And so a new year has begun. Better yet, a new decade has begun. I must admit, denizens, I’m at a bit of a loss as to where the “Noughties” went. Y2K still seems like it was “just last year”…although perhaps I’ve been circling about in that causality loop a lot longer than I thought. If only Dr. Crusher had spent less time drinking hot toddies with the Captain and more time paying attention to all those clues around her, maybe I wouldn’t have lost an entire decade…
(Seriously, did you think that I could start the new year without some kind of geek reference?)
Things have been noticeably quiet here at the lair as of late. I’m sure those who are regular visitors can guess as to why. But I’m not in a guessing mood, so let’s just name this black-cloaked elephant that has parked its ginormous tuchus in the middle of my lair and my life for far too long. The past
year decade has been a bit of a rough one. Starting in 2001, Death decided that he wanted to hang out and be best buds with my family for a while. We lost 9 members of my family from 2001-2010…actually, 11 if you count my dog Jodie and my cat Data, which I do. They were as much a part of my heart as any human could be…and if I’m completely honest right now, they were closer to me than I allow most humans to ever become.
This was an equal opportunity culling, with Death sampling from both sides of my family. It was such a frequent sampling that I feel as though I’ve earned my very own Ph.D. in the subject. In some ways, I feel as though all of this loss somehow defines me now, which is silly considering the fact that most people don’t even know about all this. I keep so much inside that I’m willing to bet most of the people reading this right now had no idea about the extent of my familial losses.
Of course, keeping so much inside has its side effects. Since May of last year, I’ve gone through a bit of major shrinkage. Back then, I was at the outer reaches of a size 12. My jeans are now crazy 8s. It’s not as if I’m skipping meals or purging or anything morbid like that. I still eat breakfast, lunch, and dinner. I still drink (although prophets help me if I try to drink as much as I used to; apparently my fat was my “girdle of strength” in regard to my superhero-sized tolerance). I just…lost interest in food after my mom died.
Instead, I found myself
wanting needing to constantly be on the move. I needed to walk. Walk after dinner. Walk on the weekends. Walk at the park. Walk in the neighborhood. Walk until my eyes burned from the sweat and my legs ached and I couldn’t concentrate on anything beyond these physical discomforts. Because then? Then, I couldn’t think. Then I could only collapse on the couch and let my brain lapse into the silence of exhaustion.
People who don’t know about my mother keep asking me what I’ve been doing and telling me that I look great. Truth be told, physically I feel great. I have never been this in-shape in my entire adult life, and I confess that I like it (yes, Mr. Pacino, vanity is apparently my favorite sin as well). I just wish I had been more aware that it was happening. I completely tuned myself out for a while, though. Next thing I know, I’m standing up from my desk chair at work, stepping on the hem of a pant leg, and defrocking myself in my office. Thank the prophets my office mate wasn’t there that day. And don’t worry, denizens…I’ve made sure to replace those pants with ones that aren’t so easy to lose. There will be no unintended moonings here at the lair. I can’t make any promises about intentional ones, however.
As for how I feel in other ways? There is a rawness inside me that I still cannot fathom facing. I just don’t know how. “Unfinished business” of the permanent variety is a horrible sensation, and I feel as if it’s the label of shame I now carry in regard to my relationship with my mom. My very own scarlet “A”…for what? Absent? Annoyed? Arrogant? Asinine? These are all self-imposed labels and feelings, I suppose. Then again, she’s not here anymore to tell me that I shouldn’t feel this way. And that’s what I’m having the most trouble handling. She’s gone and I feel as though I played every hand wrong while she was here.
So, for now, I keep walking. If I can’t exorcise my demons, I’ll at least exercise the hell out of them. Sooner or later I’m bound to stop, right? Besides, I can’t imagine I can shrink much more before someone straps me down and starts force-feeding me candy corn and Cheetos.
But was this past decade a complete bust? No. Through all of the losses that my family has endured, I’ve learned that resilience is an amazing parlor trick of the heart and those who love you never completely leave you. I’ve learned that people really do live on through our memories and even the ugliest of souls have lessons to teach.
I’ve learned that what’s meant to be cannot be stopped, only sidetracked temporarily. But it will find its way eventually.
I’ve learned that, if I wasn’t so daft at math, I think that being a Crime Scene Investigator would have been a perfect fit for my anal-retentive, puzzle-solving, obsessive-compulsive, über-organizational personality. Either that or I really need to stop watching so much CSI.
I’ve learned that, even without being a CSI, I can love what I do for a living and have fun doing it.
I’ve learned that my geekery cannot be tamed, but when channeled properly, it can be a force used for good. Or at least for good entertainment.
I’ve learned that I love being a Synner.
I’ve learned that being very vague is very fun.
I’ve also learned that I’ve got a helluva lot left to learn. And a helluva lot left to blather on about here at the lair. More books to read, more DVDs to review, more geekery to spread like a sweaty, smelly virus that’s bound to drive Agent Smith back to standing in a frock on a rock with General Zod and Alexander Hartdegen, which would be such a drag. And, dear denizens, if any of you followed this last sentence from start to finish and got what I was talking about, my heart is most assuredly yours.
So there you have it: That’s me, wrapping up my state of mind from this past year/decade in thick plastic sheeting and dumping it for Pete Martell to find when he heads out for his morning fishing sabbatical. Don’t let Andy see. His tears will muck things up for Agent Cooper. And bring me some more of that damn fine coffee, Norma. I’m having another outbreak of Lynchian insanity. Backwards. With little people.
The owls really are never what they seem. And neither is the lair. But face it, denizens…this is why you keep coming back. At least I hope so. Just remember: The rest is yet to come…