Dearest Rachel –
Last night’s dream was a weird one to wake up from. What I can remember of it had to do with the family and a handful of others (including animals) needing to get back from somewhere in central Missouri, and quickly. So, while most of the others got cars to drive home in, I was inveigled into flying the youngest children and several of the animals home by helicopter, if you can believe it. Now, not only do I not know how to fly a helicopter (or any such flying machine, come to that), but I have a terrible fear of heights, and this sort of half-open machine is just the sort of thing make me feel like I’m going to fall out. Terrifying stuff for me to have to deal with, in real life.
But this was a dream, and it seemed in the moment that duty called, so I did my best to get as far as St. Louis – and a refueling stop – before I realized that the others that I had been flying back had decided to join the rest of family in cars, and I was the only one still trying to get home by air. At which point, I decided to surrender as well, and swapped out the helicopter for an automobile of my own. Besides, it was a darn sight cheaper to do so. And what’s the point of continuing to do something that you aren’t good at and don’t want to do, when it doesn’t benefit anyone, including yourself?
There were probably a few more details to the dream than this, but that’s the basic gist of it, complete with a message of sorts. Now if only I could figure out the application, and whether there is one in my life at the moment.
So, who is likely to leave me behind to fend for myself going forward?
Certainly not my family. While my folks may not be getting any younger, neither are any of us, when you come down to that. One day, they’ll join you, I expect, but I’ll know where they are, and know there was nothing personal directed at me about their departure, any more than there was with yours. Things happen, life goes on. For the time being, apart from the obvious, inexorable march of time, they seem to be no worse off today that yesterday or the day before. All of which is something to be more than grateful for. To be sure, they seem to be resigned to the fact that their traveling days are over, apart from the occasional day trip, like Monday’s jaunt to camp to check the place out. But in a way, that just means they’re that much less likely to be out of my life going forward.
As for Jenn and Bill, that remains to be seen, but I think they, too, have family and community connections here that preclude them from fully picking up and packing off elsewhere, even though they do own property in Florida. A decade or two of changing circumstances may completely alter the landscape on this question, but that’s a lot of time in which most of the rest of these will likely fade that much faster. Changes in a family dynamic are geologic in nature; they will change eventually, but the changes are slow enough as to adjust to without even necessarily being conscious of them.
Much more in flux are those dynamics between friends, especially those for whom the real connection (you) has been removed. I’m amazed and grateful that the girls make an effort to keep in touch with me on a regular basis, both electronically by text and email, and in person on a regular basis. Sure, I consider it a good month when we get together more than two or three times, but since you were the one who held us all together, the fact that we even assemble at all is surprising in its own right. Maybe it’s the fact that the house was the hub where it generally happened; in which case, it might have been a mistake to clean and update it like I have, to the point where parts of it are virtually unrecognizable. Just because I think it will be more useful like this doesn’t mean it might not be that much more uncomfortable for the others, who might already find the place less ‘home away from home’ in your absence.
And, of course, there’s the changes that have taken place in me. The dynamic shifts with the fact that I’m no longer connected to you; I’m not as ‘safe’ as I was before. Even if it’s understood that there isn’t that sort of chemistry between any two of us, there’s just the slightest current running under the surface, waiting to upset the balance that is the status quo.
How long can this go on? I’ve no idea. I certainly wouldn’t want to mess up this game of friendship Jenga because I thought I might find something deeper with any one of them. But there’s so much I miss about not being able to enjoy some of the little things in life that I used to with you.
Not that there are too many other options out there right now for that to be resolved. But in that arena, does it count as abandonment when there wasn’t anyone actually there to begin with?
I’ve gone on and on about how so many of the women I’ve met online have been putting up one type of front or another – mostly, it would seem, to milk some unsuspecting sucker for money. I’m willing to pay ‘Megumi’s way some day, should she exist and enter into my life, but I insist that we be together for that – I’m not going to be one of those long-distance suckers I keep hearing about, even if that means that online dating is not the way to go. I’ll give Angelica credit for that one thing, at least – she taught me how to cancel my subscription, and, considering all the nothing I was getting out of it, I owe her for that.
But what about Yvonne? you might ask. Yes, well… about her…
After sending her daily text messages for the better part of this past month, and hearing next to nothing in return, I concluded that she preferred to not be disturbed for a while. Considering the efforts she’s going through to make sure her mom is comfortable, and her dad’s legacy is settled, maybe she was just busy. There are times I don’t want to be pestered, either. So I stopped messaging her for a few days. Then, out of the blue on Sunday, she wrote a quick line, asking ‘what do you really want from me?’
Well, regardless of whether she’s serious or not, I always assume it’s best to put my cards on the table – albeit prefacing it with the realization that it’s a best-case end-game scenario, and may not be possible – I’d like the same kind of happy, healthy marriage that you and I had; would that correspond with what she had in mind?
Hours later, she replied, ‘I really don’t know you baby; I don’t know why you treat me like nothing.’
After sending me poetry suggesting that she was ‘addicted’ to me (which, to be fair, I found excessive, but didn’t want to say anything), this struck me as a sudden switch. I could agree with her that I didn’t know her like I knew you, but that could be resolved in time. This almost felt like she was trying to pick a fight with me.
It got even worse when I mentioned how I didn’t know whether she was in Poland (working on her dad’s stuff), the U.K. (getting her mom settled in) or back in the States; she responded with ‘if you considered me a friend, then you will know where I am or be more worried about me, but I guess I’m some stranger to you.’ How I’m expected to know, apart from asking her, where she is, is beyond me. Maybe she expects me to try to stalk her electronically, and if I don’t, clearly I’m not as concerned for her welfare than the kind of man she wants. I don’t get it.
I’m hoping I’m just misunderstanding what’s going on here, but I have the nagging sensation that this last possibility from my attempts is about to crash and burn. But I guess that’s how it is. Sometimes, you’ve got to give up on flying blind, and drive off on your own, regardless of whether it’s what you want to do or not.
And if that’s the case, honey, keep an eye on me, and wish me luck. It would appear that I’m going to need it.