It's been over a month now since my grandmother died. This past weekend was the 11th anniversary of my dad's death. I had a really close relationship with my family. That's no matter what I say about being gay, my feelings about that.
The past few weeks, after doing a lot of immediately necessary things, I then sort of retreated into my shell. I know I can't really do that. My house is a mess. And by mess I mean something beyond pigsty. Pigs would be offended. My grandmother's house is still to get taken care of. It is neat and tidy, though. There's much to do.
I've been alternately worried at not doing more, relieved that I can and should rest some, and wondering what's up with me, even though, yes, I've been through this before twice. One with my mom. Again with my dad, worse that time. I am doing better this go-round, and I have some idea what all this is. I'm alternating between, "I don't much care," and "I've got to do all this right now this instant," and a slightly guilty one, "I'm finally free, truly free, for the first time since my dad passed away." Well, and there's also, "how do I reintegrate into normal life?"
The last few weeks, I've begun getting story ideas, bits and pieces, left and right. Other things have been scattered too. Normal habits are out of sync. My sleep/wake cycle, which has for years now been on emergency duty, day and night, is trying somehow to readjust, but it's completely out of sync. That's complicated by the fact that I've been a night owl most of my life, and more so from early college on. Memory-wise, I'll be fine and then I'll realize I've forgotten some little thing or some not so little thing. Add in very bad eyesight, and whew, it gets...interesting...in the sense of the old Chinese curse about, "May you live in interesting times."
But that's mostly OK. I know what it is, I've been through it before, and this seems mild by comparison. Partly because, well, I've done a lot of grieving already, before she passed. Yet today, for the first time since then, I found this urge this evening at suppertime to call her on the phone, then remembered I can't. (Well, I could, but that's one heckuva long distance call, lemme tell ya.) -- You do have to learn to laugh, too, at the absurdity of some things.
So I had been wondering just what's up with me, and tonight, while reading determinedly through a story at AwesomeDude, like I read a couple at Codey's World three days ago, and while I've been listening to AwesomeDude Radio (I swear, Dude and Des and Tim and Azy and Colin aren't paying me to say that) well, it dawned on me what I'm really doing.
I'm cramming in as much relaxation and playtime and me time as I can, in ways that most appeal to me. I'm somehow, I think, trying to make up for lost time.
Now, you may wonder a couple of things at this point. One is, Ben, are you OK? -- Yes, I am OK, or as OK as you can be in this situation. I kind of know how this plays out before you get to the other side of it, and this time around, I should know how to short circuit it and get on with things quicker.
But I feel in some ways like a ghost or like Rip Van Winkle, suddenly waking and finding everything has changed completely, some alternate reality, some Twilight Zone episode, where it's all changed and it's a strange world now. Or like an invisible ghost that now sees things but isn't perceived and doesn't have connections to the real world. Well, except of course that's not quite true. But it is true that my circle of friends in the real world has shrunk to a truly tiny radius. My online life likewise means a whole lot to me, and is still a lifeline for socializing, for friendships, for being an equal partner in this odd primate species.
That, incidentally, leads into the other question you may be wondering. Maybe you noticed, I didn't say anything about going out much and partying, or visiting friends, or a boyfriend, or...satisfying certain physical urges common to male (and female) primates. The answer to that one is pretty simple: I'm not quite ready yet. I'm actually going to appreciate (mostly) the chance to keep to myself some for Christmas and New Year's. Later on, I'll venture out and attempt to rejoin all those crazy monkey-boys and monkey-girls. And well, I've been a loner for a long time. So those urges mostly get taken care of solo, as much as solo can satisfy those, which is to say, it only partly does it. -- But hey, that will now get a chance to get worked on too, and that will be a very new thing for me.
That particular aspect is something about being gay that people often miss. I think to some extent, a lot of gay folks are delayed in the dating and relationships department, because if you don't get to go out and practice as easily and often as someone straight, then you're going to have some catch-up homework to do to get up with the rest of the class. For some of us, that's very light. For others, we may have parts of ourselves stuck back in the teens or earlier or later, and so there's a lot to catch up with. Others don't have quite that issue, because for some reasons, they don't have that kind of lag in time or people.
Well, anyway, right now, I'm about to finish up and head to bed for an indeterminate while to sleep, before my body wakes itself again to do something around here, or to get on the computer and write or surf. I may be up a while still, or I may go to bed, sleep for between two to six hours, and wake again.
I'll have necessary errands (whatever else I get for making Christmas dinner, plus a haircut, plus whatever) on Thursday and back here. It's possible some out of town family might stop by over the holiday, either Christmas or New Year's, but since another relative is sick, they may not get to visit. (I'm OK with that either way.)
In other words, I'm just complaining here how out of sync I feel and how odd it is, reintegrating into a world that is very different than what I've become used to.
Soon enough, I should be up to things again, enough, for instance, to see if two people and a cup of coffee (or some such) can connect as friends after a consolation hug that was, hmm, really, really nice.
Yes, in some ways, I feel like Rip Van Winkle or a ghost invisible in the world. But sometimes, that anonymity is a blessing, a buffer, a safety net, for a while.
We'll see how things go. -- Some creativity is happening too, so it's better than you'd think.
Yup, bedtime, finally. Might be lucky and dream about a nice cute guy. (This has happened a couple of times lately, enough just to reassure me I don't have something off kilter in there, despite whatever my conscious mind may think.)
Zzzz, g'night, awake again sooner than you'd think.