On silent feet

I’m sitting at our big kitchen table, the dogs have had their dinner. The cats came by for their drive-thru meal and then ran out the kitchen door again to explore all the scents on the wind. GG is off for the weekend and the house is still.

We’ve had a curfew for several months now. Cafes and restaurants are only open for takeaway, non essential stores are closed and pretty much your whole life is meant to be lived inside your house unless absolutely essential. This has been a long grind.

What had made a difference to the days blending into each other and the boring routines was the addition of someone to our household. LB had started coming by to use the spare computer downstairs, since all the public libraries and computers have been inaccessible. Eventually the unpredictable weather storms brought LB in to stay. This was a positive change.

As anytime you begin to live with someone new, there are all of the small steps of getting to know one other, learning habits and rhythms. Sometimes you learn through conversation or marathons of games like Scrabble in Dutch or Rummikub. Neither of which I was particularly successful at. There were nights of shared meals, building up gradually from once a week to every night. There were experiments with making homemade risotto, upside down leek tart and a number of other recipes that I would previously have classified as “For a Real Cook”.

Throughout it all, there was energy that something was being built, something positive and hopeful, like a growing plant. Selfishly, I know I needed this. It brought me perspective again and hope that after this long period of lockdown, things could still be done. It felt like possibility.

Last week, I felt unsettled. I felt like things were in danger of changing direction and it wouldn’t be a good outcome. I tried getting to the root of it. You know, as a problem solver I can’t sit still when I could be thinking about a solution. I couldn’t solve this one.

Between Sunday night late and Monday morning early, LB left on silent feet. Everything perfectly in it’s place as if it had never been disturbed, keys in the mail slot. Just now, I went down and saw that all of the things that had been given were perfectly lined up in a bookcase next to the bed. The site of those objects there feels like a confirmation of the rejection I have been feeling and not putting a name on.

The feeling of rejection is something that is at the core of what hurts. Logically I know that I cannot know what LB was thinking or feeling. I have done the “What If” laundry list with myself 100 times at least this past week. With GG I have done it 25 times.

But I don’t know. It’s unlikely that I will find out any time soon. I might never. There are lots of unanswered questions with regards to people that have been part of my life. What I do know is that if we do see each other again, I hope that we will be able to talk. I hope that the time that LB was here was a place to recharge and feel safe, despite the departure. I hope that LB understands that the door is always open. I sent an old fashioned SMS saying so, so far unanswered.

Until then, we’ll have to adjust to the missing. I’ve thought about how I attach to people as well. Thanks to all of the experience with Raven, it’s something I have not been afraid of doing for years. I grab hold quickly and I hang on. I am okay with that 🙂 When I was younger, I thought it was much more important not to be attached. It was also safer, I thought. People can’t hurt you or can hurt you less. Over the years I’ve figured out that being hurt is not something that you can avoid but you will survive it. There are things you can learn from it. The risk of being hurt is far outweighed by the benefits of being open, caring deeply and showing it. Right as I typed that sentence, Pickle came running out of nowhere to stand next to me long enough to purr deeply and then move on to seeing if there was something to find in the dog bowls. Seems like a good moment to close on.

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