Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Weird, odd, slightly unnerving, and certainly not serene.

Weirder and weirder, and more complicated by the moment.


Firstly the less-explainable things. No, I don't claim to have any idea what's going on. Yes, I know it all sounds strange and occasionally improbable.

Wednesday before last, I came home from work early because of a stomachache, and promptly passed out on the couch for several hours. I did figure that at some point Tim would come over and wake me up, but he didn't, and I woke up in time to see him, Ray, and Dwen pulling out of the parking lot, presumably on their way to dinner. Relieved that nobody was going to require me to be social, I immediately passed out again.

While I was asleep the first time, though, I had...a dream, sort of, except not, that Tim was over checking on me. I remember (without a memory of actually seeing him) him standing outside, looking in the sliding glass door; seeing I was asleep, and walking away. This was reassuring and a little odd, and I figured I'd heard him or something in my sleep, and incorporated it into my dreaming.

The next morning I asked him over IM if he had, indeed, walked over to make sure I was okay. He answered, rather diffidently, that he had not...physically. He'd simply cast his mind my way to check on me. Upon comparing notes, we discovered that our experiences pretty well matched up.

Now, I've always wanted to believe in magic, and never found any evidence of it. Could this be coincidence? Absolutely; there's no proof that anything truly odd happened. Nothing my old, skeptical, no-faith self would have put any credence into. Now? Now, I feel sure that I know what happened, even as I scramble towards more mundane explanations.

Still awfully, awfully strange.

For the last couple weeks I've been very emotionally up-and-down (not surprising, what with one thing and another) and also very ... sensitive, I suppose. I'm not sure how else to put it. Background noise makes me twitchy; scents too faint for most people to even smell make me feel sick. I'm hungry all the time, except when I'm stuffed, but I have to find just the right thing to eat or I can't make myself eat it, no matter how hungry I am. And half the time even if it feels like the right thing I wind up with a stomachache.

Even soft clothing chafes. Shoes drive me nuts. I get barefoot at the slightest opportunity; I'm naked as often as I can manage it. I have the music at work turned low enough that nobody else can even hear it, and it's still a little loud for me. A truck driving past Tim's place, several hundred feet away and not using jake brakes or anything, and I have to plug my ears. I've gone from perhaps one headache every couple years to one most every day.

Last Friday Tim, Ray and I went to a restaurant, planning to meet a friend of ours. He showed up quite late and immediately disappeared into the bathroom for an inordinate amount of time; when Ray got worried and proposed to check on him, I said 'don't worry, the toilet just flushed, he's on his way out'. Forty feet across the (not empty) restaurant and around a corner, through the door, with several tables full of people talking between it and us. I have average hearing at best; I should not have been able to hear that.

Saturday Tim and I went up into the mountains and spent several hours walking around, climbing rocks, and taking pictures. It was the calmest I've been in weeks, up in the quiet with only the rushing water and the wind in the trees, Tim's calm the only human emotion impinging on me. When we got back I promptly stripped naked and sprawled around in his room while he played computer games -- too hot, too sticky, and my clothing just itched. I could smell myself, not surprising after the day we'd had; but despite no physical contact other than a kiss or two and a hand offered to help balance on a rock, I could smell him on me, too, strongly enough that it almost overwhelmed my own scent.

At one point that same day, I found myself physically incapable of going on -- into a little-known section near the falls, a cove in the river with trees arching over and rocks just so -- without taking off my shoes. One does not, after all, wear shoes on holy ground.

At work, the lack of customers and the slowly-increasing despair of everyone who works here is such that even on the best of days, I arrive and immediately become depressed. I've been meaning to blog this for over a week and when I get here, I cannot write. Can't even focus on the screen, read and comprehend anything more complicated than a blog post.

And there's my experience of the Eucharist week before last. It was huge, powerful, it left me shaken. I'm still shaken.

I feel as if I have been pumped full of energy that I plain don't know how to deal with. I feel jerky, twitchy, like someone who's just discovered that yes, that is an electric fence. My attention span is nil, my tolerance for the unusual, the loud, the abrasive, nearly as bad.

I'm not like this. I don't get headaches. I have a cast-iron stomach and can eat basically anything. Sudden loud noises elicit a shrug or, at worst, a bit of a twitch. I filter out a bad smell within a few minutes. I'm not like this.

Some of it I can easily blame on stress -- the food issues, at the very least. The rest? I don't know what's going on. I feel like all of my walls are coming down and I can't stop them, and I don't know what's coming in, other than 'everything'. And 'everything' is a hell of a lot bigger than I thought it was.


