I get stuff done. My house stays tidy and organized. My toenails are painted. There is healthy food in the fridge. I even eat it. I text my family and sometimes my friends. I take yoga most days. I’ve taught a few classes. When teaching I’ve done a good job pretending to be a normal person. My students laugh and move and leave with what they needed. One guy told me that he missed my wit and is glad to have me back. I replied that it’ll be better when I'm back to being myself. But c’mon, I’ll never be her again. That’s not me being forlorn and dramatic; my massive loss has made me different. I still have the the basic elements that make Megan, but I’m changed. I don’t know what I’m like now. I know that I don’t have much interest in being who I have been.
Jim said that he thought of himself as average. Average height. Average looking. Just your average guy. But we know that he wasn’t. He was vibrant. Being with him animated me.
Physically, I keep my commitments. Mentally I’m disengaged. It’s good I’m a decent faker. My days are a lot about Just Get It Over With so that my new constant companion, the sink in my stomach, and I can go home, settle into my nest in the far corner of the big couch, and watch The Great British Bake Off over and over. It’s all I want to do. I’ve seen every episode of all six seasons at least four times and the first three seasons more than that. For some reason it’s what I want to spend time with.
I look awful. I have a dull complexion and a dreary countenance. Drained, sad, weighted—my heart shows in my face—and I don’t care.
It's weird and even little offensive that people are living as usual. That they even can. But sometimes it feels stupid that I can’t get past Jim’s death. It’s never not hurting me. Should I be better? Should I have moments where I feel fine? Better not, because I don’t. People love to say “time will heal,” but A) I don’t so much want it to, and B) no it won’t. Time will just pass. It won’t heal me. It might teach me. By way of time I will learn how to do more, to be more productive, but it won’t un-widow me. It won’t bring him back. The only thing that could heal me and whole me is having my Jim.
Gone. Just gone. Trying to explain how that feels is futile. I know time has passed. It doesn’t feel like it. Has a month and a half really gone by? Has it really been that long since I’ve walked Gus or listened to music in my car? When I have to tell someone that I’m lazy or uninterested or just an all-around bummer because my husband died and they say they’re sorry for my loss and I thank them and try to push the conversation forward, what I really want to do is yell, “No! You don’t understand. This isn’t just some guy dying in a plane crash. He was different. He was special. Not just special to me because I’m in love with him, but actually special. Our relationship was enviable and beautiful and that makes all this sadder . . . ”
And here, I’ll say it, why in the hell didn’t an asshole die? The world is teeming with them, and the guy that died was Jim? Really? Jim? It couldn’t have been someone who sucks instead of the most thoughtful, most attentive, most selfless, most playful, most entertaining man, like, ever? Really? That’s what had to happen? That’s bullshit.
I wish I had his glasses. I have his backup pair and they’re the exact same style, but I want the ones he wore every day. But if his wedding ring came back to me bent and burned how mangled must his plastic glasses have been? I guess so bad that that the Medical Examiner’s office wouldn’t even offer them to me. Only the ring and his watch face, which was unharmed. Guys, buy Rolex. The bracelet from his watch was gone, but the face didn’t have a single ding and was still ticking when we got it back. If that’s not a compelling advertisement for Rolex, I can’t think what would be. The thing survived a plane crash with fatalities.
|I hate this picture because it's before I got filler in my face and fixed the parentheses lines, |
but I love it because it's real life. Jim is cleaning his glasses on my wedding dress.
I’m all death all the time. Before Jim died, at the end of some yoga classes I told the students not to hesitate to ask me questions after class because “yoga is my favorite thing to talk about.” On the way home some nights Jim would correct me, “Yoga isn’t your favorite thing to talk about. I am. But that annoys people. I’m just a liiittle bit too awesome.” Too true. He was all I wanted to talk about before he died; he’s all I’m able to talk about since a fiery plane crash stole what mattered to me. It is so hard to care about anything—about anyone—else. I don’t care about the election or the fires in south Reno or people’s jobs or their kids. None of it matters to me. I’ve been thoughtful in my past, but with my heart went my good soul. I suck now.
I’m difficult to encounter in person. People don’t know how to handle me. Hey guess what? Neither do I. I don’t want to be treated differently. I don’t want to be treated the same. I don’t want to be ignored. I don’t want attention. I don’t want people to give me those sad eyes that they can’t help but give me, but I don’t want them to pretend nothing is horribly wrong. There is no right answer. Some moments I’m trying to do a good job living, teaching class, taking class, eating the right quantity of food that’s good for me. Other moments I’m laying in bed only going downstairs to get more of too much ice cream and too much Swedish Fish.
I want to park at Raley’s and before going inside text Jim to ask if he wants me to get him anything in particular at the store. And I want to get back the same answer he’d send every time, “Pineapple. Thanks, baby.” Man, he loved me. It felt exhilarating. It felt comforting. It felt too good to be true. And, well, turns out it kinda was.