they can pee while I’m still soaking, no one looks disturbed at my choice of television show, no one asks to see just how awful my left thigh looks with its five lacerations and hard black bruises. No one will make me tea and nod in agreement when I spew how I feel about the loser who stacked those filing cabinets like that in the first place. I just get to meep at my birds in the way that makes them meep back and wait out the aching yuckiness of my physical state alone. Yeah, I know, poor me. Let’s buy some streamers and balloons and make this pity party official.
3. When the Fiery One and I were on the telephone together, he let it slip that his work was thinking of sending him out again only sixteen or seventeen days after he comes back from this trip. The first thing out of my mouth was no fucking way they’re doing that. He has not been home for any good stretch since he started this gig. When he’s on the road, he’s at work all the time. He doesn’t get to come home and see me and other friends and put his feet up, so he really looks forward to coming back by the end of his trips. The last time he came back from a trip, he was told that he had two weeks before leaving again. I was thrilled. I took holidays so that I could spend time with him. He took a few days of heavy sleeping to get over his jet lag, and then I took time off work so that we could ~a-hem~ get reacquainted as husband and wife. My vacation that I had planned and he had planned was barely begun when they sent him away for five days. I spent most of my vacation alone once again, and for the few days that he was back after that I was back at work. As a result of this shitheaded planning with no thought for either the Fiery One’s or my well-being, he and I have not had any real good amount of time to even properly touch base in months. I'm not kidding. It really has been months.
Because of points 1, 2, and 3, I am losing my patience. There is no fucking way he is being taken from me again so quickly. There is no fucking way that he is going on a weekend trip within the first couple of weekends of being back, either, because that is the only time when I have time off work to experience his sweet countenance. He has missed his birthday and our wedding anniversary and Thanksgiving and every other important day that has passed. I am his fucking wife, and I get him for a while to myself. Not Turkey or Italy or Massachusetts or wherever else you may think he needs to be more than spending any time with his family.
My heart hurts. My brain hurts. My body is hurting. I need him more than I have ever needed him, and today I get the news that they’re already planning on snatching him away sooner than they promised us. Not only can the Fiery One not make decent life plans for himself because his work reneges on their promises for time off work to spend at home, but I also cannot make any plans. I planned a vacation away from work to be with him when he was supposed to be at home last time and ended up wasting a bunch of vacation days for nothing more than more time alone. I feel like I can’t plan to spend any time with him now, because they’re already thinking of sending him out earlier than he was told. So, I’m putting my foot down. We are going to be a family for at least a little bit. It has been months since we have been able to actually feel like we live together, so don’t even try to take him away so soon again. It ain’t going to fucking happen.
Don’t get me wrong. I can handle him being away for extended periods. I’ve learned how to deal with it and have grown as a person creatively as a result of these trips. I am still happy that he has been able to see all the places he has seen and do the things he has done. But, and this is a big But. I need him, too, and not just for a week stretch when I only get to see him for a few hours in the evening when I’m tired from work. This is something that his work has not factored in. When he’s working, he is gone 24/7, and now it feels like we have no life together. He has to be promised a decent stretch of time at home, and not we’ll-see-what-we-can-do-unless-we-don’t. I need to know that we can make plans to go somewhere or accept a future invitation or use my vacation days when I take them instead of wasting them for nothing.
If you happen to work with the Fiery One and happen to be reading this, do not worry. I hold none of you personally responsible. I’m angry at The Man in general. But if you can, if you would, pretty please, forget to call prospective interviewees, lose the file on that disaster, convince your bosses that that job definitely is not odd just for a little while. Giant teepees be damned. Some things are a little more important.
If you are an American who truly loves your mother, your aunt, your sister, your friend, your lover, and yourself – read this (and don’t let the Oprah part deter you, because it’s a worthwhile read).
I have linked to this before, but I really feel that I cannot say enough about wood s lot.
Canadian Poetry has been discovered with much thanks going out to the aforementioned wood s lot.