Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Picking at Scabs

It would be so nice to feel sleepy around 10 pm, before even taking any medication, then just lay down in bed and fall asleep. I'm told that's what normal people do and what I will eventually do when I'm healthy. I think it's all bullshit. Tonight I started feeling sleepy, drop dead tired at around 10:30, after eating, but I made the mistake of playing around on my phone, then journalling my day, which led to me thinking about what day it was by that time, since it was by then after midnight, and, well, I fell apart.

I sent this email to Moneypenny, typed on my phone, so sorry about the really poor grammar.

There's an episode of House in which House & his friend Wilon are on the outs but Wilson & their boss conspire to, basically, drug & kidnap Houe to make him attend his father's funeral, at the request of his mother, who knows House has much anomysity towards his father that he won't go on his own. During the ride to the funeral, House tells Wilson that part of his feelings are that the man wasn't really his biological father, which he figured out at 13 because of recessive genetic traits and that the man was a marine, shipped out at the crucial time, but House felt that it was himself who was decieved. At the funeral, House even goes so far as to get a tissue sample by pretending to kiss the deceased, so he can prove it later. Wilson ends up fighting with him and getting so angry that he throws a bottle of booze, at what he assumes is the wall but is really a stained glass window, which he breaks.

In the last scene, Wilson brings House the results of the dna test,which he'd intercepted before they got to House. Wilson also came to tell House that he'd been right about something he'd said earlier, that for all the insanity House had gotten him into that day, it was the mostfun he'd had in a long time, since what paused their friendship. Of course, the test results confirm House's lifelong hypothesis about hi parentage. Wilson tells him that this must make him feel a bit better, because it proved he was that smart and right at 13. House doesn't look more pleased. "Wilson, [beat] my dad is dead." Wilson looks genuinely sad for him. "My condolencses. Let me buy you dinner." He opens the door and waits for his friend.

Being the Wilson to my House doesn't mean you get the shitty character.

My grandpa died today. Around 6 am. I'm so sad.

I started crying and decided I'd rather watch the episode of House, if I owned it, than lay in bed and cry. Somehow I don't have season 4, but I do have season 5, and this episode is the fourth episode of season 5. I'm not sure if I'm lucky or not.

Around 6 am, December 28th, 2007, so about four years less five hours from right about now, I watched my grandfather die.

As I stood in the kitchen, crying, trying to find something to drink that didn't have caffeine to go with my pistachio pudding, things started flooding back to me. You know, it's strange how things run together. All the deaths. All the regrets. All the things you didn't do. All the things you did do. Four years is the blink of an eye when you're watching your child grow up, when you're pushing your way through high school, when it's the last four years you get with someone. Four years is forever when you're watching people die. Four minutes is forever when you're lost and alone and can't figure out where you're going.

I drive Moneypenny crazy with late night phone calls and text messages. The text messages he, rightly, ignores. When it used to be phone calls, he'd feint interest and try to get me off the phone as soon as he could so he could go back to sleep. I don't fault him for this feeling. But, even before this recent extended dance with the Reaper, I've had this fear that I wouldn't say what needed to be said before someone was gone from my life. Maybe it was because I didn't know that the last time I saw my biological father would be the last time I saw my biological father. The anxiety most people felt when they wanted to tell someone that they had a crush on them was doubled by my own worry that this might be my last chance that I ever got to tell them that I had a crush on them, because they might move the next day or get hit by a bus. There was so much I told my uncle, about my life, about my feelings, about my crushes, about my friendships, on our long drives. But there were also times I'd sit outside his door while he was asleep, when I couldn't sleep, when I fought the urge to wake him up and tell him how bad it hurt, inside, all the time. When he was still living with my grandparents and my parents and I would visit from the Very Large Midwestern City, he'd give up his bedroom to my parents. He and I would have to share a bedroom, which was wonderfully awkward for a 9 year old girl and a 20 year old young man, though I slept on a day bed and he slept on a pull-out bed which only sometimes stayed propped up through the whole night. (That was funny, in a Three Stooges kinda way.) I'd lay in my bed, listening to him sleep, wishing I had the balls to wake him up and tell him that I was sad and desperate and maybe even suicidal, though I had no way to express that except reading all the horror novels I could get my hands on. I wish I had told him and yet I'm glad I didn't. It's hard enough dealing with my mental illness as an adult, when the doctors and pharmacists have a sort of kind of solid hold on what the illnesses look like and how the medications probably effect a person, much less children when it's all fucked up and topsy turvy. If my family is worried about me now, I can't even imagine the eggshells they would have felt they needed to walk on then. But I don't think I've ever told this to anyone. Not even Moneypenny. I wonder if my uncle knew. Even more than my mother, he seemed to know everything. While he didn't get to punish me for things I had no idea how he knew, he did get the burden of whether or not to share it with my mother, so she could decide what to do with it. On the other hand, it seems unimaginably cruel to let me sit outside his door for hours and cry and not do anything about it. If there's one thing he wasn't to me, it was cruel.

And why am I talking about my uncle when it's the anniversary of my grandfather's death? Because they all run together. Because I wasn't as close to my grandfather. Because it was easier to accept my grandfather's death. Because it's been longer. Because I could justify it by saying that my grandfather had done all, or almost all, of what he was going to do with his life. And why am I telling you? Putting all these personal issues on blast? Maybe just so I don't feel the need to wake up my poor good friend who is probably sleeping peacefully next to his lovely girlfriend and who definitely has to be at work at 8 in the morning tomorrow (or today.) Sigh.

But I still miss my grandfather. MGD and fritos. Steel guitars and lottery tickets. Ashes and strong coffee. Those steaks my grandmother made for him that I never could figure out how he could chew through without his dentures. A man who never said "I love you," but who never did anything to make me doubt that he did. I care him with me wherever I go and try to let his example lead me, try to be as good of a man and a person as he was. I miss you Grandpa.

[Oh, but I got the details of the episode wrong. Wilson goes to see House because House's patient pulls through. House is drinking in celebration of the test results which proved him right, but he's still depressed because he feels nothing at all at the news. But their final exchange is still the same. Your real friends are the ones who understand, or maybe just accept, that you can be righteous while being pissed off that you're right while still being sad that this person that you had such a strange and complex relationship with is dead. And while they might not show the textbook perfect response, their response is still... well, it's still something. Sometimes, something is all you really need. Your friends will never have the perfect response for you and you'll never have the perfect response for them. But being there is a big step in the right direction.]

[And I'm still the same person. I'm just blogging under an account that's tied to my Google. When I started the blog, google didn't own blogger and/or I didn't have a google account, so I used the email I'd been using for years. Now I rely on google for tons of stuff and I'm too lazy to log out of all my google stuff just so I can blog. So there's two of me blogging on here: Ava and AvaAlso. I think my gentle readers are intelligent enough for this not to cause a large problem.]

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