When the Fiery One leaves on these long work trips, it is as though I have to create a temporary definition of myself. So much changes when he is gone. He is not there when I wake up in the morning nor is he home when I come back from work, the only person to cook for is myself, I have to find other people to go out with, there’s no one to chatter at in the apartment – the list goes on and on. There are good changes, too. For some reason I write more when he’s away, I obsess about learning Photoshop and html, I lose weight, I go out less, and I go for more walks by myself.
It can be really stressful to have most of my regular life habits turned on their head every few weeks, and Tuesday morning was no exception. I kissed him goodbye at the door and knew as I walked away down the hall that that would be last bit of lovin’ for me for the next twenty-one days. I felt like a boat that had lost its moorings. What was I going to do with myself for three weeks?
Today, I am much more together. He called me from Los Angeles that evening, and hearing his voice always puts me in a better spot. I felt okay, like a pattern was falling into place, the pattern where he calls me every evening and tells me about his hotel room, what movie he’s going to see, the food he ate and where he ate it, and the people he interviewed, and then I tell him about my day.
We’ve done this before quite a few times, and each time I fall into my new living patterns more easily than the time before. Tuesday left me in a nihilist grey wash, Wednesday leaned more towards a numbness, and today I am just about feeling like myself again.
More about Tuesday… It’s not like I just sat at home feeling soupy after the Fiery One left two days ago. Amelia called to let me know that Warhol was in town, and so I went to the pub to meet them a couple of hours after work ended. It was good to hang out with those two. Amelia begged off early, and Warhol and I stayed on to have a couple of pints and talk about the friend he stays with when he’s in Cityville.
It’s funny, because when Warhol and I see each other in Cosmopolis, we talk about everything but this friend person, and when we get together here in Cityville, this friend is almost all we ever talk about. I don’t mind. It’s just odd, is all.
On the one hand, it feels good in a selfish sort of way to hear Warhol’s worries about his friend, because I have been through my own battles with mental illness that has at times resembled manic depression, schizoid affective disorder, and paranoid schizophrenia and have been on medications for all of these conditions at various times. It is comforting to remember a place my brain is not anymore and to hear that, even though I’m not ill presently, I was not alone in that struggle.
On the other hand, it’s voyeuristic of me to continue asking questions about this friend of Warhol’s that I’ve only met once or twice and don’t really know. I have not been ill like that in a few years, but I’ve been told that there is a high likelihood of my symptoms reoccurring at some point. So, I listen to Warhol’s stories and kind of feel myself sliding into that old skin again. I go over in my mind some of the things I believed and felt at those times. It’s almost like I want that again. I said almost. When I was seriously ill, there was a sense of power, of self-worth and importance; I felt fierce and whip smart, terrified and confused, dangerous and creative, anxious and utterly alone. Whatever I experienced, I experienced it strongly.
It’s kind of pornographic, this feeling of lusting after passion.