And in the outer world? Tim and Ray, when their lease is up, will be moving north, probably to Fort Collins to be near Tim's work. Ray's depression is such that he hasn't looked for a job, doesn't have an opinion on where to move to, can't keep the apartment clean, can't cook, can only do simple tasks and only when reminded. I'm deciding whether or not I want to move in with them (complicated as much for the sheer volume of cats involved as for the mechanics of three people in a relationship) or whether I'm going to get my own place up there, near them, like we are now.

Ray isn't sure he wants to move in with me; there's the possibility, he argues, that I'll do things that'll drive him nuts. And while I'll admit that's the case -- isn't it always? And I know I'm hardly perfect -- he already does things that annoy me, such as nothing, leaving Tim to do all the cooking, cleaning, dealing with the animals, bringing in all the income, taking all the responsibility for decisions for the both of them. I'm already mad at Ray for that, have held it back, have counselled him calmly to go to a doctor, get on medication, find a counsellor of some sort, at least get out of the house and do something, and he won't, he does nothing.

And then I remember when I was there. For years. Never as far down as Ray is, but certainly not the paragon I wish him (and myself) to be. I catch myself before saying to him something Lewis would have (did!) say to me. I don't want to say those things, I don't want to be Lewis. I don't want to hurt Ray the way Lewis hurt me. I want to help Ray, and I don't know how; and I've barely got the energy to help myself. I have little to spare for others.

Tim tells me not to worry, that Ray is his responsibility, but. If we're going to be a triad, then we all have to be responsible for all of us. And if I'm going to be living with Ray, I need to be able to interact with him somehow.

At the same time, I know Tim is reaching his breaking point with Ray. He's got near-infinite patience, but only near-. He knows that Ray takes their relationship less seriously than he does and it hurts him. (Ray, at 22, is not particularly ready for the kind of commitment that Tim, at 37, is looking for.) He's seeing similar things with Ray that he had problems with in his first marriage and he wonders if he's learned anything, or if he will; or if he'll always wind up the responsible partner, the one trying to fix whoever he's with, who'll one day wake up a grownup and thank Tim...and leave him to live out their life.

I find myself waiting for the two of them to break up, and pulling away from Ray so I'm not hurt when it happens. I've been hurt so much; surely it isn't a sin to try to prevent further hurt? But Jesus said 'love', not 'love when it won't hurt'.

But might it not be better to love from a distance? Or am I just trying to find the easy way out?

That left undecided, this week I started looking for jobs in Fort Collins. At the very least I want to be close to Tim.

And got a call to an interview to a place fifteen minutes south of Longmont. A small office, nice people, a job that I know I can do and with an appropriate amount of responsibility, and more pay than I thought I could hope for. The interviewer (the owner) said repeatedly that he liked me, my enthusiasm, my personality. I think that I am very likely to be offered this job. Tim has already moved his house-search south to Loveland (a fifteen minute commute for him, perhaps half an hour for me) because of this possible job, with Ray's agreement. (Is it catty to note that Tim had to ask twice to get a response?) If I'm offered it, I'll take it; I can't afford not to. And it does sound like a good job, one I'll enjoy. But so very far away from Fort Collins...

Tim made a comment several days ago, a gaming analogy, partly joking but unnervingly accurate: I mastered the level I was on, so I leveled up and the next level is harder. Another friend noted that at the same time, the new level has goodies and special stuff, and the GM is kind and lets me figure them out by myself...including the ones I didn't know I had until I'd been using them for a while.

Me, some days I'd rather just play FreeCell. Or maybe Tic-Tac-Toe.


And on top of all that, every time I stop typing and fold my hands in front of myself for a moment's contemplation, when I look down at them I see my father's hands. Slightly less work-scarred (but only slightly) and definitely with longer nails, but my father's hands.

I miss him.


Rae Trigg said...

Maybe what's happening is backwash from the week before last? Would doing some shielding work help (or have you already tried that)?

Kate said...

Wouldn't surprise me if they're connected, Rae, not a bit. I've been trying my shielding, but it's what you might call kinda iffy. :P 'Intermittent, unreliable and swiss-cheese-like' would also apply.

Rae Trigg said...

Understood. Not sure whether I can help; this kind of thing's not my forte.

Cecilia said...

This is so mysterious and intriguing. It sounds as if you are profoundly open to something or someOne... not a comfortable place to be, I imagine.

Peace to you, friend. I will keep you in prayer.


Kate said...

SomeOne, I hope, Cecilia, since if it's someThing I sure don't know what Thing it is!

It's not comfortable but I'm hanging in there. Thank you for your prayers, my friend.