Filling Null Time

Dearest Rachel –

I don’t know offhand whether it’s an actual scientific concept, but the idea of null space should be familiar to you, given your affinity for science fiction, particularly as a Whovian. For a budget-conscious show such as the original Doctor Who, it was an easy thing to represent; all you needed was an all-white room, with boundaries so indistinct that you couldn’t see where the floor ended and the wall began – or even if there was a wall way back there (although you assumed as much, given the fact that, again, the show had a limited budget; it would have space limitations, too, after all). It was meant to be nowhere and nowhen, outside of and in between space and time, with none of either going on within – a perfect place to meet with powerful beings who were somehow to be recognized as more powerful or capable than the Doctor himself. Not the sort of thing you’d encounter in the current show, of course, as apparently nothing fits that description anymore, but whatever.

Of course, it’s not as if I exist in any sort of null space – or even if I can – but on rare occasions, that’s what certain days seem like, even certain whole weekends. I find myself with no plans, no commitments, no assignments… there’s nothing there to fill the empty hours between Friday afternoon and Monday morning. Call it null time, if you will. And when I find myself there, it becomes imperative that I find some way to fill those hours with… something. Anything.

But what?

There’s always cooking to be done, as one theoretically needs to eat every day. But it’s challenging to prepare a meal for just one person; like my theory about travel, if it takes more time and effort to prepare than it does to eat, it feels like a waste of that time. At least yesterday, I was able to invite Kerstin over for breakfast, and even managed to convince Daniel to join us at the table for a helping of chorizo con huevos. The time spent by the three of us eating made up for that effort – plus, having her hanging around the kitchen talking with me while I was preparing it all made it seem like so much less than it would be to do alone. I really need to do that so much more often.

But I can’t go around satisfying my appetite every time I’m bored. Both of us dealt with this from time to time – a situation we referred to as ‘mouth hunger,’ when we would have a craving for a certain something despite the fact that weren’t exactly hungry. In fact, I still wrestle with it, now that I’ve gotten somewhat accustomed to your absence; now that I’m off the ‘stress and misery’ diet, this situation crops up more often than it did, say, a year ago. And while I may not quite be at the level I was at my worst, shortly before the accident, I’m within a dozen pounds of it or so. So filling time by filling myself is decidedly not a good idea.

Meanwhile, the situation with my shape isn’t helped by the fact that many of the things I enjoy doing are sedentary, too. At least, sitting around and watching YouTube with Daniel allows the two of us a sort of connection that we don’t always have (although I have to be judicious in choosing what to watch; I’ve made it clear I’m not fond of his profits and pundits, and he’s not interested in sports or channels he’s not familiar with). It certainly chews up time, especially when one or the other of us nods off while watching – or rather, trying to watch – a certain video. You remember those days, and how I would tease you by rubbing your rib or tickling your toes – look, it may not have been nice of me, but you were always so insistent that you weren’t tired when you so clearly were.

I still find myself looking over to the couch at moments when both of us are laughing at a scene, or hearing a particularly interesting fact. There’s no reason to expect you to be there, half-listening as you continue to build up your plot in Gardens of Time or something along those lines, and yet, I find myself wishing I could see your reaction.

The closest I can get to any of that any more is by relating all these things to you like this, but it’s tricky on a day like today when there’s really very little happening worth telling you about. I could tell you how today’s sermon was about Joseph, and how he dealt with success (something that so few of us prepare for like we do for adversity, since we think we’ll be able to deal with the former so much better than the latter), which doesn’t really seem to apply at the moment to us. Or how we had dinner out with the folks, kind of like old times – except, of course, you weren’t there, and for that matter, neither were Jenn and her family, as they’re on vacation (aside from Joanna, who’s been taking a class in the U.K. this past month – she’ll be coming home this weekend) – but there didn’t seem to even be the same level of conversation that we tend to have when we’re over on Thursdays.

I’m sure that I’m complaining overmuch here, but it’s certainly felt like a very nothing kind of weekend. It’s literally not the sort of thing to write home about – and yet, here I am, telling you regardless. I don’t even know if you can understand from where you are – but maybe you remember days like this once upon a time.

Then again, being together seemed to stave off the worst of these sorts of moods, so maybe not.

All I can ask, honey, is that you keep and eye out for us, and wish us luck; we’re going to need it.

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I am Rachel's husband. Was. I'm still trying to deal with it. I probably always will be.

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