It is comforting to know that one is not aloooooone alone, and it is sobering (for me, because I put my sorrowful self at the center of things a bit too much) to realize that some people who understand exactly what I was feeling in the last post understand it because their beloved has died. I am going to be with my stepbrother, whose wife died this past spring, at Christmas. He’s facing his first giant family holiday with his daughters and without his wife, and some of you who read and commented are facing similar horrors, and I am just so sorry. And please forgive me if I come across as a spoiled twat. I chose this life all by myself, and thus must take my medicine. I know that none of you meant to rebuke me at all–you are very, very kind–but consider me duly chastened. It is dreadful to be lonely, but I am luckier by far than many. It does me good to remember that. And it’s never good to wallow.
Today I woke up sick–fever, chills, inability to remain upright–and have spent most of the day wrapped in a blanket, shivering. My car–the expensive and temperamental old Volvo–has begun making a dreadful noise, and I think it is ready for the glue factory. I found it hard to give a shit today, because I felt so awful, but I do think I’ll have to deal with getting a car that actually runs at some point. I would love to punt this chore to a husband (it’s a boy thing, in my experience, giving a shit about cars) but it’s a sign that things are improving that I was only mildly annoyed, instead of horribly undone, by the idea of having to cope. (I did have a tiny pang thinking that, in the old days, I secretly welcomed this sort of chore. Anything to keep my ex-husband home from the lab. It’s kind of pathetic to contemplate.)
So as soon as I feel human, I’ll start looking for a car. A used car. From a dealer, because I am too old to go dicking around with shady characters on Craigslist. Not terribly challenging, and not rocket science, either. Well within the realm of feasibility. Which didn’t stop me from complaining mightily to Emma, who suggested we pack up our troubles in an old kit bag and hightail it far, far away…
E: Let’s just move to Turkey. I’m sick of this shit.
Me: Turkey. Sounds wonderful. The thyme, the goats. We’d be digging in the garden and find a Roman coin.
E: Break for a thick sugary coffee. Nap. Late afternoon stroll when the heat has died down.
Me: The toothless crone from the next farm over, appearing with a crock of olive oil and a twist of newspaper in which she has placed homemade goat cheese. Pantomime conversation.
E: And a branch of cherries, snapped straight from the tree (a man did this for me in Greece).
At this point I had to step away from the internet, so intense was my longing for Mediterranean bliss. I stared out the window resentfully for a while, then decided that this line of fantasy would never do.
Me: I just got ringworm from one of our goats. And the septic’s backed up. And the other neighbor picked all our olives, that old man in black who carries the stick and spits. Can you go argue with him? I’m afraid to.
Emma didn’t miss a beat.
E: I can’t. I’m hiding from the cross eyed simpleton from the bar that I snogged when I drank too much ouzo a few nights ago. And my sunburn is weeping.
It gets worse.
Me: I have been paying the Elektro-Turk bill all wrong, it turns out, and now our power’s cut off and I can’t understand what the horrible woman at the office is saying. I think she may be about to have me arrested. So much for that fish we bought from the whimsical fish man at the harbor before you went off with the simpleton–I’m sure it’ll be spoiled by the time the fridge is up and running. Also, a donkey just trampled all the lettuces.
There was more–at some point we decided the simpleton from the bar was named Yaris (thus deftly weaving the Turkish strand of our conversation in with the car buying strand). He had a vengeful wife, but that’s not really the point. The point is simply that the internet makes everything all right, and running away to Turkey does not. I took a long nap, and drank a pot of tea, and felt better. (Emma’s trials, alas, were far from over….)