Well, not quite. More like Cross-Country In 24 Hours.
Which I did on Tuesday. The Sun and I flew out to LAX Tuesday morning, arriving at about 4p LA time. Our flight was delayed on the runway about an hour. It wasn't so bad... it was long but it wasn't uncomfortable since we flew VirginAtlantic. Shoutout for my peeps there... as airlines go it's comfortable; leather seats, individual touchscreens and stuff to do like games and TV. But they charge you ridiculous sums for food, and movies are $7 a pop. Individually. Luckily I have a splitter for my iPod so the Sun and I can share music, and we plugged that puppy into the jack and watched "KungFu Panda".
Another shoutout for EarPlanes. I have the WORST time landing... it feels like hot ice picks stabbing my brain and ears and usually nothing helps... not swallowing water/chewing gum/that hold-your-nose thing everyone swears by. It can be so bad I pray for oblivion. And then I can't hear for hours afterwards. But the EarPlanes kept the pain at bay and while I still couldn't hear for hours afterwards, at least I wasn't in blinding pain.
SD met us at the baggage carousel in a Santa Hat holding a sign for the Sun. I laughed. The Sun was mortified. And was even more mortified when his dad picked him up off the ground to hug him. But, like everything else he took it all in stride, knowing the reasons behind it all.
It was a pleasant few hours. SD lives about an hour from LAX, and while there was "traffic", like he said at least in LA, it moves. In New York you come to a complete standstill. SD's apartment is all standard-issue white and beige, and he tends to dark leather furniture. But it was nice. And neat. MUCH neater than mine. I was very happy to see he's made a life for himself out in LA, and he's the happiest I've ever seen him. He even got elected Vice President of his union.... and while we were driving he was saying something about how he had to fight something and the steps he'd take, and I laughed and said "And then you'll be senator!"
He had a little tree that lit up to music... he always did like kitchsy stuff like that... and underneath it he had put a present for me... a neck pillow. Which came in mighty handy later on.
We didn't have time to have a sit-down dinner, so we stopped by a local burrito place. The Sun was so happy... and I was happy for him. At one point he grabbed my pinky and his dad's pinky and just grinned. It's been a long war, and all the Sun has ever known was war between his parents. And as a parent... if you're a parent at war--whether full blown or guerrilla-style--with your Co-Parent, if you are reading this I'm telling you that at some point you have to make peace. It sounds corny, but the kid really needs you to.
And no, despite being teased by the Professor about mating for life... maybe so... but if that's the case I'll be single for life cuz I could never ever go back. Or forward, smart-ass. I just couldn't do it. But I like that there's a truce.
They dropped me off, the Sun and I, at John Wayne Airport in the OC at about 7:15, and I started my journey home. This one sucked. Not so much cuz I missed the Sun but because as an airline, especially compared to Virgin, United SUCKED. Seats much narrower and cramped; not nearly as clean; and you STILL have to pay for food. I had to change planes in San Francisco, and while I was able to confirm my seat online for the short flight, for some reason I couldn't do it online for the long flight. So there were like 12 passengers standing around waiting for the attendants to give us seat assignments... consequently it ended up that four of us--myself included--were the last motherfuckers to board the plane. I was tired, I was hot, I was cranky. My left ear was still blocked. Thank God for SD's neck pillow... and that God blessed me with a window seat. I made myself as small as possible and passed out.
Then there were the emotional issues. For the first time in awhile I really missed TomCat. My rational mind knows why... and my rational mind understands completely all that happened. I am no longer bewildered and if nothing else, I may lie to other people or keep shit close to the chest though I tend to be pretty honest here, but in the dark when it's just me I'm ruthless in my attempt to dissect shit, and I know what happened, and why, and where I digressed. But it still sucks balls, as my friend the CrazyNicaraguanChick would say. And coming back to New York hurt like hell.
The Professor picked me up at JFK, in the rain and the ice melting, which I appreciated beyond measure and without words because I knew ahead of time I'd be starting to fall apart. We went to breakfast out here on the rock, and then I came home, took a shower and went to bed.
Later on I went with Shoefly, like I do every year, to her BigSister's house. Her bigsister and my littlesister are cosmic twins, so being around Bigsister is easy. And she can cook. We had a great time, though everyone sorely missed the Sun and it kinda put a very small damper on the evening. But Bigbear and Professor also came... all one big happy family. I was highly amused though, when the Chinese daughter-in-law broke out the coquito she'd made. It was pretty good, too.
We got home about about 2A, and life really began to suck. All I'm going to say about Christmas Day is that this year was high up on my list of Top10 Suckiest Days Ever. And I keep saying I don't keep Christmas cuz I don't. But it sucked not keeping it. One low point was going with UpstairsNeighbor to visit her 90 YO mom in the nursing home, along with Thumbelina. UN was struggling as it was, which I knew, because this is her second Christmas without her beloved Mr. Kip.
We get to the nursing home which no doubt about it, is probably one of the most depressing places on the planet on Christmas Day, even though a good portion of the residents have no idea that it's Christmas. Or care, even, since it's actually a Jewish nursing home.
