Love is watching someone die.

Magellan,

Tuesday is dying and it is the worst thing I have ever gone through in my life. I suppose I am lucky for never having lost a person I was close to but this is just the biggest pile of suck I have ever experienced.

This fucking came without warning. One day, she was there, 100%. Meowing that her food bowl was half full. Reminding me to get up, to be a little bit better to myself and the world than I was the day before. Resting her chin on me when I was feeling sad or lonely. Sleeping like a donut in a sun beam. Turtling on my outstretched legs. Eating the remaining egg  bits from a pan on the stove. For 12 years she has been by my side, a talesman keeping me safe and protected from the darkness that lurks in the corners of the world. She has been my friend, and a beacon of hope in moments where all I thought I could do was give up.

Other than the lethargy which presented itself last Friday, I could smell it first. The smell of death starts with a change in pH. As the organs begin to fail and toxins no longer get processed it’s an unmistakeable scent. And you try so hard to deny it. You want to pretend that perhaps she just ate something or is feeling sad or sleepy but then you realize it’s so much more. And then death becomes more alkaline, and chemical. It smells like antiseptic and hospital floors and plastic.

And it’s cruel. You keep getting these glimmers of hope, like perhaps it’ll pass but you know it won’t. And knowing that at some moment, far too soon I’m going to have to make the hardest decision that I’ve ever made. And I have to make it because as she has always known, I know and it’s pain that no one knows how to express but it’s there. And she can’t tell me.

As much as I yearn for a partner, I’ve had this 12-year unit. The big, dumb cuddly one on my left and the sweet, sensitive, intuitive one on my right. My own yin and yang to keep me from truly feeling alone. My team and partners. We’ve moved across decades together, stopping in different homes, towns and states. Though my 20s she made me get out of bed every time I didn’t think I could, always giving me a reason to face whatever darkness was grasping hold. She’s survived boyfriends, undergrad and graduate school. She’s been apart of holidays and birthdays, and epic moves across the country where, turns out I wasn’t alone. My team was there. She’s lived through my depression, and economic struggles, and terrible choices. She’s lived through the hardest years of my life but she won’t live though kidney failure.

I wanted her to meet my future husband. I always just assumed she would.

The kicker is, that as her light is starting to fade, she knows how much it hurts me. She’s still the one comforting me in this sadness.

So this is what I now know. Love is real, after all. It’s this part of us we take for granted and at the same time, take advantage of. Love is moments, and lifetimes and feelings and it knows no shape or bounds. It is limitless and infinite and it is very much real. It transcends decades and timezones and species.

Tuesday is love. She is appreciating the smallest, most seemingly insignificant moments. She is greeting each day with a yell. She is barking at crows and squirrels and trying to communicate through glass, and time and across linguistically constructed barriers. She is a companion to read next to and a friend to watch terrible tv with. She is a protector from bugs, and evil spirits and self-spirals into depression. She is a giver, of affection and a teacher of patience. Tuesday is love.

This is by far the worst thing I have ever experienced. Tuesday, however has filled me with some of the best pieces and memories from a very significant portion of my life, over 1/3 of which she has been there for, commenting on in her tiny little voice.

I am not doing well, and very soon I will be doing much worse.

I am not sure how or when I will make that call, but I will have to. Because this is love. And it will momentarily ruin me, if not leave me temporarily catatonic. (Ha ha, she would roll her little yellow eyes at my attempt of a pun).

But then, from the great beyond a little chocolate chip muffin cat will start yelling at me  that the bowl is still half full, and remind me to get up and make the most of a new day. And I’ll get out of bed, and try to be just a little bit of a better version of myself.

Yours,

N.

It rained through the night. And you, take the fire escape

Magellan,

How’s it going? Last week was one of those doozy of a week, weeks. I thought cause boss #1 was out of town it might be easier but just kidding. I might have cried my eyes leaked at work because my boss #2 told me he wanted to track metrics and I had just spent a week designing a document to track everything we need. Ugh. Turns out, when you have 2 bosses that communicate to each other, and communicate to you but don’t communicate to you at the same time you get a lot of different ideas about how to do something… also I mean, I was hired to do a job that is basically 2 words smooshed together and have I mentioned that I’m also the marketing department. 

Anyways, I still love my job. Learning so much and I’m already becoming a better writer. Just struggling to understand what is expected out of me.

Our third Fuck Up Nights went ok. We had a good turnout. One of my former tinder dates came (for the second event in a row) and we had a really nice chat. He had a really kind thing he said. I was mentioning that I felt like I was starting at the beginning of my career, but after the event he came up to me and told me that I’m not starting at the beginning, I am bringing a whole slew of experiences to the table, ones that my company really needs and to not discount them because they are not the traditional experiences one would have. It was sweet. I’m perfectly ok with the fact that this man friend zoned me.

I am the one girl who gets friend zoned the most.

