Late this afternoon, I finally started packing. I've been sorting, organizing, until now.
I packed a lot of books. I have that sharp back pain already, the one that's so familiar from the many, many moves I've done in my life. I hate this familiarity. When will I stop moving? I'm so, so tired of it. I'm tired of doing it alone. If this were packing to move with GF, it would feel different. Now, doing it by myself, packing just feels like a return to my essential aloneness. It feels like a confrontation with the failure of my relationship.
Packing away books. Most of them will go into rented storage, along with most of the things I own. All I'm bringing to A's are clothes, a half-bookcase of books, CDs, a few files and office stuff and a few pieces of art, including the new one. What I like least is putting away my many books. I guess that, as an academic, books are my identity. Putting them away reminds me that I barely know who I am right now, really. And I have no clear picture of the future.
The worst of it was finding, between the pages of a book I was leaving for GF, a copy of a letter I wrote to her. It's not dated, but I think that it is from 2003. When we were having intense problems. It is a detailing of pain, and a cataloguing of the ways I felt about her. As I put it, I needed to express, even in the face of the walls she was putting up. Ha - as if that would help. We ended up in counseling. We tried so hard. And it didn't work.
But sometimes it feels as if it could. It has felt that way this week. I must be crazy, letting us be this close this week. Making her a real dinner last night, dessert and all. Curling up three nights in a row with her to re-watch Season 1 of The L Word. Continuing to share a bed with her. Cuddling. She has even been calling me from work, in the afternoons. Just to say hi. We haven't done this for ages, had this call every day. Not since last spring.
And you know why I think it is that she's calling me? Because she's lonely and terrified. Because the date I stupidly, forgettingly picked to move out is an anniversary date for her. The date that makes January difficult for her. The 31st anniversary of the tragedy that defined her, that made her her the enigmatic, soft-hard person that she is. The trauma I've never been able to really understand. That lack of understanding has, I think, been part of the tragedy of us. How could I be so stupid, to pick this week, this very day, to move?