Here is something I wrote last night, but didn’t post.
It’s 9:30pm, Sunday evening. B is still here, napping on the couch. We left at 10am this morning for the airport, and much to my selfish delight, his flight was overbooked. And although there might have been a very slight possibility B could have left on time had I really insisted, I let Air China take advantage of my unwillingness to let go, and instead pay us 2,000RMB for the delay. Such goes love and long-distance relationships. We left his luggage at the airport, and immediately trotted home and into each other’s arms. It was an unexpected, free, gift day.
It’s 9:30pm, Sunday evening, and I have been on a somewhat guilt-filled vacation since Christmas Eve. That’s 12 whole days of precious, succulent, gut-wrenching joy, woven and wrapped in between the heart and limbs of my loved one. I knew this would happen. Since I have chosen this current, nomadic lifestyle, B and I rarely get to see each other. And when we do, we rarely come up for air. There’s just so much hugging to do, and being together, and just holding hands knowing that he’s finally beside me again. And every time we sweep ourselves away on these short breaks with each other and from the world, it is both heaven and hell for me. Heaven because at last, I can bask in the presence of my B, without having to worry about cross-schedules, time differences, and daily responsibilities. Hell because my schedule has fallen in between the cracks of the basking, and I just can’t seem to find it amidst the dust bunnies. This time, we hadn’t seen each other for 10 effing months, and the dust bunnies had multiplied like, well, bunnies.
Because I know myself in this pattern, before B got here, I psyched myself up to idealize that our time together would be a balance of vacation bliss and regular life. I’ll just take 30 minutes out of each day to blog, pay bills or do something that will keep me out of the I’ve-fallen-off-the-face-of-humanity-and-can’t-get-up crowd. Slipping away for 10 minutes, in between the love making and breakfast making, to just breathe and get my own accounts back into order didn’t seem like too tough a task. And yet, for the past 12 days, I could barely check my e-mail, much less be productive in any way.
It’s not like B actually tries to take my time away; in fact, the very opposite. I’m under contract to illustrate a children’s book, and I thought it was due on January 1st. B arrived on a Wednesday, six days before the deadline. When I told him about this looming task I had stupidly procrastinated, he made me sit there and draw out those damn dogs and cats all weekend. He even dragged me to the store to buy Playdoh and built me model dogs and cats for inspiration, although being the clown he is, they weren’t exactly primed for children’s tales. Regardless, it was B who kept reminding me that I had four days, and then three days, and two days, and oh shit. . . had New Year’s Eve already arrived? Luckily, my illustrations weren’t due January 1st, and my out-of-control ass was royally saved. But even when I thought they were, I couldn’t get them done to save my life. All I could do was curl up next to him, and be.
But like I said – it’s not B. It’s me. Definitely me. Despite my life never having revolved around anyone, when I'm with him, I can't do anything else but be with him. However, in trying to break down my madness, I figured out that the guilt didn't stem from taking time out to spend with my boyfriend. I’m pretty sure I just feel guilty for taking vacation at all. Because my vacation is truly vacation, from everything. And it throws me off balance. When I finally spin right side up again, I’m dizzy, exhausted, and more than a few days behind.
And yet, taking control again is really as easy as I had imagined. B’s asleep, I’m not tired, and so I have floated to this gorgeous mahogany desk he indirectly gave me for Christmas (I couldn’t not get it then; he reimbursed me later). Just taking these few minutes to jot this entry down has already invigorated me back to my old self. Even just now, between the previous period and the “E,” my doorbell rang with a dinner delivery; balancing steaming hot bags of food in my right hand, I literally whisked away the garbage that had been residing on my coffee table for a week now, in less than 30 seconds. And in two minutes, I washed some dishes, spread out our dinner, poured drinks, popped a DVD in my stolen DVD player, wafted fries under B’s nose, and ran back here to finish this post while he wakes up. Simple as pie.
Obviously, the vacation bug still plagues me. Hence the inability to finish posting said post on time.
Yesterday was a gift day because B didn’t make his flight. Today was a shit day because he did. All the way to the airport, I was okay. I was sure I wouldn’t be as sad when it was time to let him go, especially since we were given an extra 24 hours together. But when we stopped in front of the security check, promising him not to cry, I wrestled on my sunglasses, barely shielding the fat droplets rolling fiercely down my cheeks. I was on the verge of tears all day. I had waited so long to let B into my life in China, into my apartment, decorated for the holidays and drenched in candlelight, blankets and good food, that I unexpectedly let the love of my life became a regular part of my day. The past 288 hours created muscle memory that anticipated him wrapping his arms under mine and spooning me at night, waking me up vigorously in the mornings, and being there, holding my hand wherever we went. Now my entire apartment reminds me of him. My fucking bed smells like him. And it fucking sucks. Bad move. Note to self. Don’t let a loved and missed one come into your home unless you are able to see them regularly. Damn it.
Today was really a low. The plan was that I would jump happily back into my regular life, get the magazine off the ground, and get on home to the States. But I feel like shit, and shit just sits there and does nothing. When B was here, I couldn’t stop Time, and now, it can’t go fast enough. My cell phone clock is set eight minutes fast, but I wish I could set it one year fast. GET ME THE FUCK HOME. I want my boyfriend. I want my family. I want my friends. I want OUT of here.
At some point, Glenda the Good Witch, in her fluffy blue gown and gi-normous silver crown, will cast my heart into survival mode, rationalizing life and self-protecting with a coat of apathy, but today, the daylight pierced through me like a stake would a vampire in a bad horror movie. Except I’m not in a horror movie that ends after 1.5 miserable hours with rolling credits and theme music telling you to get the hell out of the theatre. I’m in my life, fully under my reigns, which is scary. Sure, my optimism will pull my ass back into shape and I will know from the depths of my soul that everything is and will be just fine, that I am “happy” to sacrifice temporary comforts for permanent bliss. But for now, heartbreak coupled with being alone in this (not so) foreign country has done me in. It’s this fucking place. I am full of inner peace, but at times like these, that shit isn’t enough to ward off this fucking country, this cold weather, and this job that won’t let me go home on a whim or crap without sending me a text message asking me what to do. This place has a great way of making me question what the fuck I am doing here to begin with. It makes me say FUCK all the time. In the grand scheme of things, I seem like I know what I’m doing, but sadness and loneliness really do a doosy on me. I am tempted to trade in my togetherness hat for a good dose of home sweet home. God damn. FUCK.
It’s now 11pm, Monday night. After several rounds of freezing the shit out of my brain with blueberry ice cream, then strawberry, then jamocha almond fudge, two movies later, I think I have managed to dull the pain a bit. I feel better. As predicted, I am on my way to bouncing back. Several times, between white ceramic spoonfuls of melted ice cream, glints of energy and hope came charging back into my mind, as they always do, pulling my head up and exposing my nose to the roses again. I’m not ready to turn off the movies and put away the ice cream just yet, but I’m not a blubbering hot mess anymore, either. In order to continue progressing in this so-called China life, I have to keep reminding myself that this is not it. This is a giant step toward the life I WANT. I want it so badly. It’s like an itch I can almost reach, but won’t be able to until I’m limber enough. Located just above my shoulder blade, it scratches my nerves every day.
Here is something I wrote last night, but didn’t post.