Emotional Cutting

Emotional CuttingI am an emotional cutter.

I spent yesterday haunting the places we used to love; feeling his spirit, sensing his smile, knowing his warmth, and missing him more than ever.

At first, when I went into The Silver Peak, I felt a vague sense of familiarity; we had been there so many times before.  We would sit on the patio and laugh across the table over plates of hummus, pita bread, olive tapenade (although, truth be told, he hated the olive tapenade), and endless glasses of white wine.  We hosted co-workers through crises, drunken spiels about their love lives, and the odd quirkiness of their personalities.  The Silver Peak was our place.

However, last night was entirely different; it was cold and crisp.  The tables that usually graced the sidewalk were packed away and completely out of sight; I sat at the bar alone and ordered the chicken tacos, not the Greek Sampler.  I ordered a Malibu Press, my current signature drink, instead of “our” bottle of white.  The crowd was entirely different, too; it was younger, hipper, or was I just feeling so damn old that I they appeared young.

I passed the time talking to the bartender and two young men at the end of the bar; they confirmed the crowd was altered.  Years before, the establishment was filled with lawyers and professionals from the downtown office buildings; now, artists, beatniks, and tourists filled the restaurant and crowded the bar.  Nevertheless, it did not matter, it was not my place anymore, I was infringing on a memory, and I was a ghost.

My quest to torture myself did not end with one slice across my flesh; I walked up the street and meandered through the smiling vacationers, sinking into my memories.  I paused in front of Rum Bullions, picturing him sitting with my daughter on her 21st birthday, smiling, laughing, and socializing.  The overhead music was Nickelback, some sentimental song that always makes me think of him; I stood frozen in front of the giant mining structure in the middle of The Silver Legacy.  Would the pain ever end?

Apparently, not anytime soon; I walked into the last place I should have been, Bistro Roxy.  I sat at the bar and ordered one of the 102 martinis they have on the menu; it was all I could do to choke back my tears as I sat swirling the sweet liqueurs mixing in my glass as I listened to the piano thinking of him.  The crowd was fun and lively, but it was too old, it was not our crowd.  The drink was the same, too sweet, too sticky, too expensive; he would have known which one to order for me… he always got it just right.  But the rest of it was all wrong; the people were too old, the bartender was too dull, my mood was too dark, and he was not there.

I should not have gone there, to our places; but returning to a town where we fell in love, there is not one place without his fingerprints, his smile, his smell, him.

The cutting continues today as I listen to Pandora… Michael Buble, Nickelback, James Blunt, even Trans-Siberian Orchestra (in February?) all so diverse, but each one of them is us, is him.

My Sister and Me

My sister and brother-in-law came back to their house this weekend to finish packing


everything and to take me back with them to Phoenix until I return home to my significant other in December.  I needed a place to stay, and they needed somebody to house-sit for the last few months so it has worked out nicely all the way around.

I have been almost completely alone for months, except for the weekly to bi-weekly visits from my mother when she would come up to take me shopping for supplies and to do laundry.  The house is in an incredibly isolated area with the only nearby houses being abandoned or vacant for years, no traffic, and the only noise is the sound of the wind rustling through the canyon.  One friend of mine recently opined via email that he likened my situation to that of the caretakers in The Shining, as I am highly sensitive to anything scary, it did not exactly give me the warm fuzzies.

So, I thought I would feel a great sense of relief, even happiness, knowing that she was coming and that I would no longer be alone.  I should be thrilled to have company, I am outgoing and love to talk, should be thrilled to be going to a city, I have long been a city girl… so, what is wrong with this picture?

I have spent the past few days thinking about my relationship with my sister; she is 10 years younger than I am, we also have an older sister who is 3 years older than me, and a brother who is 5 years younger than me.  This sister and I did not grow up particularly close, but then again, I could not say that anybody in my family was very close to any one family member, we all kind of just had to survive and then each just had to get the “heck out of Dodge” in our own way when we got the chance.
As we became adults, we have had bouts of going years without speaking, but that was mostly just me, being the black sheep of the family.  So, I have been in and out with this sister; and most recently, until I came up here to stay with her, I had not seen or talked to her regularly for several years.  However, once I came to stay with her, we were together every day for a month until she left to join her husband, and we had a great time, I imagine as normal sisters do; we laughed, we talked, we reminisced.

Then, Sunday afternoon as I was spending the day with her and her husband it struck me why I am not overjoyed at this reunion and at the prospect of spending the next month and a half with her and her family; I do not know how to just be a normal sister with her.  I was feeling incredibly melancholy that day, missing my significant other, at one point I felt like crying, but I had nobody to talk to, nobody to tell.  I could not tell her, I could not talk to her; we had never done that, we do not share in that way, we are not close in that manner.  I think that is what a sister does, what a sister is, what it feels like to be a sister, but I have no idea how to even open my mouth and say those words to her, nor she to me.

While we are blood of the same parents, we do not have that bond of sisterhood, we cannot communicate, we cannot share, we cannot love in that way.  We are each separate, in our own bubble.  I do not know her, but I know me, I am flat.