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One Lesson, Taught Twice

August 17, 2008

So it’s Sunday night and I’m almost done with my long weekend of being on my own.  I’ve actually really enjoyed it.  I got a lot of stuff done, enjoyed the freedom and quietude, and ate a crap-ton of junk food: pizza, ice cream, Cookie Crisp, potato chips… vodka.  Although my stomach is definitely letting me know what it thinks about my falling off the fresh-veggie-wagon, it’s been nice, in its instantly gratifying way.

I ended up running a lot of errands, cooking a bit, and making the laundry bag I mentioned (Drawstrings!  Handles!  Felled seams for strength!).  I also made myself a new daybag from some upholstery fabric I got in the as-is bin at IKEA, which I dared to visit on Thursday.  The Blue Monster was largely a disappointment, but I did get to take the free water taxi back to Manhattan and see all four of the Waterfalls, so not all was lost. 

It was nice to be able to make a big mess in the apartment with the sewing machine and the ironing board and random tools and spools and be able to leave it out when it got too late — which was very late, because I stayed up until after two almost every night.  But today I finished everything and cleaned up the fabric explosion and the apartment is looking great.  I’d post pictures of the bag/s, but RB has the camera with him.

Things I learned while Robot Boy was gone:

1. He almost always gets the mail from the postbox and keeps the kitties in food.
2. He generates a LOT of dirty dishes.
3. He takes up the perfect amount of bed-space.
4. He apparently keeps me on a decent schedule with food and sleep.
5. I like being alone, but I like being with him even more.

Just as I was reflecting on my satisfied solitude, I got a call from a friend of ours.  She’s always busy and travels a lot, so it’s not surprising to get a call from her out of the blue after a couple months of silence.  But this time she sounded different.  I quickly learned that her boyfriend of four years (a great guy who we like a lot and always hang out with when he’s in the country) had broken up with her, and she was as wrecked as you would expect her to be.

There’s really nothing you can say in a situation like that, beyond repeating “I’m sorry, I’m so sorry” over and over again.  She had apparently been having a really bad summer in general: her grandmother had died,  while she was staying with the boyfriend overseas, her sublettor somehow brought bedbugs to her apartment, so she had to deal with that upon returning, and then Captain Heartbreak delivered the hat-trick.

Anyway, I offered her a place to stay, or dinner, or drinks, or whatever she felt she needed.  It was clear she didn’t want to be alone.  She had already invited another friend (who was on the way) over to her place, so  I told her to call me when she needed a place to crash, or hand-holding, or distraction, and I think she’s probably going to spend part of the day here tomorrow.   I know there’s nothing I can do except help her wait out the first few hours/days of shock and grief, and it feels really feeble.  But I have kleenex, and good chocolate, and wine, and a bottle of patience around here somewhere.  I can’t let myself imagine how she must feel–everyone thought they were in it for the long-haul.  Well, except him, I guess.

RB should be home before dinner-time tomorrow, and I intend to hug him extra hard when he walks in the door.

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