Friday, March 27, 2009

What’s been eatin’ me.

I have about two and a half hours to go before landing in San Diego and I can feel some anxiety beginning to creep up on me. I’m about to meet Jonathan there and not Chris. My nerves are not born of discontent. I’m very happy to be meeting Jonathan there. But there’s a disconnect in my brain and I’m having trouble understanding what happened to 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007 and 2008. 2009 is upon me and I’m on my way to California for the first time since the entire saga began.

I’m scared. “Chris and Robin” is now a time capsule, filled with love, memories, fun, marriage, sickness, health, food, family, laughter, clothing, terror, sadness and friendship. Two lives exist in that capsule; two entire lives. Chris wasn’t just a part of my life. He was an entire life of mine, encapsulated into a larger repository of additional lives all woven together to create the larger picture of what life really is; a series of time segments. My life with Chris is over. My life with Jonathan has just begun. Two separate parts of my entire existence. And there will be more.

I’m afraid Jonathan doesn’t know the depth of thought that permeates my conscious and I’m not sure he would or could fully understand. My brain is telling me that I’m flying back to 2003, the year Chris and I decided to leave Los Angeles and move home, the year we realized that happiness, for us, lived in Boston. Summer of that year overflowed with hope and excitement. We were finally home and we knew we wanted to stay this time.

Wednesday evening, again, on the platform, this time at Park Street Station, I became entirely enveloped in my love for Jonathan. The feeling overwhelmed me and I began to feel tears well up in my eyes. I then began to envision two ends of a stick of dynamite, both ignited. I remembered an evening after work in 2003 when I had to run into a building maintenance room at Filene’s headquarters, where I leaned against and slid down the wall between two trash receptacles, hiding because I couldn’t control a sudden, unexpected surge of anguish and horror from overthrowing me.

Standing on the platform the other night, the tears that threatened to surface toggled back and forth, from tears about the love I now feel for Jonathan to tears of terror at the thought that Chris might die. Love, fear, love, fear, love, fear…just like that, one moment beaming about how lucky I am to have found love a second time and the next grieving my loss as I waited for the next train to Alewife to snatch me up and deliver me to Cambridge. If I had been alone or outside, I would have allowed the salty waters to flow. I would have invited and welcomed every single suppressed emotion Alas, I’m not one to express feelings of sadness in the company of others. Crawling up the three flights of stairs to the privacy of my cozy cottage-like flat, collapsing onto my bed and purging every emotion inside me until I feel completely spent is more my style.

Two equal, opposing emotions, share the spotlight in my soul. I have come a long way since the first few days after Chris’ death. I still shudder when I remember the events of that period. I believe that I will always.

But today, I’m on my way to San Diego to meet Jonathan. My mood is light. I am filled with happiness and love. I’m excited about landing and spending a group of days together for the first time since we met.

Plus, the cute little boy sitting next to me just contributed to my blog with “s42wXVB..6711AQ`3%^&#rrrrrrrrrr” a most inspirational comment on life’s many twists and turns. Who can sum that up better than a child?


I may be crazy, but I really don’t think I am.

I imagined my eventual return trip to Los Angeles would be wrought with tears, anxiety and unrelenting trips through the dark and damp tunnels of my mind. I figured, once off the plane, I would visit my and Chris’ old haunts, our old apartment and the park across the street, our favorite restaurants and the streets on which I used to run. In my mind’s eye, I wandered past our old bank and past the old thrift shop with the painting of the dark, gothic vampiress in the window, a work of art that taunted and haunted me during a time in my life when all I wanted was to run, my tail between my legs, back home to Boston. I figured that revisiting the ghost of that period in my life would leave me choking back tears, remembering the strife the two of us faced during our mutually-agreed harrowing stay in La-La Land.

I have experienced some anxiety these past few days, my trip dangling in front of me. I have had a couple of post-workday meltdowns before heading out to the gym. Emotions born of muscle memory, fear and anguish-of-old have recently invaded my soul, threatening to bring me down by way of severe over-eating and inevitable weight gain.

Times like this remind me of how lucky I am to still have three pills in my Lorezapam bottle. Luckily…well, skillfully, I am still managing to stretch a bottle of twenty pills across a period of six months. I think I have proved again and again that I simply do not possess an addictive personality, at least where drugs are concerned. Baked Lays potato chips, Chicago Grill flatbread pizzas and Ana’s Tacqeria burritos tell a whole other story of addictive drugs in food’s clothing. I veered away from those culinary meds yesterday morning and headed straight for the bottle (the prescription one), swallowing my usual half-a-pill, in an effort to dislodge myself from a freeze-state. I had homework to finish before leaving for my trip, yet I sat motionless on the living room sofa, dreading nothing apparent. Were it not for sweet Lorezapam, I would, no doubt, be sitting there still.

