Dearest Rachel –
I’m sure that you wouldn’t approve, I don’t feel like there’s anything I can do about it.
Now that the house has been thoroughly cleaned out, there are so many more rooms Daniel and I can use. And use them we do; except it means that we’re rarely in the same room at the same time anymore, and really, we almost never spend any time in the rooms the other of us has made ‘their’ space.
This isn’t completely unprecedented; after all, it was barely a day or two before the accident that you and I were holed up in our bedroom while Daniel and Logan hung out in the family room watching anime. We didn’t want to get in the way of their time together, and there are some things that we can do together that didn’t require his involvement (and no, it wasn’t just that. There was – and is – more to coupledom than… coupling. There are things we enjoyed doing that Daniel simply had – and has – no interest in).
Even the fact that Daniel and I rarely even share the same bathroom is hardly worthy of comment, as this had been going on since long before you left us. If nothing else, the master bathroom only has a shower stall, which is of no interest to him, as he takes those long baths in ‘his’ room upstairs. Indeed, now that room is even more ‘his’ than before, as there’s no question about you needing to use the tub. Although I’m sure he would relinquish total control of it to have you back.
No, all that separation was already well and truly underway even before everything went sideways. But you would think that a traumatic incident like this might bring us together. I hate to say it, but it hasn’t; although, I suppose it’s understandable that such an event might just as easily have the opposite effect… and so, here we are.
It isn’t helped by the fact that – like you – he inhabits a different time zone than I do, which is exacerbated by the fact that I don’t think I’ve ‘fallen back’ like I was supposed to this past week. I really have to change that clock in the family room that sits on the shelving unit with the old VCR tapes, otherwise I’m going to continue to be heading for bed waaay too early.
So I find myself waking up in the dark – even without the ghost of Chompers barking at me to take him out before his bladder bursts – wondering what to do with myself. After determining that no, I’m not going to fall back asleep, I decide to get up, take a shower, get dressed, and fix breakfast. It’s just for myself, of course, since it’s entirely possible Daniel just tucked himself in a couple hours ago. He’s not about to wake up, and I see no reason to wake him up. So I settle into my nook in the kitchen – now that all those old containers have been disposed of, we can use the kitchen to eat in (although I’m the only one who ever does) – and eat, while reading my chapters and my news feed. Sometimes, I begin (or continue) one or another of these letters to you, depending on whether the inspiration strikes now or at the ‘office.’ And then I head out.
Coming home, I’ll call Daniel to let him know – the same as I used to call you back in the day – and see if he’d like me to pick something up en route. Yeah, we’re kind of eating like stereotypical seniors, at around 4 in the afternoon, but seeing as I generally skip lunch, two meals spaced like that works for the both of us.
I use the table in the dining room, as I don’t trust myself in the recliner like Daniel does (why, he rarely ever even uses napkins – I don’t know how he manages to keep himself that clean, but he does it. Ellen’s trained him well). Even then, while I’m aware of the fact that he has his prophets and pundits on YouTube and its competitors, I try not to pay too much attention to it all.
I wonder if that’s wrong of me. A parent is supposed to take interest in his child’s hobbies, but this is something I’m not sure I want to encourage. If my morning read is something Frank Zappa called a ‘news bath‘ back in the day, Daniel spends virtually all his waking hours in a virtual swimming pool (you would have approved of a literal one, but I don’t think this life is one you’d be particularly pleased with). And while I will admit to being conservative in most aspects of life – including my news preferences – Daniel seems to have his news pool filled with red-flavored Fluffy Puff translucent dessert-related substance. It’s amusing to observe from a distance, but diving in can get sticky.
Even when dinner is over, and I try to join him in the adjacent recliner, he is constantly watching his feed. I’ll usually try to watch something on the screen in the family room, but if I select something he’s not interested in, he’ll put on his headphones and tune it (and me) out. At that point, I might as well be watching YouTube in our old bedroom, for all the socializing we’re doing.
It’s not all bad; some of the folks he listens to are okay – at least, entertaining – but some of the folks making predictions bother me. They claim to be prophets of the Lord, but they’re saying changes are coming to the political world. When I agree, and point out how next November looks to be shaping up, Daniel insists it will happen that much sooner. Okay, yeah, we’ve had a couple governorships turn over unexpectedly (although, is New York really in any better shape now than before?), but arrests? Really? It gets wilder than that, but I’d rather not go into it.
Even you used to tell him, when he’d come to you with something he’d heard, “I’ll believe it when I see it.” He accepted that from you; from me, I’m not so sure. It doesn’t help when I insist that prophecies and tongues aren’t used in this day and age, at least not here and now. Sure, it could be useful in a polylingual society like the ancient church started out in – and there are places where it could be applicable even today – but I don’t see it serving a purpose in present-day English-speaking America, and I find myself skeptical of those who claim otherwise. Except…
So I tell you, people can be forgiven for every sin and ·everything they say against God [blasphemy]. But whoever ·speaks [blasphemes] against the ·Holy Spirit [L Spirit] will not be forgiven. Anyone who speaks against the Son of Man can be forgiven, but anyone who speaks against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven, ·now or in the future [L neither in this age, nor the one to come].Matthew 12:31,32, Expanded Bible
The implication (from Daniel’s side) is that to not attribute certain things of the Spirit to the Spirit is blasphemy. On the other hand, I could counter that attributing things to the Spirit that aren’t of Him would also qualify as blasphemy. Either way, the consequences of doing so seem dire.
At least, I have something to work with; these predictions actually have a time limit – although they seem to have been pushed back from June, to July, then to August, and now to the end of the year. If they don’t happen, then I’d like to think Daniel might understand what kind of ‘prophets’ he’s listening to, and act accordingly.
Until then, I’m staying out of his way. Bad enough he questions my faith; I don’t want him to consider me some sort of infidel.
And so we live in the same house, under the same roof, but almost completely separately. He inhabits the family room, only going upstairs to his bedroom for clothes and ‘his’ bathroom for whatever else. Meanwhile, I go back and forth between the master bedroom, the kitchen, and the dining room, with the occasional hour or two in the computer room upstairs from time to time. This apartness isn’t an arrangement I’m comfortable with, but I don’t know what else to do in order to keep from jostling the hornets’ nest of prophets and pundits he follows. Their time will come, one way or another. Until then, I guess you could say that I’m ‘Biden’ my time.
Wish me luck, honey. I think I’m going to need it.