Perhaps A Little Too Comfortable

Dearest Rachel –

So, last night after getting home from the folks for dinner (Dad had been in for a procedure on Wednesday and Thursday to adjust his feeding tube – more to the point, he was getting the finishing touches put on the new port in his stomach – so Mom had her hands full over Thursday; as a result, our weekly meal together had been postponed a day), I realized that the pile of laundry had gotten a bit unmanageable, so I decided to do a load of the brightly colored clothes.

Everything went fairly smoothly, despite concerns that it was getting late, until the dryer alarm rang. I got out a shirt or two and hung them up, but the third item I pulled out was clearly damp. This wasn’t particularly surprising; it had been a fairly large load, and I’d put it on the ‘delicate’ cycle in order to keep the heat low. But it still needed further work, so I shut the door, switched to the next higher setting (‘bedding’), and sat back down in the recliner to wait for the cycle to finish up.

The next thing I knew, it was pushing three in the morning. The light in the adjacent laundry room was still on, of course, and the load had long since dried, and was waiting for me to hang everything up before it all got too wrinkled. So, despite my desire to simply shift myself from the chair to my bed, I got up and tended to the task at hand (which, now that I think of it, for all that I mentioned the other day about how I don’t often know what you would do in a certain situation, this is exactly what you would do, too – although you would be waiting on the family room couch, and fall asleep over your computer, and insist that you hadn’t been sleeping when circumstances found you crumpled over your laptop), all the while gently berating myself for the fact that I had let myself get a bit too comfortable too late in the evening.

Now, I may be a little too aware of certain things in my life because I’m writing you every day to tell you about them, and let you know what’s going on in it . The fact of the matter is, life doesn’t work out as neatly as your typical novella, with a set progression of conflict and resolution, despite the fact that I try to organize each letter to tell a story with all these elements as best I can. And as I groggily put our clean shirts on hangers, it occurred to me that this felt like a metaphor for my life that I’m not sure that I like. For all that I really tell myself I want to find a ‘Megumi’ to spend the rest of my days with, I’ve gotten too comfortable in these last days of it all to actually take up the pursuit to the extent that I should, assuming that’s what I truly want.

And it’s not as if there haven’t been opportunities presented to me; I simply haven’t thus far pursued them with the appropriate amount of vigor needed to change my circumstances. If someone were watching me from the outside, they might conclude that I didn’t really want things to be different.

I get mail from the dating website with increasing frequency these days (to say nothing of the fact that the old one will occasionally inform me that someone’s checking out my profile – not that I can go online there and check it out, having let my subscription lapse, so it doesn’t really count). I get that they’re trying to keep me interested as a customer, but I already bought a full year’s subscription, so they needn’t go to all this effort. But I probably should try to check out this or that profile, and see if something can’t develop from it – assuming that’s what I really want out of life.

To be sure, I did get in touch a couple weeks ago with one lady for whom the introductory email started off with the headline “Science says it’s a match!” which seems overblown and trumpety for them to claim, but businesses will business. She actually seemed familiar when I examined the profile, particularly with regard to her photos, and I asked about it. It took a few days for her to respond, but it turns out I was right; she had been on the other site, and we had chatted a bit at some point (whether it was enough that I would have thought to bring it to your attention at the time, I don’t recall, and given my propensity to assign pseudonyms to everyone back then, I wouldn’t be able to look her up). Since then, she’d found herself a job, and was now dealing with her parents in their decline. In fact, she was now in the process of moving them and herself into a home together, so she could better look after them. I sent her my prayers on what was supposed to have been their ‘moving day,’ but I haven’t heard from her since. I don’t even know where they were moving to; if that would rule out any further connection between us or not, but if I don’t hear back from her, I’m not going to push the matter (although again, that may be my whole problem – if I truly wanted this, I should keep sending her messages, shouldn’t I?)

But then again, last week (yes, on Christmas Eve, even in the midst of rehearsals for the service!), I was contacted by another woman. While I’m not sure what to make of her picture, the conversations we’ve had – texting both on the app and on our phones, and eventually an hour-long chat while I was shopping on Boxing Day – have been surprisingly free of awkwardness and hesitancy. She’s definitely someone I can talk with – although I haven’t now since Wednesday, and wonder if I should get in touch with her again. There’s always this underlying concern about not appearing too desperate, and I also find myself otherwise preoccupied with this or that task in my own life. But what’s most curious is the fact that, once I’m home at the end of the day, with nothing else to do but hang out in the bedroom watching stuff while the boys commandeer the family room, is that it doesn’t cross my mind to reach out to her and talk, one way or another. Indeed, it feels like this great effort just to contemplate the very idea of doing so.

Am I too comfortable living like I am, honey? Am I willing to surrender in my pursuit of Megumi because it’s just (to borrow Ellen’s old phrase) ‘too much like work’? This is the time of year when people make resolutions to change the course of their lives; on this particular subject, I need to decide first what I want out of life before making any resolution. I’ll be honest, I really wish I didn’t have to, but of course, that ship has sailed.

Then again, maybe I’m taking this too seriously, given where I am along this road. I’d ask you what you thought, but I know you couldn’t respond so I could hear you.

So for now, I guess I can just ask that you keep an eye on me, and wish me luck. I’m 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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