Mom was glad to see everyone, and enjoyed her presents, but somewhere in the time that UN went to sign her out so that we could take her out, Mom realized she didn't quite know where she was, or that it was Christmas, and it wasn't her regular day to go out, and she got majorly pissy.
So her and UN, riding in another car than me and Thumbelina, got into an argument and Mom wanted to go back to the Home. Now, me on the outside understood the dynamics of what was happening, but it just added fuel to the fire of UN's bad mood and so she directed Thumbelina to bring me back home. I haven't seen her since.
And while I was sitting there in the dark that evening I was so tempted to write her a note to tell her... you can cry for what was. And I know you miss him terribly but you had a great time. ME? I'm crying for what will never, ever be. Be grateful for what you lost.
But, of course I didn't. Not yet, anyway.
If it hadn't been for CrazyNicaraguanChick who insisted I come out with her (we ended up just the two of us, sitting in an empty fucking bar drinking a Corona and eating Jalapeno Poppers. Oh the joy!), I would have done some of my best wallowing. Which leads me to a small rant. People piss me the fuck off. I know I'm not the easiest person in the world to get along with, but Lord knows I try. And above all, I try to be honest. I don't believe for a second that notifying the world of my faults excuses them. I know that a lot of the same things I don't like about people are traits that I own myself... which is probably why other people's faults annoy the fuck out of me, precisely because they remind me of my own.
But I try to look out for those folks in mental distress because I know what that feels like. Fabulous had said to me that you can't give 100% because you'll never get it back, therefore you only give a smaller percentage because your small percentage equals more than what they're used to.
And it made sense for a minute, and I thought about it for a long time but I realized that doesn't work for me. Because I'm a mother.
The first thing that changed about me when the Sun came along was that I couldn't hear him cry and not want to do something about it. Like feed him, or change him, or comfort him. Or maybe all he needed was for me to talk to him. But he needed something, and not having words yet, he cried. It taught me to listen outside of myself, to hear what he needed. And to fulfill it, even if it was at cost to myself. I remember when he was about a year old I'd contracted Hepatitis A from eating lunch in the Morgan Stanley Cafeteria, and I was so unbelievably sick I called my mother to come sit with me. I couldn't even lift my head. SD was being a major prick (which in hindsight I know was that he just couldn't handle it, didn't know what to do and was terrified, so he ran) and it was just me and the kid, and the few hours my mom was there.
And I was still nursing... and for the most part the Sun was way more into nursing than into food, and as sick as I was, if he needed milk, I nursed him. I couldn't NOT nurse him.... it's what he needed.
And that changed me profoundly.... so that if I detect need the only way for me not to fulfill it is just not to let the person "in". I can't just give them "a little bit". Its all-or-nothing. But I try to listen out, and if I have it to give, I give. I hate the phone, but I'll call someone if I know they need it. Better yet I'll text... cuz at least they know I'm thinking of them.
But these last few days? The only fuckers to reach out to me aside from family are Shoefly and CrazyNicaraguanChick. Oh, and Nene. And that goes for texting, too. The only time my phone rings, about every two hours, it's the bill collectors. And I'm pissed like a motherfucker. I realized on Christmas Day that I hadn't heard from my close friend BeautifulHair in ages. Obviously I must have pissed her off, but hellifIknow what it is, and I did try to ask her. Once fairly recently I called her by accident, but when I realized it was her I didn't hang up. She didn't pick up, or return the call. And on Christmas I didn't even get a text from her. So fuck it. She didn't reach out... nor will I. I'm done being nice to people.
But I'm also a forgiving bitch so I'll get over it.
I dread New Years like you wouldn't believe. It's so bad I made an offer I knew could be refused to someone I knew would refuse me, and they did, in their usual-cowardly-"Lets just not acknowledge it at all and maybe it'll go away" way, but it's all good. Cut that motherfucker off, too. I think I'm going to stay in my apartment till it's over, New Years. Hibernate. I don't want to be the fifth wheel, the cute single chick: "Oh, she's so talented/funny/cute", I don't want to be drunk. I don't want to be with someone who's into me but I'm not into them, and I damn sure don't want to be around anybody I'm into that isn't into me. So fuck it...
Last year I sat on my RedCouch with Peanutbutter and enjoyed it, actually. This year, I'm gonna sit there by myself, and wait for him to come home. Because at least I have me. I can count on me. And come 2009 it's gonna be a whole new bitch. Back to Black.
Leastways, that's how I feel today...
And since I can't ever be All-Black (don't think I'd make a really good Goth), and always have to find something good... I got a cool present from UN and Thumbelina. A $100 gift card to the supermarket. And some really nice-smelling soap from Shoefly. Like, so-nice-you-don't-want-to-use-it, nice. And yesterday I hung out with the Fam and Bigbear bought me a tall IVAR piece from Ikea so I can try to organize my art supplies (currently my living room is a shambles but it'll be allright) and my sis took me to karate last night--and waited--so I could work out and spar. And that was cool. LittleSensei actually taught me stuff and didn't try to whale on me.
I'm a survivor. A pissed-off one, but a survivor nonetheless....