I don’t listen for the gate anymore.
For many years, I did. I listened. Even while I was asleep, I listened.
I’d get home from work and I would take a nap. It was always my best sleep of the whole day! I mean it: It was the only time when I can ever remember dreaming.
But then, an hour would pass, or maybe an hour and a half, and then I’d hear the gate. In my sleep, I’d hear it, and that would be you. That was you opening the automatic gate across the driveway. Then I’d hear the clack from your front tires driving across the metal track for the gate, and that was you. Then I’d hear the clack from your back tires driving across the metal track for the gate, and that was you, too. The whoosh of your car accelerating down the driveway.
I’d hear the sound of your car doors. You.
And the cats would crawl out from under the bed. And the girls would stumble out from their room, because they’d have heard you, too.
And I’d stretch…
Every single day.
Sleep. Gate. Stretch. Repeat.
Then the day came when you were gone, and I knew you were really gone, and I was okay. I swear I was okay! You were gone, and the cats were gone, and for a long time, even the kids were gone.
I knew you were gone, Dana… or most of me knew you were gone, anyway.
But not all of me knew.
In the days and in the weeks and in the months after that, I’d still take those naps. When I took those naps, I would still dream, and you were still in most of the dreams. Of course you were in most of the dreams. Sometimes only as a sort of presence at my elbow – someone for me to narrate my actions towards – but you were there.
Then an hour would pass, or maybe an hour and a half, and something inside me would say, “Katy, it is time to wake up!” But I’d be waiting for the sound of that gate, you know?
The gate would never open. No clack and no doors and no cats and no kids.
Not in September… October… November… December. And January came – and you were long, long gone by then, even from my dreams! – but these fucking naps would sort of betray me. I was still listening for you in my naps.
I’m not even sure when that changed, exactly, but it changed.
I don’t listen for the gate anymore.
Everything is different now.
In fact, I probably won’t even send you this letter.
Stargate of timeReplyDelete
Something like that, yeah.Delete
It's not all bad, though!
"LAP LAP Licky your face, Licky your face LAP LAP" - Pinko the commie dogDelete
Bad Dog, Bad Dog, Bad Dog, who you to lick?Delete
Some major tongue action.. that even Miley Cyrus could appreciate.
hope this brings a grin to your wet face
That's funny. I saw that a few years ago and could never find it again.Delete
I'm supposed to be working, but then I got an email notification about your post so I decided to come read this instead. Coincidentally, I'm also listening to the album "April" by Sun Kil Moon, which is full of all these quiet, gentle and beautiful songs about missing someone. And you're sort of writing about working your way towards not missing someone in even the small ways, and I'm sure that's also in one of these songs somewhere if I'd listen to the lyrics more carefully (though I tend to focus more on the missing someone in small ways parts), so it sort of slots right in. Anyway, you have a great timing and I'm glad you wrote this and posted it at just this particular time.ReplyDelete
Thanks! This is sort of uncharacteristic writing for me... I'm trying to do more writing that is uncharacteristic, though. It's cool that it connected!Delete
Methinks the lady doth protest too much.ReplyDelete
But let that be. I don't honestly know how long it will take for you to recover... but recover you will. Take that from me.
As far as I can tell, the best way to get past something bad is for something even worse to happen. That way, you don't think about the old bad thing nearly so much!Delete
Yeah, you probably shouldn't send that letter. And what if you did hear the gate now? Wouldn't that be terrifying? It has turned from soothing to scary.ReplyDelete
I have a recording of Dana laughing on mp3 that somehow migrated to my iTunes a few months back. So I was listening to music, in the dark, in the middle of the night while I was sleeping one night, and it reached the end of my albums and started playing this track of her laughing. \Delete
It scared me pretty badly, hearing my ex's laugh echoing in my apartment at 4 am.
That would give me a heart attack!Delete
If it had been anything but laughter, it wouldn't have been so bad...Delete
You'll heal, hon.ReplyDelete
I wanted to write a blog post for the anniversary of the breakup in August, but I forgot. This is as close as I'm going to get to that.Delete
If nothing else, it's real, and I don't write real very often.