But now I write as I wait for my flight to depart to San Diego where I will meet Jonathan, now that his business trip has come to an end, and then to Los Angeles. We will drive up the coast to destination number two and have a lovely vacation, our first together.

I’m not sad. I’m in love. I’m excited to share this time with him. I no longer feel like crying about my time spent in California with Chris. Instead, I feel fortunate to have met two wonderful men in my lifetime.

I stood on the redline platform in Harvard Station earlier this afternoon waiting for the train that would bring me to South Station’s silver line. Out of the corner of my eye, I noticed a man next to me rocking back and forth as he stood, also awaiting the train. He pulled my focus and my first thought was, “He looks like Chris.” I hadn’t even looked at him, yet, so my very next thought was, “That’s ridiculous. I haven’t even looked at him, yet. I’m sure he looks nothing like Chris.” I looked. Aside from his Asian ethnicity, the man could have been Chris’ body double. Same hair, same glasses, same height and same full lips. I stared, just to make sure I hadn’t created the likeness, myself. I hadn’t. “The only difference,” I thought, “is that Chris would not have been moving and bouncing around so much.” After the train came and I lost track of the man, the thought occurred to me that he was Asian. Jonathan is Asian. This Asian man looked just like Chris. Now, I may be stretching here, sometimes I don’t trust myself, but if I were Chris, and I wanted to tell Robin that everything was going to be okay and wish her a happy trip, I would probably bounce around and rock back and forth in an effort to catch her attention and make sure she received my message.

I got it. I remain open and I accept the signs when they come. I am very grateful.

California, here I come.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Gradually Gaining Altitude

I am so many things. I’m full of bliss, relief, grief, happiness, anxiety and disbelief, still, about what happened to Chris. Somebody I knew died. I still have such a hard time believing that he got cancer, got angry, got sad, got weak and got dead. As absurd as it sounds, I think, on some level I still don’t believe it. I never will.

I’m finally going back to Los Angeles. Jonathan has a business trip in San Diego, so I’m flying out to meet him and we’re driving to L.A. together. I’m happy. I love him. He loves me, too. And we continue to get to know each other.

Knowing somebody takes a very long time. After six years together, Chris and I were still getting to know each other. Jonathan and I have been together for seven months. Our love is young. I like it.

Not surprisingly, I’m a bit frozen with regard to my return to L.A. I haven’t been there since Chris and I left and I have never been there without him. None of that matters. I’m buzzing with excitement to be with Jonathan, to sit on the beach with him, dine with him, sleep next to him and love him. The rest is the past. I can’t change it and I’d never want to go backwards.

I once told my therapist that I sometimes wondered what I would do if Chris ever could come back. Would I go to him? Would I stay with Jonathan? She asked me why I was torturing myself with a scenario that will never happen. In doing so, she freed me.

imprisoning myself behind bars of guilt is similar to inserting a pacifier into my mouth. As long as I’m guilty, I was a good wife. As long as guilt courses through my veins, I loved him. I’m getting better about realizing that guilt is a useless waste of energy. I loved my husband. There’s nothing to do after that. That’s the highest compliment. Guilt is a downgrade, a nuissance whose only purpose is to infect goodness with badness.

I’m melting into Jonathan. I feel euphoric in his presence. He’s different from Chris, as I knew he would be, and he is just as wonderful in very different ways. It’s true that there really is no comparing people. What I had is gone and what have now is not gone. I have it. And I grow ever-happier each day I live as Jonathan’s girlfriend. He's my man. :)

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

The Metamorphosis

I have turned a corner, it seems...finally. I am loving my life with Jonathan. Life is fun, again.

After Chris’ death, I thought lightness was a feeling confined to my past, but I’m beginning to see what I have been told since the beginning of the end -- that I will be happy, again. I already am.

I can tell I have turned a corner, because every few days, I experience a sudden shortness of breath when I realize I haven’t thought about my sweet Chris in a while. I’m having trouble holding onto the horrors of the events leading up to his diagnosis and ultimate death. I’m beginning to lose the sharpness and strength with which those memories used to choke me.

The change is mostly welcome, but I have also been feeling some guilt, which is natural, I suppose. I never want to forget my Chris. Ever. I still want him here, even though he has been gone for over four years. Not a day goes by that I don’t hold images of him in my mind and love for him in my heart, and gratitude towards him for making me the person I am today.

Jonathan and I are in love. I never dreamed love could happen for me, again.