Saying Goodbyes

I don’t know why but it is incomprehensibly hard to tell people goodbye.

Le Novio’s visit to Einburgh ended this morning. All of my previous guests (little brother and bestest buddie) I’d forced to sneak out in the quiet hours of the wee morning (which was apparently very rude, but the honestly least-painful way to leave, if you ask me)… But for some reason the censure of my condescending British hosts had me on the airport bus with Le Novio while he struggled to fill out forms for tax refunds on whisky.

Why do we prolong goodbyes? Can’t we just make it short and simple? Goodbye. Have a good flight. Let me know that you made it ok. Now get on the bus, please.

This is not an abrupt declaration that I don’t love you or am glad to see you go. This is me trying not to torture both of us by prolonging the inevitable. I will miss you, get back to your life, and someday I will see you again.

Why do we keep talking when nothing is going to make that person stay?

Needless to say, I am sad. Very sad. This mornings departure was unnecessarily and particularly hard. I tend to withdraw (in case you missed it) from emotional situations. Standing there watching someone walk through security in the perfunctory hallway of Edinburgh Airport…. Rough.

I miss everyone, not just those I’ve recently said goodbye to. And when I return to those people in America, I will thereafter miss people here.

That’s the problem… I can’t be everywhere, but I love people that are. It’s not my fault. I never meant to.

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Day Ninety-One: Happy People

Pretty sure Le Novio’s neighbor is watching Ellen right now while simultaneously singing Pharrell’s song “Happy” at the top of his lungs (that makes day three, he sounds like a dying squirrel). God, he smokes a lot of drugs, but he sure is happy.

I am less happy because, while I’m excited about my trip, I have so much to do before I go. Including saying a prolonged goodbye to Le Novio that will officially end our month of “not living together while both of us live in his apartment”.

I made a choice a few months ago to give up the life that was making me really damn depressed and try something else for a while. I wanted, and felt I deserved, to be happy. The eternal quest, right?

I couldn’t hold on the the remnants of things that made me happy and expect them to get me by forever. I need to make something new.

But nothing is ever going to make me 100% happy 100% of the time. I’ve had to give up lots of things that I love in this quest for happiness. Really, I’ve had to give up almost everything. People that mean the world to me, a city that I love, and the first awakenings of financial freedom.

Sometimes, you just have to tear down your life and rebuild.

So let’s start rebuilding.

With that, once again, I say goodbye to New Orleans.

Day Sixty-One: Unrealistic Romantic Notions

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It pains me to tell you this because I’ve spent a vast majority of my life telling everyone about how cynical I am, but it’s time I come clean and admit it.

Hi. My name is C@$3! and I am a Stupid Romantic.

I mean, I always knew I had a secret thing for Jane Austen novels (that should have been the first sign), but really this is all coming as a big shock to me. I had no pressing feelings towards marriage. Sure, I cried once at a wedding, but just a little bit. I cry more than that every time I visit my favorite cheese shop or see commercials for fried chicken!

The suspicion was always there… After I’d read a romance novel and hide it under my bed so no one would see. Or when my best friend found The Notebook in my DVD collection and I said it was a gift (it was… but I still watched it!). I’d tell myself that it was just a one-time thing. That it meant nothing and it was ok to be curious about other people’s lifestyles.

I was in denial. I couldn’t even admit it to myself… But I had Romantic Notions.

I didn’t actually even realize it until this weekend. I don’t know… One minute I was talking with my mom about her latest foray into online dating sites marketed towards elderly people, and the next… I realized that all of my idealistic notions about love (especially the ones I didn’t realize I thought) were wrong.

You know. I read a lot of books about varying topics, but I think you’d be hard-pressed to find too many that aren’t, at least in some way, about love. Hell, my little writing adventure here… that’s entirely motivated by love. But there is a huge difference between love and relationships.

I love to write, but I fight my long-term relationship with writing every day. I do the same thing with Le Novio. I fight him every step of the way! Same with friendships… family members, hell, even music.

