Disappointing the Page

by thoughtsatlarge

The blank page stares back at me, expectantly. My head aches from coughing, and my throat is on fire. My eyes and nose have sprung leaks and drip incessantly. I’m sitting here alone listening to music and trying to write something intelligent. The Benadryl is in full force, and my head spins, looking for a pillow with which to snuggle. The kids are back at school, and I am alone. The dog has pneumonia and pancreatitis and sits below me looking at me as if I might have some noble answers for him. I do not.

Shouldn’t I be up doing something? Don’t I have a honeydew list somewhere and if so, does it matter? I am lost in the music, searching for that perfect place in that perfect song when the guitarist goes away within himself on a live recording. He can no longer hear or see the crowd, but disappears within himself and the Fender extension of himself. If I could play like that on one song, I would be happy and never pick up the guitar again.

The rain has stopped, not that we had any flooding in my neighborhood. I understand that two people in Houston died during the storm. In other news, four people were beheaded by ISIS and all souls were lost aboard a Russian jet when it crashed in Egypt. Happy news from all around the globe.

It’s Halloween, the day when Lisa would answer the door full of excitement to see the costumes worn by the youngest children. It is the first holiday I have spent alone. I am not happy about it but resigned to the fact that I am now alone and forever shall be. I am not the bar hopping type and feel too old for that anyway. And I don’t think I’ll be going on Farmers Only anytime soon to set up an account. Can you imagine? I am constantly adding to my retirement account but have no idea why. I tinker with the assignments and track results meticulously. To what end? I guess I’ll have a nice nest egg for the kids to split when I’m gone. I honestly do not see a future for myself.

If this is the grieving process, I can’t wait to get my certificate of completion. I had the first dream I can remember about Lisa the other night. She was not sick, in fact, she was healthy and full of life. She told me she was getting married, that our marriage was over, and she was moving on without me. What a mix of emotions I had when I awoke. In the months preceding her death, I had only one other dream about her that I can remember. She was sick and knew she was dying. She told me to buy a condominium on the water in Newport. Not sure what to do with that.

I don’t’ know what to do anymore. The house is bereft of life, food, and interest. My heart aches all the time, and I cannot turn without feeling the knife plunge into my chest as I see another design accent Lisa created or how she took this dwelling and made it home. When does this end?

I hate to sound as if I’m complaining. I have it pretty good. But without anyone to share it, it is meaningless. I am hanging on to my children with eagle talons, unwilling to acknowledge that they are one year away from leaving me for good (as they should). I insinuate myself into their lives to belong. Without them, I am a shell. It is hard enough being a single parent without facing the fact that even that job will expire next year when they strike off on their own. Oh, sure, I’ll be here in case they have a problem, but the family unit will be broken permanently. My eyes are leaking again. But I don’t think it is the fault of the cold I have. No, this is from deep inside and beyond the reach of a virus. This is emotion and truth. My chest hurts and all I want to do is talk to Lisa about it. I want to feel better; I want to feel like I did when I had a future. But she is gone, and I am alone.

How long do I wear my wedding band? Is there a book somewhere that tells you what is acceptable? I am an atheist, I think. Therefore, there is no heaven or hell, only this life. So if it is until death do us part, I should be able to remove my wedding band without guilt. So why do I want to hold onto it? Is it in case there is an afterlife? Do I still have a chance to spend a future with Lisa beyond this realm? My head says no, but I continue to wear the ring as if it is some ticket to a future paradise. I cannot square that circle in my head.

I have written 1,000 words now and have said nothing, both disappointing my expectant page and myself. There is no passion in my soul right now. I am in search of something to do. Some small victory to achieve which will validate my existence. Any ideas? All I do is stare at Facebook, Twitter, and CNN. These are the tabs open on my browser. All I get from them is news and memes from friends on Facebook, trolls on Twitter, and bad news from CNN. Surely there is more to life. I am (only) fifty years old. Do I not have something else to contribute? The guitarist has gone away now. I am going with him. I cannot play it, but I can feel it. Do not come back to the band, play within yourself and without yourself and carry me along on your notes like a wave at the beach. I do not want to drown, but I do want to taste the life that sea water offers. I miss Lisa. I miss my life.