Hmm. Say that out loud.

I had a really beautiful moment on the bus earlier this week. I’ve gone on at length about how I want things like a partner and family, but I realized that if at some point I don’t find these things I will have the option of fostering kids. By the time my eggs dry up I should be at the point in my career where I can financially support other humans and perhaps it’ll be my calling to find a pair of siblings and give them a home.

I think my cat is about to die. She just isn’t the same. She has been extra quiet and I don’t think she’s eating and she seems lethargic. It’s breaking my heart a little. Little nugget has been in my life for 13 years. I know it seems like I favor the big orange one, but she’s my little lady. She knows when I’m sad. She talks to me when I use the bathroom. I hope it’s just something like a cold and she’ll get better because I’m not ready to lose my girl.

Hey Dark Eyes,
Rest with me a while as I drift closer to sleep
Still cannot
Still cannot find no peace

Ok, back to work. I have a presentation tomorrow and I am pretty stressed out about it.

Yours,

N.

 

Now you’re all gone, got your make-up on and you’re not coming back

Magellan,

Missed Sunday. Yesterday was a strange day. I have a new friend and his brother-in-law was rolling through town looking for a female artist to interview so I offered myself and before I knew it I had a living room full of Japanese men with my polaroids strewn about.

This is the thing- it reminded me, I’m neat! I do cool shit. I connect with people. I make things.

Hot damn, this morning was glorious. I probably left closer to 6:30, but the sky was entirely like a painting for the duration of my run. In the beginning, it was that perfect lush shade of blue, with the faintest promise of a sun that was going to rise, and by the end it was a stop-in-your-tracks full out sunrise. Each cross street that I passed at the top of the ridge made me slow just enough to turn my head and take in the incredible view. Couldn’t see Rainier from my vantage, but I did see Mt. Baker in the distance.

On my way to work, bus crush was on the bus! Since I was running late, of course he was. Now I know which one it is (the 8:13 one). Like a creeper I sat across the isle from him and tried not to stare. I mean, in order to look at him required me to turn my head so I tried to peer slightly out of the corner of my eye… (#whyamisingle).

Oh, on the bus, where there was still the lovely sun going up there was a god-damned eagle! Just soaring over Lake Union on the Cascade side of the Aurora bridge. Naturally, the entire bus was too busy looking at their phones to see the fucking mountains (which were all out) and the eagle that was just floating around in concentric circles they way they just hover.

I have a problem. I am really good at making friends with unavailable men. Need to stop that. I have another Instagram pen pal. We’ll have to see who writes back first. Can you call it pen pals when no one responds? Letters to the void.

New Spoon came out, which is good. Music has been a bit wallow-y lately. Not sure I love the album yet but hopefully it’ll grow on me.

Hopefully buying the Subaru of my dreams by next weekend. Working with a dealer to get the one I want. 😀

I knew I was doomed to be alone when I said out loud “I want the Desert Khaki one, it’s like, my favorite color, the color of my cat’s eyes.” Eye roll emoji. If I’m gonna go it alone I’m gonna be a hell of a soloist.

What can you do?

Park that car, drop that phone. Dream about me.

Yours,

N.

 

I’m gonna fight for what I wanna be

Heyo Mr. Mag,

So I just got my period this morning and my lady parts feel like there is a small mosh-pit army of angry teenagers, all flailing fists and karate-chop elbows tossing around. Or maybe just like my kidneys are on the brink of exploding.

I turned 32. I thought (as every year) that maybe I’d feel different but not really. I keep hoping one year something magical will happen but in general birthdays are underwhelming. Perhaps someday I’ll wake up with clarity, or friends will fly in to surprise me and spend time with me.

It’s the grand gestures. Am I the only one left who is capable of making them? Really, it’s all I want. I want to mean so much to some person that they have no other option than to let me know through a sweeping demonstration of how much they love me. Showing up on my doorstep in the rain. Showing up at my office just because. Driving across time zones and state lines to say “Hey, I know you are having a rough time. Stop, I’m here.”

It’s showing up. I just want someone to show up.

Also flowers. What’s a girl got to do to get a boy to give her flowers?

I have a friend I have to have a serious talk with and I’m not sure how, because I don’t know if we are close enough but I want her to know. How do you tell a friend they have a problem? She came on my birthday trip and the night before had gone drinking and at some point bonked her head. She then spent the day (really the next two days) complaining about a hangover and her face bruise.

The thing is, this isn’t a one time thing. And she’s fairly functional and we’ve all gotten too drunk before. I myself have struggled to have a reasonable relationship with alcohol. One day I realized that of all the things getting in the way of my hopes and dreams, that was the easiest one to get a handle on. My friend has so much talent and potential, but I think her habits are severely getting in the way. I mean, for Pete’s sake I have a connection I can make for her if she fixes her portfolio. It’s that simple but I cannot vouch for her until she does this. I’ve told her, “you need to do this.” But she has a hangover.

