She gently brushed her lips against mine, kissing me, before smiling and thanking me for being so understanding. I just smiled and told her to drive safely before watching her drive away. What else could I do?
I felt bad enough as it was. I know that her mother, my mother-in-law, was in the hospital, I know that she was facing surgery, and I knew that my spouse should be there, needed to be there. I knew this, but I still resented it horribly.
And it's not that I don't like my mother-in-law and wish her the best. My mother-in-law is fantastic...smart, funny, insightful, caring. It's awful that she's ill, it's awful has to have surgery, it's awful that she has to travel to Cleveland for competent doctors. She puts up with too much in her life already, and she really doesn't need or deserve any other intrusion.
I know this makes me awful, but I cannot help but resent her a little bit for getting my wife for yet another weekend, in spite of how much I love my mother-in-law and want her to be well.
I am lonely, you see.
It's not like I don't have enough to keep me occupied. I have a presentation in two weeks, for which I haven't typed word one. I have parents, relatives, high school friends, life-changing former roomates, all of whom have been waiting months for word one from me. I have papers to write, book proposals to revise, classes to plan. Instead of doing any of this, however, I keep finding myself just sitting, doing nothing, being lonely.
Lonliness is never like it is in the movies or in overdramatic novels. There's no wailing, no shaking tears, no cavernous bouts of depression. I'm just empty. I have to force myself to do anything, and even then, I'm just going through the motions.
I read the saddest books I can find, and they suddenly move me not in the slightest. I try turning on the television, but that's no good...everything on the TiVo is one of "our" programs, and there's utterly nothing else that draws me in even a little. I try splurging, fixing myself a thick steak for dinner, but as good as it is (and I find myself knawing on the bone, regressing into a neanderthal), it doesn't really bring me any joy...five minutes later, and I am back on the couch, staring blankly into space. Nothing works, and there is no escape. Finally, I give up, crawl into bed, stretch out fully...but I keep looking over to her side, reaching out my leg so that I can feel her warmth, and she's not there.
It will only be a few days, I know. My love will be back on Sunday. Right now, though, that seems unimaginably far away, deep into the future. I want her here now. I want to see her eyes that can light up the room, see her flash that smile that makes me want to explode. I want to make her laugh, I want to hold her close, I want to smell her hair and have her body pressed up against me.
Before I had someone, I used to be scared of giving myself completely to someone else, of putting myself at anyone's mercy. Now, it doesn't frighten me that I've invested so much of myself into her as I thought it would, because she brings so much to me, makes me such a better person. I just need her, and when she's away like this, it reminds me of how much. Now, I'm just a little scared because I know why, deeper than ever, that I don't like being alone, apart, separated.
She did call yestersday, so I did get to hear her voice. It was lilting, beautiful, vibrant, and it filled me with so much joy yet also so much sadness. I wanted to talk to her forever, but after she left, nothing really happened to me, so I had no real tales or events to relate, and I couldn't really think of anything to say...so the call was entirely too short.
There was so much I needed to say to her, but I had no idea how to say what I needed to say, which always seems to be the case. How do you say the things you really need to say? Can you even really say them, without holding that person close?
That's why I'm lonely.