The world is a difficult place when I'm sad. Radio and TV shows go on merrily without me, and their stupid antics and stale jokes seem lost on me. Usually, when I most want to be isolated and left to do my own reacting, the world reacts for me. This past week I have been to two Phillies games and this weekend I am going to two Dave Matthews Band shows. Some would say that they are a necessary distraction, but had I known the sadness that I would have experienced last weekend, I would have put the tickets on Ebay and been done with it.
Now however, I am forced to deal with the world and they with me. So, screw them if I'm cranky or sad. Their day to day drabble is meaningless by comparison.
Generally, the world goes on without me, and that makes me feel slightly less significant, but I suppose in a world of 600 billion people, I should have felt that way anyhow.
I'm not a "reach out" type of person. I'm more of a "reach in" type. There are probably books and seminars about such things, and I couldn't care less.
I remember when my ex and I separated. She thought it might be a good idea for us to see a counselor. It's almost never a good time to see a counselor, but I half-heartedly agreed. I remember the counselor asking each of us what we did after the separation.
My ex said that she went back to live with her parents and consulted with family and friends in order to deal with the situation. When the counselor turned to me and asked what I did, I shrugged and told her that I didn't do anything. I assumed my regular schedule of events and generally went about my daily business, taking time to cry or deal with whatever I had been dealt.
The counselor looked at me quizzically and said, "You went through this alone?"
I've gotten a lot of nice e-mails, blog comments and phone calls from friends and strangers who sympathized with my loss. I appreciate all of your thoughts and prayers - I sincerely do. For the past few days I've been trying to put it into perspective. When they're struggling to get through a round, the girls of the LPGA call it "mucking and grinding." That's me.
The ex and I moved into this condo in October of 1990. We brought Kitty home in March of 1991. So, up until Monday he'd been here almost every day that I've been here, and not having him around is a bit of a lifestyle adjustment. No longer do I have to open the door cautiously for fear that he'll dart out into the darkness. I don't have to check his litter box or make sure his food and water bowls are full. I don't have to share my yogurt or chicken breast. I'm no longer shocked by his sudden leap onto the bed at 3:00am that forces me to make room for him. I don't have to wake up to his friendly purr and slalom around my legs every morning. I don't have to lure him out of a hiding place by saying "Fancy Feast." And I don't have to listen for his subtle cry to come in off the patio at night. All of those things had become habit over the length of time it takes one to enter Kindergarten and graduate high school.
But I'll get through it. Already the days seem a little easier and even though he isn't here, I will pass through a time when it would have been impossible for him to be here regardless of his health and I will have learned to appreciate the time we had together and the special memories I have.
Sooner or later I'll go out and find another cat because the place is way too empty without another mammal inhabiting it. And just as soon I'll be back to whining and complaining about something or other here that will bring us all back to reality.
Not now, but soon.