Friday, September 16, 2005

Irksome obligations

I'm definitely back to my old, busy self. Tomorrow, for instance, is a somewhat busy Saturday. I'm devoting the morning to working in my office, reading the all-too-numerous selections assigned for both of my classes on Monday, as well as getting a few more of my students' assignments graded. At some point, I have to make my way to the magical kingdom of clean laundry, which may have to happen before I go to the office. Then, in the afternoon, I have a choir rehearsal, followed by a performance at the Family Weekend Mass. Then, If I can make it in time, I'm going to try to get to Guitar Center in Manhattan so I can finally get the tuning peg on my guitar replaced. By then, it'll be about 7pm, and I'll finally have some free time on my hands. Joy.

I'm glad to have my hands this full. It keeps me going... makes me more focused than I would be otherwise. If I weren't busy like this, I'd be sitting around missing John and being useless, and I simply couldn't stand for that kind of deterioration, not after so many wonderful things have begun to take shape for me out here. The way I see it, I can miss John and be productive at the same time... call it emotional multi-tasking. And hey... the more productivity I sustain, the more accomplished I can feel at the end of the day, and the easier it becomes to remind myself that being away from my boy has its very good reasons at the moment. I'm still crossing off the days on my calendar, every single day, just as it passes. Still, I find I'm also crossing through a lot of writing crammed in that day's square, things I've done to make this time of living apart from my own heartbeat at least a little worth the seemingly continuous dull ache, this inconvenient absence of sunlight in my dreaming mind.

We've done this before. That was actually one of the biggest reasons for our decision to do it again; we did this before, and we survived. Granted, it was excruciating, but we seem to have weathered it. Besides, it was a separation of a two-hour drive between Dallas and Waco, so we did get to see one another at least ever other weekend. Still, we hadn't yet been married that long, I was holding down twenty-two hours of courses in a semester, and John was starting at a new teaching job at a huge public high school... a big change from his previous hippy-love driven private school diggs. Naturally, it was a year and a half of utter hell. We hated being apart, yet we were always exhausted from our week when we were together. I say again: utter hell.

This time, though, things are very different. For one, we're not as new to this marriage thing. What's it been... almost seven years now? Anyway, we have a much better handle on our dynamic as a team. Also, we're weathered veterans of not seeing eachother as often as we'd like. Even when we're living under the same roof, we somehow find a way to keep ourselves busy and out of the house. We do always make it a point to do a good many things together (a fringe benefit of having such similar interests, I guess)... working together on bouncing gigs and riding our bikes around was always great for that. Still, we'd finally grown somewhat comfortable with the idea that our affections could, in fact, stand firm against silly things like distance and time apart. Yes, it hurts. yes, we miss each other like mad. But, dare I say it? I'm actually doing just fine. We talk almost every day, and that seems to be enough to get by on. I have my work to deal with, music to write, fencing to look forward to (I go to my new salle for a visit next week)... John is not only teaching and bouncing occassionally, but he also has a gathering of friends that seems to have developed into something of a commune... these folks are at the house at nearly all hours, helping him with every odd chore imaginable. So yeah, we're keeping busy, we're constantly in touch, and I think we'd both say that we're actually doing fine. Meanwhile, I cross off the days on my calendar, keeping vigil with that little part of me that waits by the window for the days to pass more quickly and bring my boy to me.

Chuck is in town this weekend... it'll be good to see him, if only for a short while. He's also bringing a couple of bags for me, which John packed with whatever random detritus he felt I needed to have here with me. I like that... John's thought of what I might need, and he's sending it with Chuck. When I finally get to look through the bags, it'll be as though John's here somehow, handing things to me, saying, "Here... thought you could use this." Of course, I wish he could have folded himself up in there. Or at least one of the dogs. Man, do I miss those kids of mine. Oddly enough, I look at Apollo's and Athena's pictures just about daily (I seem to have more of those on hand than I have of John, so hey...). Boy, I'd better actually be smart enough to make this PhD thing happen, or I'm gonna be pissed.


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