It's Saturday night again. About nine o'clock. The weekends don't have the same sweetness they used to now that Joey is either working or sleeping through them.
I put Ethan down a little early (made him cry it out) because I am exhausted. Poor little guy. Doing things like that makes me feel like such a jerk.
Ethan and I went to Scolaries tonight. I bought corn on the cob, mushrooms that were pre-cut and pre-washed (three times!), four Fuji apples that were clearly on steroids at one point, and pretty paper towels with flowers and little shovels on them, among other things. I also bought a new candle that is filling the air around me right now with a very sweet but not too sweet smell of fruits and maybe some flowers. It's easier to be home without Joey if I have a good smelling candle. After Ethan goes down, a flame is the closest thing to something alive and breathing that I get. I am listening to Nora Jones and feeling slow and not so much sad as numb.
My little sister called me randomly tonight as she drove home from work. She always calls me when she is driving. She is a business woman people. I was so happy because I just talked to her yesterday and usually we go weeks in between contact, so for her to call me again so soon was just...special. I forget that I miss her. I hate this about myself. She is so much a part of me, it's like forgetting about my heart, or my childhood.
I had to blow the candle out. It was getting too sweet.
The best song on this CD just came on..."Come away with me, in the night. Come away with me, and I will write you a song. Come away with me on a bus. Come away where they can't tempt us with their lies. And I wanna walk with you, on a cloudy day in fields where the yellow grass grows knee high, so won't you come away with me..." Her voice feels like the hide of a horse, soft and edgy and wild.
When I hear beautiful music like this and I am alone, I think about dying. Its a crazy thought: one day, one moment, I WILL NOT BE HERE. I won't be able to hear music, or smell overly sweet candles, or taste tea, which I am about to go pour.
I think about dying a lot more on the weekends, when Joey is hanging out with men ( a whole slew of them) who have killed other people. I hate it when he is in house seven, which is where he is tonight. House seven is the highest security "house" in the jail; that's where the everyday murderers, rapists, and men who like weapons live.
You know what's funny? I think as a coping mechanism my mind tells me that it really wouldn't be that big of a deal if Joey died. The problem is when life slows down enough for silence to come--like now--my heart feels like stone. And there is at least one or two nights when Joey is working that I hardly sleep at all. I think about all sorts of different things like what color I would like to paint my house and what kind of dog I would like to get and what it might be like to have a little girl; I picture all of these things together in a perfect utopia and it makes me happy. For three seconds. Before it disappears and I have to think about it again. You might not think this is such a big deal but I realised last night it is like alcohol to me. It numbs me. Take last night as an example: I got TWO hours of sleep because I could not stop thinking about hardwood floors and a miniature pincher. I do these incredible imaginary mind games only when Joey is working and I am alone so that I don't have to deal with my aloneness; the fact that I miss him TERRIBLY. So terribly in fact that my mind won' think about him and to make sure it doesn't it goes on ADHD mode thinking about other "happy" things.
Yep. It's true. I have diagnosed myself. I know its true because as I am writing all this for a mini-second I felt the stone break inside of me and I was on the tiniest verge of tears, but then, instantly--numbness.
I am sorry this is so melodramatic. I just feel like maybe I should be a psychiatrist or something.
I do miss Joey. I HATE MISSING JOEY. And at the same time it feels so good to feel love for him, to know that it would NOT be alright if he died. I can't explain what this feels like. Every week, for half the week, I feel like the other part of me is gone. I make up for the grotesqueness of being half a person by thinking of imaginary things that bring a momentary happiness.
I forgot all about my tea.
I remember at Joey's Academy's graduation my Aunt Lois asked me if I was worried. I giggled like the little girl that I am and said, "You know, I am just not a worrier." I shrugged. She smiled in a disbelieving way and then said, "Well, that's good." I walked away thinking, Seriously, I haven't even thought about being worried. Should I be worried? O well, that's why God put us together. So Joey could be a cop and I could be his non-worrying wife. I've thought of that little conversation a couple of times, especially lately as I am coming to recognize this feeling of numbness as the way that I worry. I don't necessarily freak out; I zone out. I don't allow myself to even come close to really thinking about what it would be like if I lost Joey.
That's the thing, though. I will lose him. I will go to his funeral, or he will go to mine. See, my mind is doing it again...I cannot comprehend that Joey and I and even little Ethan will die. It's like telling me cows fly or tomorrow we will get attacked by aliens.
I think I would be able to live so much better, with so much true joy, if I could get even the tiniest grip on the reality and certainty of death.
Today I came home and put Ethan in his crib for some quiet time. I opened our bedroom door and smelled the familiar odor of sweaty flesh caught in a room with no escape for long periods of time. Joey's flesh. I made my way over to our bed and snuggled up to him, wondering if I was going to make him too hot (he is very temperamental about temperature). He did his usual waking up grunts and turned over. I snuggled up again and gently moved my fingernails over his warm back. Up and down, circles, circles. I felt the hair on his head, prickly one way, silky the other. I pulled gently on his earlobes. He likes his ears to be touched.
He didn't say anything. I could tell he didn't want to wake up so I just laid there with him in the quiet. Then Ethan wanted out of his crib and started wailing, "Out! Out!" Very hesitantly I swung my legs over the side of the bed because I knew I had to go get him but my body wanted to lay on that bed, close to Joey's breathing, warm flesh, for at least an afternoon. That's what I really wanted.