This reminds me of the perfectly formed little "Kurzgeschichten" I used to read when I was studying German about a hundred years ago. A very beautiful little gem of a story! One doesn't have to know any of the background, because it's all in there. I am also reminded of the old Chinese adage, "hear one, understand ten."ReplyDelete
It was either this or a barn burner I've titled, "6 Rules for Kicking Ass at Everything."Delete
That was a very different kind of post.
I'm glad I went with this one.
Having been through similar experiences a time or two in my life, I understand the waking up to find that they're not there, hoping that each phone call is them, that each ring of the doorbell is them, ad nauseum, but alas, it never happens. Although it takes a lot of time, bit by bit the pain lessens. You might still hear a song on the radio that reminds you of being with them that brings a tear to your eyes, but the more distance of time you put between yourself and the experience, the more the pain lessens. Try to listen to happy music rather than sad. Try to do things totally different from what you and she did, go different places, change your routine... it all helps.ReplyDelete
Yessir, and thank you.Delete
I figured out at some point that I was sort of living through my setbacks. I mean, I was defining myself by the bad shit that had happened to me.
I hope I don't do that so much anymore. I don't think I do. My life would just be a downward spiral otherwise, because everyone has bad stuff happen to them eventually!
This is beautiful, and it records the passing of a personal milestone in a simple, clear, honest way. I appreciate this kind of writing more than any other.ReplyDelete
Cool, thanks! Simple is harder for me that complicated. This whole blog over the past couple of years has been an exercise in trying to write simply. My default is to sort of try and bowl people over with big words and neologisms and ideas.Delete
I need to just... write!
I hate when a simple, mundane event reminds me of something good from the past. Something comforting. Something that I know I'm better off without now, and yet my brain's still telling me, "Hey, remember how you thought you were happy then? Well, we THINK we can be happy again! Just do that!"ReplyDelete
I don't think my brain understands what real happiness is. Maybe I shoved too many crayons into it by way of nostril when I was younger. Sounds like you've got it kinda figured out, though!
I think you might have nailed it: "True happiness" is a fiction we create about something in the past. Even if we think our life at that time was a 9.8, we're forgetting the problems that we were having and how we were working to make our lives a 10.Delete
I think my Misery Index is fairly constant!
She has moved on. You have moved on and now have the dreams to prove it.ReplyDelete
Just writing is a great plan. This is a good and hopefully therapeutic blog. Write on Katy.
It would be so much easier to use this blog for catharsis if most of my real life acquaintances didn't know how to find it. It sucks when I wrote a blog and then have, say, the chupacabra from 2 posts back emailing me to complain about how I made him look. "I didn't just attack you unprovoked! Why did you write that?"Delete
Good plan. You really don't want a coworker accusing you of any illicit activityDelete
The next time I regenerate into a new character, I'm going to become a pickle with horns or something, where no one will know that it's mean.Delete
I mean, YOU will, but not my neighbors or anyone else.
This is supposed to be the opposite of facebook. I want nothing I write here to be appropriate for family or people I went to high school with...
This is the place to let your inner demons run free without worrying if you offended the neighbors, coworkers and/or remote family members. Of course some of us don't give a shit about neighbors or family members, so the list of people we try not to offend is relatively small.Delete
Anything that falls on THIS side of "Clearly shows she's not fit to be a parents" is okay with me.Delete
Time doesn't heal all wounds, we just start to forgetReplyDelete
I think I hit upon the truth of this matter in a comment above: "As far as I can tell, the best way to get past something bad is for something even worse to happen. That way, you don't think about the old bad thing nearly so much!"
I don't think I've ever said it better than that...
Hmmm.personal post..tough one.ReplyDelete
I don't know , for me I don't want to get back but I would like him to answer and explanation for his acts. All I heard was justification and self-righteous condescending lecture.
I see lot of grief in this post. Sorry Katy hope this passes soon. I am not good with words when things are too emotional.
It's hard for me to convey emotion in writing. I tend to want to look smart and cool and detached when I write about myself. This sort of post - which risks people saying "You just need to get over it!" - is tough for me.Delete