Face bruises shouldn’t happen from an accidental night of binge drinking.

You have to want it more. You have to want it the most. You need to show up, making your own grand gesture I guess.

I spent the car ride down to Portland lost in introspection. A friend of mine from Chicago now lives here. He’s the kind of person that makes you forget to function just by breathing the same air as him. I remember the first time I met him. I was sitting in Goldstar in Chicago. I was drinking a Stella. He walked in and we locked eyes. I forgot to breathe. I unabashedly could not stop staring at this man for the entire duration he was in the bar. I think maybe he couldn’t look away either. I watched him play pool with friends and I can bet you at least 100 dollars that Fugazi’s “Waiting Room” played because it always did back then, and at least 10 times a night for the following six years. As he was leaving he walked up to me and said “Hey, I just wanted to say I hope you have a good night.”

I ran into him a year ago here in Seattle after a Tinder date. I was walking up 65th when I remembered that my friend Rob lived at the top of the hill. I asked him if he wanted to grab a neighborly margarita. We found ourselves at El Chupacabra and I was wearing my Blackhawks hat. At the table next to ours a man said “I like your hat.” It was then I looked into his eyes. We sat there for about two minutes looking at each other, trying to process the time and space. Finally I straight-up yelled “NO FUCKING WAY?! PETE?” and he probably replied with a “Holy shit” and there was a hug.

Then I spilled an entire margarita on my lap.

The moral of the story, this is a human that makes me forget I have to breathe. Every time I run into him I turn into a bumbling idiot who can’t make words come out of my mouth. Is he the one, doubtful but that’s what we should all hold out for. That human who makes you feel like you were on auto pilot before they showed up. I dunno. I feel real alone nearly all of the time but I like idea that there is still a person out there that will make so much sense. Maybe I won’t even need a grand gesture. Maybe he’ll even bring me flowers.

This year:

  • Drums
  • Novel
  • Car
  • Denmark.

And I won’t make the same mistakes
(Because I know)
Because I know how much time that wastes

Cheers,

N.

She will feed you tomatoes and radio wires

Magellan,

What a long strange week it has been.

This is the last letter in year 3.1. It hasn’t been the best year but it surely wasn’t the worst. (That would be 2009). I found myself crying in plenty of airports. I traveled to see friends and family in New Mexico, St Louis, Southern Illinois, Kansas, Wisconsin, California, Washington DC and Chicago. I took long drives across prairie states. I spent time giving away my best friend (and more crying my face off) in the Virgin Islands. I quit a job, freelanced the shit out of 4 months and in the 5th found a new one.

It was a whatayear.

Today I saw a smart car, but this one looked even stupider than the normal ones because it was a one seater. And then I realized. I’m this stupid one-passenger/driver smart car. But I’m not even a car. I couldn’t even get out to even think about looking at a car this weekend.

Does your body ever just hurt so hard, that the only thing that could fix it is to be held by another person. Do you think it hurts more when someone who could hold you is right next to you?

I ran extra today, and I felt silly because I wore my Blackhawks baseball cap, because for the first part of the run there was no precipitation, but as I finished up, choosing the high road today it came down in sheets. It’s like, is the wind making your eyes water or is that just the thinking? Oh, the feels. Yea. They come back.

THERE IS NO CRYING IN YOGA. Except for when there is.

I have to go it alone, and I have to keep going because I’m going to figure it out. And it sucks. It sucks to yearn for a partner, and it sucks to continually have to scramble to financially support yourself in a world designed to be part of a team or a unit. It sucks to try to speak your mind only to have people stop you mid sentence and it sucks when you have to filter.

I just don’t know what to do. I don’t want to go to work tomorrow. I don’t want to wake up in 8.5 hours and go running again, I don’t want to walk around in the rain. I just don’t. I don’t want to stay here, inside either. I just don’t.

I miss my family. I hate that my friends are no longer in one place, but sprinkled across the states. I hate that even though I’ve been creative, true to myself, compassionate, educated, self-sufficient I still wake up alone. I hate that things I took for granted when I was a kid, assuming I’d have that partner and a family just might not happen for me. I thought I’d have a god damned dog by now.

I was out with friends of friends, and I bitched because the ride home was more than 30$ according to the app on my phone, and one of the dudes was like “You just need to get married and someone will drive you home” and I was like “If that were that easy I wouldn’t have had to sit here all night with you guys.”

I can’t even get anyone to stick around past a few weeks, yet I just can’t compromise myself at this point.

Something about the road to hell is paved with the best intentions?

I don’t want to wake up tomorrow and I don’t want to get older but it’s here, knocking on my door whether I want it to or not. I though I’d have more benchmarked by now. Earmarked? Accomplished? I don’t know anymore.

¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Yours,

N.