So where have I been?
All kinds of places. I’ve been to St. Louis, where I returned with a little bit of my grandfather’s ashes, and I’ve been working, where I continue to do well despite the fact that I’ve started getting headaches, and I’ve been on the couch, where I’ve been live-tweeting Star Trek: The Next Generation and watching bad movies with Will. So we’ll take it in order, then.
I went to St. Louis last weekend during the long President’s Day weekend and I left feeling both relieved and miserable about the whole thing. I didn’t like who I was turning into sometimes when I was in St. Louis and I didn’t like that quicksand feeling that I get when I think of settling down forever and ever somewhere. Because I’m Adam Duritz’s proverbial girl who wants to settle and then always runs away. But I feel so loved by people there. My family, my friends, the city itself when I’m there – there’s so much there for me. But not enough to keep me because I’m not sure that person is sustainable.
So I hung out with my friends and we took our picture on the bridge of the Enterprise and I met new people and hung out with old friends and my family and, as I was leaving, my grandmother, Geem, pressed some of Geep’s ashes into my hand and told me she’d keep them for me if I needed her to. And then I drove back to my best friend’s house in tears and we spent the rest of the night talking about death and love and people we knew and went to bed early. And then I stopped by my friends’ house on the way out of town to meet their new baby. I’m sure there’s something there to take away about circles and whatever but I just can’t bring myself to walk down that path right now. Things are. Life is. And I’ve spent the week alternating between being fucking furious with my grandfather for dying and leaving us and delighted that he existed in this world and he was ours and we loved each other. And I guess that’s what death does to us. Only this isn’t the first time I’ve gone through this circle and it’s like doing it all over again, again and again, as these things happen. Things happen and I remember exactly what it was like. But, then again, other things happen and I remember exactly what it was like when I was 11 and we watched Carmen Sandiego every afternoon, when I was 17 and ran into him at four am when he got home from work and I just wasn’t sleeping, when I was 22 and slouching around the house with him before work in the early afternoons.
Work is. It’s exhausting, it seems like, despite the fact that we were supposed to get more people in my department to shift the workload a little. My annual review was acceptable, even for a perfectionist like myself. Despite the fact that I can feel myself slipping into a pool of work exhaustion, aka the inevitable burnout after talking to people on the phone, never mind this particular group, for almost a year. It’s exhausting. It’s busy. It’s consuming. But it is and I’ve put out feelers for things that I might like to do with the company when there’s something to do other than answer the phone.
And I’ve been on the couch hanging out with Will and not going to the gym. I’ve decided that that probably isn’t a good idea for me, the not going out to the gym. I like that time between worlds, where I’m not at work and I’m not at home. But we’ve been having fun at home, too, so it’s not a big deal. We watched Breaking Dawn last night and had some interesting conversation about it after it was done and then watched an episode of TNG as a palate cleanser. Today, we’re going to the bookstore and lunch and the store to pick up a few things and then we’re going to put up posters and tidy and things like that. Domestic stuff.
So, yeah. That’s where I’ve been. This weekend, I’ll chill out, read some books, write a column, think about art. Hang some things on the wall. Clean off some tables. Next week, I’ll go to work and the gym and watch Star Trek on the couch. It’s a life seemingly ordinary and maybe there’s something to that. Maybe that’s why I’m glad I moved to Omaha most of the time. Because our lives are quiet here and that helps it get quiet in my head.
And I’m happy with that.