August 31, 2001 +
And then I realized, hours after I should have, that I was not upset, as I thought, nor depressed, annoyed, confused; no, I had run into the reality that I would be waking up alone for the next ten days, and it made me sad.
I was much better after that.
And then she called, hours after my about-face, while I was contentedly reading a book and listening to Tortoise, and she sounded great, excited and pleased, and I was able to share that feeling, rather than admit to her that I was in the middle of one of my nasty mood swings. The phone call over, my upbeat emotions were suddenly hard-wired into my system, and I settled into the three-day holiday weekend, short on plans but long on happiness, as I have been for much of the year, because she's in my life, even when I'm over here and she's way over there.
My ears improved, by the way. They're not good -- I'm still facing the issues that just left my head, and I'm still a tinnitus sufferer -- but certainly not as bad.
Fun fact: I have above-average hearing despite my tinnitus, or, more likely, because of it, as I have become hyper-aware of sound over the years. For all the aggravating ringing in my ears I can still hear a pin drop.
Anyway, I have not had any evil hum or excess pressure since Tuesday. Some nasty tests await, though, along with the knowledge that there's nothing preventing another attack (for lack of a better word) in a month or a week or a day. Just optimism.
August 29, 2001 +
So Mom read this page last night -- interesting, when Mom reads my web site and learns things about me I haven't yet shared with her on the phone; it kind of freaks her out -- and did a little proofreading: It seems the phrase "first person I saw who I knew" (from here) is more correctly written as "first person I saw whom I knew."
Indeed, she's correct, but I'm going to leave the more casual "who" alone. William Safire would no doubt quibble with my colloquial attitude, given the ridiculous quantities of collegiate vocabulary and complex sentence structures that dot my writing (sheesh, they certainly dot this paragraph), but I like the contrast between high literacy and spoken-word commentary. I start an awful lot of sentences with "so," and that's a much more severe grammatical faux pas.
So there we are. And now I've started three sentences in this entry with conjunctions. So there. (Four.)
August 28, 2001 +
Girlfriend-less for two weeks starting last night, her last-minute business trip to Los Angeles abutting her long-standing 10-night vacation (booked long before the I-love-yous and I-hate-not-waking-up-next-to-yous) in Spain.
The coordinating is in full effect right now: How will I see her Thursday morning, how will she call me from Europe, how will we spend our Sunday when she gets home. A quick hour before work the day after next will be all we see of each other until the Sunday after Labor Day. This amidst my ear issues and a trio of doctor's appointments I have scheduled while she's away. I am putting on a brave face until she passes the midpoint of her vacation, which fools neither of us.
Funny, really, how two fiercely independent people can, eight months into a relationship, feel completely upended by a short break from one another. No doubt it's a healthy thing, absence and fonder hearts and all that, but it doesn't feel that way, perhaps because I'm the one staying home.
A friend suggested that I "enjoy my freedom." Which is also funny, because the comfort and happiness of the relationship freed me from the stress of bachelorhood in the first place. I don't feel "free" because she's away; I feel like something's missing.
If I stick to my agenda, I'll have a very productive two weeks: Clean the apartment, finish the two books I'm trudging through, discover new music, see some friends I don't see often enough. And then she'll be home, and I'll be running around with her again, to her friend's wedding, to both our families' holiday dinners, to the obligations from which I am "free" for the next 13 days. And I'll probably love it, because love is funny that way.
August 27, 2001 +
I'm not going to get into it in much detail here, because I'd just get more upset, but just so you know: The old ringing in my ears has been superseded this week by a loud, low hum, a feeling of pressure, dual sounds when people speak, and the occasional feeling of lightheadedness. The hum and pressure thing is worse in the right ear but present in both. Plus my right ear has this odd sensation from time to time, like the throbbing one gets in one's ears in the middle of a good stretch, except I'm not stretching.
I woke up in the middle of the night last night drenched in sweat, my ears humming and throbbing and refusing to leave me alone. A nice panic attack and ensuing cryfest ensued. Today my ears are a little better -- or perhaps it's just my mood that has lifted a bit.
The ENT I've been seeing all summer assures me I'm not suffering any hearing loss and I just have to get used to this new tinnitus, but my suspicion is that I've got something else in my system, so I'll be phoning some new doctors today. I am having a hard time rooting for complications, although that is the position I find myself in: To solve the problems in my head, they probably have to be more than just new symptoms of the tinnitus I've been living with the past six years.
Whatever's going on, I hope I conquer it before it conquers me.
August 24, 2001 +
Want to meet for a kiss?
Well, of course.
So I went downstairs eighteen minutes later, as instructed. Stood facing Sixth Avenue, figuring she'd walk up from her office.
First person I saw who I knew was actually a coworker. Shot the breeze for a few minutes -- "Where are you returning from?" "What are you loitering for?" -- then resumed waiting.
Not ten seconds later, a tap on the shoulder from behind; then hugs, and nuzzling, and her eyes looking happily into my sad gaze, trying to share their joy; then a kiss, and another, just to be close; then some more hugs, and a thank you, because her selflessness was exactly what I needed.
It's been a long week for me, not at all because of her, perhaps despite her, and her insistence that I keep my head high in the face of internal adversity. Hence the midday kiss, to keep my frustration at bay for the course of the afternoon.
And now I am back at my desk, looking forward to the end of the day, when we will curl up as one in bed, blissfully reunited, a nearly perfect pair even while apart, attacking each other's weaknesses, enhancing each other's strengths, making each other better, happier people. Lucky for me, I'm fairly certain she feels similarly.
This is what I call a seriously good relationship.
August 17, 2001 +
And so yeah, it kind of freaked me out when the CAT scan technician told me I didn't really need the lead smock to protect my torso, but that he'd get me one anyway. If the radiation exposure is so localized, why don't you join me in the room, eh, buddy?
And now you know too much, dear reader, yet you don't know anything at all. I remain enigmatic. Hey, at least I wrote something today.
Speaking of which, while I'm throwing around personality adjectives, I would like to go on the record with my disdain for indignation. Being indignant makes one come across as bright, knowledgeable, and a complete ass.
August 16, 2001 +
Public notes to self.
Do this. And this.
Craft. Evolve. Aspire.
August 15, 2001 +
And I want to, of course -- write, that is -- because I like to, and the more I write the better I get, and I'd be crazy to stop, not when I still have drive and promise, but when the inspiration isn't there, and I'm busy at work, and I'm busy in the evening, and I don't have an hour to sit and think, the result is, simply, less. And there is so much, well, stuff gurgling within the recesses of my brain, subject matter for a thousand essays, but never the proper time or place to let it out.
And then there's the whole what-do-I-have-worth-saying thing. I ought to devote myself to topical writings in my field, but it hasn't quite happened yet, this whole pretending to be Jakob Nielsen thing. I toy on rare occasion with writing a book, but I don't know that my synapses are strong enough to propel an entire novel forward. Someone who needs to write "3 pairs of boxers, 3 pairs of socks" on a post-it note before packing a weekend bag is bound to lose track of entire plotlines if he's not careful.
My creativity is being challenged in intriguing new ways at work -- organizationally, hierarchically, managerially -- which has left the draw-write-edit part of me ready for something new. I just don't know what.
Step one, of course, is to keep writing.
August 13, 2001 +
And whatever you do, they say, don't stop writing.