Matt is on a plane to Scotland as I type. He needed to return home for about two weeks to sort some things out, and will be returning after that for a three-month visit (90 days is the longest he is allowed to stay in the U.S. at a stretch, per the visa waiver program currently in place between our respective countries).
I had a nice little breakdown at the airport. Tried very hard not to cry, and failed miserably – burst out into huge, jagged, red-faced sobs (and Matt was quite a bit moist as well, which I found oddly reassuring). I think we may have annoyed some innocent bystanders. Our goodbyes were quite prolonged and punctuated by lots of kisses, hugs, sniffles, caresses, longing gazes, and other similar things that make strangers barf and wish that you would move the hell out of their way so they can get through the security checkpoint to the metal detectors, already. I finally watched him head up the escalator towards the boarding area, until I lost sight of him. He turned around many times to catch my eye and wave. I know he misses and loves me just as much as I do him. That is something completely new. I am grateful for it.
Now I’m back at the motel where I will be spending the next few nights (I check out Friday morning and need to return to the trailer at Wal-Mart), and I’m trying to keep myself occupied with random things like surfing the Internet, catching up on “So You Think You Can Dance”, making dinner (ramen noodles), reading books – anything to keep my mind off the gaping hole in my life. But nothing is working. You see, it was hard enough being without Matt before he ever actually came out here. I wanted to be around him in the worst way. But now that he has been here, it’s about a million times worse. I’m not only longing for something I’ve never had, I’m now missing something that has been here, filled my life, and is now absent. It’s a very slight, intangible difference, but it’s there.
The passenger seat of my car feels empty. My hand feels empty without his to hold. The bed in the motel feels empty without him to cuddle with. Everything feels kind of sepia-coloured and there’s a weight on my chest. Occasionally I think I’m all cried out, but something like a half-finished carton of grape juice or a bag of Doritos he left behind will start me off again. My pillow smells like him. There’s still sand on the floor that we tracked in from our day at Newport Beach this weekend (he wanted to see the Pacific Ocean). Perhaps I’ll feel a little better once I know his flight has landed and he’s arrived safely. But even then, I know I can’t be completely top-notch again until he’s here with me, and we’re wrapping up all the loose ends to ensure that we won’t have to be parted again.
* * * * *
The “sweet” part of my bittersweet day came after leaving the airport. I stopped by the post office to check my P.O. box. Inside – oh, happy day! – sat 6 EDD claim forms. That’s right, after months of waiting, phone calls, e-mails, and stressing… I have received the paperwork to file for 12 weeks’ worth of retroactive UI benefits. I mail them out tomorrow; the resulting checks are *supposed* to be returned to me within 10 business days, which means that soon I could be brandishing $5,700 (normally would be $5,400 but a stimulus program in place provides me an extra $25 per week, which sounds small, but obviously adds up over time).
So… woohoooooooooo!!!!!! I have to be very careful with the money – hoard it up and get a mortgage all straightened out. This is a huge step towards Matt and I buying our own home (which is good, since a place I was in love with was just sold to another interested party… I’m awfully torn up about it; I hope I don’t have to experience that kind of disappointment again). I just have to scrimp and save and not blow it. I am staying in the trailer for the weeks that Matt is in Scotland; once he returns, we are probably going to stay in a rented motorhome for $450/month. It will be on the same property Fezzik is being boarded at, so we will be able to be with him full-time, and Matt can take him out for long walks every day and bond with his new dog. The motorhome will also be hooked up with electricity and water, and we may even have cable TV and internet access included, which is obviously a vast improvement over Wal-Mart, and no facilities/utilities. The downside is that the ranch is in Norco/Riverside area, so it will be a long drive to work and back for me. With gas prices on the rise, that obviously isn’t super great. Still, $450 is so little per month, we should save enough to more than make up for the fuel costs.
Once we are esconced on the ranch, I would like to look into selling the trailer, and into settling with Wachovia and selling my car as well. That way, I can use the truck that I inherited from Bill, which is currently towing the trailer (and which is completely paid off). Gas mileage is worse on the truck than on my car, but again, there’s the issue of not having to make any more car payments to Wachovia the crooks.
I think things are finally looking up for us. I was a bit down this weekend because one of the tires on my car had a blowout, and I had to invest a lot of money in a new one that I hadn’t planned on spending – goodbye, paycheck! But then my claim forms finally arrived, and it’s a huge weight off my mind. Now, as long as my baby makes it home in one piece (and also returns to me safely in two weeks) I think things will be well on their way to perfect, or as perfect as imperfect, unpredictable life could ever possibly be for two crazy kids madly in love with one another.