I refuse to let these things be easy. To let them slip into the stone-cold truth. That life/relationships/love is really not that difficult/dramatic/interesting. It’s like I have always had this idea in my head that my relationships should be more… well, plotted. That my life should be a book or story. That things have to be hard to reach an adequate and emotional resolution.

Nope.

I think what I’ve realized is that… Love is actually quite boring. I’ve been such a unrealistic romantic–set on “soul mates” and “fighting for us” and “drinking poison” and “deeper connections” and “Mr Darcy in a wet t-shirt”. Really, I think love is, more like “making sure they have their glass of water by bed before they go to sleep because you know their mouth is dry in the morning” and “no, I won’t be upset with you if you sleep on the couch, even though I’d rather have you with me” and “I know when you suggested to everyone that we go get ice cream, even though we didn’t go and you said it was ok, that you really wanted some so here is some Gelato I keep for these occasions.”

Or maybe it’s even more general than that. Whatever it is… it’s been hard to accept the quiet fact of loving someone. It’s just days of deciding to be with one person. Maybe you don’t see into each other’s souls, maybe you do. Maybe sometimes their jokes aren’t funny or they say things that hurt your feelings. Maybe sometimes they offer to buy you dinner and you’re so happy you could faint. But on a day-to-day basis a relationship is wildly uninteresting.

Love is not great literature. Hell, it’s not even a pretty photograph! Love isn’t even worth writing about. Love is a quiet decision… the recognition of the breath of another person.

Day Twenty-Three: Shelter from the Storm

Took off after my impromptu shower yesterday and spent two hours driving through bass-akwards nowhere in pitch black, fog and rain. Mostly sure I am dead and this is but my ghost determined to continue blogging (unfinished business now equates to an unfinished novel). Anyway, I’m now hiding out at my father’s place trying not to roll my eyes at the delightful (re:awkward) banter between him and my stepmother.

Luckily. There is beer. Strong beer. This beer.

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(Delicious. French.)

Any minute now we’re to head to a wedding outside Orlando. Should have more beer (they brewed all their own stuff for this shin-dig). Lots more beer, so that’s something to look forward to.

However, the weather remains dreary at best. Dad up-sold with the new wife and now lives in what they’ve dubbed “a cottage on the beach” (nevermind that their living room is the size of my New Orleans apartment). Normally I wake up to a ridiculous sunrise over the ocean. Today’s view, albeit still gorgeous, was a bit more bleak…

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(Not sure what that weird pot thing is…)

Life in this house is like some interesting informercial for retirement. I sat around all morning writing (completely re-did all the crap I was previously calling chapter 8 and now it’s much better) while the two of them argued about such inanities as: why my stepmother wasn’t breathing a word to my father about the plot of my book; why my stepmother ordered plastic pineapple plants when she hates pineapples; why their neighbor talks so much; why we have to listen to the Steve Harvey show at full volume; and why my stepmother is so nervous about “rescuing” (i.e. buying off a breeder) a new cat.

It made for some great writing actually. I had to really enter an alternate universe to ignore their constant bickering (weirdly… most functional marriage I have ever witnessed). I’m thinking my next project is going to be a non-fiction, personal study of happiness… Whatever this dysfunctional life these two have built for themselves, it is… counterintuitively, very… functional. (There’s a beautiful irony in that.)

Chapter 8 was really giving me hell. My main character, Bean, was making a new best friend. I apparently have no idea how people make best friends. Not surprising because (outside of the boyfriend… and we still have no idea how we suckered him into this relationship, but Creative Factory and I were pretty determined to gain access to his pool) I haven’t made a best friend in about 5 years. After a certain point with people, you fall so easily into a certain kind of conversation that you stop thinking about what to say to each other. I barely remember meeting the Creative Factory (namely, there was alcohol), yet alone how we ended up getting to the point where we… not finishing each other’s sentences, we’re past that now.

How do you make a best friend when you’re 11 and terminally awkward? (Clearly, I didn’t have much companionship at that age.)

Does this mean…. I have to go out into the world and be nice to people? I’m not very good at that.