So while I was getting laid off, Bear was busy interviewing for a new job. Life is a funny balance. And it happens all at once, sometimes.
He had to fly to Amsterdam on two days’ notice, and I was freaking out. My mind was a checklist, like, “Tiny travel deodorant! A towel, in case he has to wash his hair in the airport bathroom! Insulin and syringe prescriptions so that no one thinks he’s a terrorist or a drug addict! Gum! Tic tacs! Sunglasses!”
He was about to be under an enormous amount of pressure, and I was feeling it. I looked over the itinerary that the Dutch company had sent, the day of, and it was terrifying. Back- to-back meetings all day long. Everyone he was meeting with had a scarily important-sounding title. That’s how titles are supposed to work, I guess.
And then he was on a plane and I was standing in the checkout line at Whole Foods, and suddenly I was definitely going to throw up. It hit me like…um…a ball, hitting someone in the face. (OK, I failed there. Bad writer!) Anyway, it was extremely abrupt. I was unzipping my hoodie, remembering that I wasn’t wearing a bra and my shirt was not particularly thick and then zipping it back up halfway.
I was telling myself, “There’s no reason for you to throw up right now. Especially not here.” The automated voice was not calling a number for my line. She hadn’t in ages.
I did not throw up, somehow, but I did get a cab home, even though it is only three avenues and three blocks. I got in bed, my head blindingly painful now, and closed my eyes. I remembered my wedding night, when I felt just like that.
I had no idea what was happening to me.
But thinking about it later, I realized it was love. Something was changing. I was frantic with helplessness, across the world from Bear when he was going through something enormous. I could not meet those people for him, or remind him to hang up his suit, or anything. I had to wait. And I have never had to wait for someone like that. Because my life hasn’t ever been that bound to someone else’s life.
What was happening in Amsterdam was going to spread. It was going to come all the way back to me.
What a weird thing, to attach your life to someone else’s, so that everything they do impacts you in one way or another. I wanted this for him the way I want a major publishing house to commission a book from me. Except even more. Because I know myself, and I know that even if that doesn’t happen for me right now, that’s OK.
But I’m still getting to know him, and I’d rather just secure his happiness than chance it.
It’s a funny thing, still getting to know the person you’ve married. And of course that’s the way it works. But you don’t really think of it that way, when you’re getting married. You think of it like, “I know this person incredibly well, which is how I’m able to do this.” And you do know them incredibly well, but you are never done.
And it’s also a funny thing, the way I’m getting to know myself. I didn’t know I was a person who would feel sick for another person, out of worry, just because they had a job interview. Even if that interview was in Amsterdam, on very short notice.
But I am.
My friend Liane stayed over that night. We stayed up until 3:30 am, distracting me. It was a little embarrassing that I needed that much distracting.
“You know he’s going to get it, don’t you?” she said.
I didn’t know that. But I’m learning.
(does this make sense in any real way? I kinda like it even if it doesn’t. source)
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Un-roast: Today I love the way my legs look when I wear high heels.
Please check out my piece on Modern Love Rejects. It’s about this guy I dated once, named Serge. He had a scar on his face. My bio over there still thinks I work for AOL, but you guys know better.
Also, I’m published in print! The last time this happened, I was fourteen, and had written a poem about a funeral for a teen poets magazine. Find the online version of an interview I did with Home Education Magazine here.