Watching Kaia's cab stutter-step into traffic, yet again, I prepared for another month without her. Around six last night, I walked back into my warm apartment, all the lights lit and everything neat, orderly and fresh. It felt cold and dark.
As I settled onto the couch to have some dinner and ruminate on her impending return to California, I picked up the phone to make sure she didn't forget anything -- which is Boogie-speak for calling her just because I missed her. I hit the memory menu button and thumbed to her mobile phone entry, and as the phone dialed, I heard no dial tone but instead her giggling on the other end. She'd beaten me to it.
We talked for a little while before I opted out to let her call her parents to let them know her flight was delayed by an hour by fog -- which, I opined, was the City's way of honoring their soon-to-be departing guest.
I popped on the television and found an on-demand movie to watch, "Million Dollar Baby." I'd never seen it, despite hearing lots about it; aside from the fact it won the Oscar for Best Picture, I had been meaning to see it because I'm convinced Clint Eastwood is one of the most gifted movie directors ever. However, because its subject matter -- euthanasia -- is dramatic and less than uplifting, I hadn't been eager to spend two-plus hours getting myself depressed. I've been dealing with enough personally that I didn't need any help getting there; but since I was sad to see Kaia leave, I figured I had some free time and wanted to keep my mind occupied, so I fired it up. I fell asleep soon after it started, but I wound up waking back up and restarting it about ten minutes in, so it's all good.
Regarding the film, I won't go into much detail here, because the less one knows about the movie prior to seeing it, the better. But I will say that I am amazed and impressed by Clint Eastwood's ability to present, film after film, such great movies. Since I saw "Unforgiven," and certainly long before that, I've always been a fan of his; but while the Dirty Harry movies were somewhat dumbed-down fare and the "Money" Trilogy ("The Good, The Bad and The Ugly;" "A Fistful of Dollars;" and "For A Few Dollars More") was a bit simplistic, he's been churning out, one by one, memorable, well-crafted movies. "Million Dollar Baby" was no exception. It was heartfelt, honest, poignant and staggering in its perfection and ability to explore the topic and the moment and the relationships between the few characters in the film. Morgan Freeman and Hilary Swank both turned in exceptional performances as well; but the film's message, and its bittersweet overtones, left me exhausted and exhilerated.
As the film wound down, I noticed Kaia's flight had arrived in San Francisco, so I called her before her plane even arrived at the gate. She hadn't slept much on the plane (and it was still, for her, three in the morning), she was just eager to get home and crawl into bed. We talked on and off for the next forty-five minutes between her exiting the plane and getting into bed.
The flaws of long-distance cell-phone communication aside, it was deja vu; just hours before, we could just coexist in the same space and not need to worry about reception, battery life, or geography in our snippets of exchanges, even if we were preoccupied with other things. Knowing we were going back to phone calls, e-mails, instant messages and voicemails suddenly clicked somewhere in my mind; and when I climbed into bed along with her, I caught the scent of her perfume on my pillows and it finally, solemnly hit me that I was in the dark, alone, on a rainy, thundering night knowing I wanted nothing more than to kiss her good night and the next morning we'd be waking up together.
As I've indicated in prior posts, the last two weeks were very mellow; we didn't do much running around in the aim of trying to see what "real life" will be like between us: coming home from work and cooking or ordering in rather than getting together with friends; errands instead of shopping excursions; and taking out the garbage instead of cabbing to Soho to window-shop. While it makes for less-than-enthralling reading, it made me happy to acknowledge, yet again, how effortless and easy it is for us to be together. If I'm repeating myself again I'll apologize, but it's so amazing and so gratifying to spend time with her and find myself smiling and content.
And as I surmised, the only negative was knowing it will be another month before we're in each others' space and doing those same, mundane, boring tasks. What I learned, or more accurately, confirmed, from this past couple weeks is that being with someone can be a good thing, but with the right person, the little things -- everything, actually -- is incredible. And the downside of that is how bad it feels knowing she isn't here with me now.
As I'm writing this, iTunes offered up John Mayer's "Love Song For No One," and I chuckled. I can spend the next month complaining about her not being here, but knowing she's "with" me is, for sure, far more satisfying than being with the wrong person or not having a significant other. So if I sound unappreciative or whiny, I apologize, as neither is my intention. I just like my life with her in it, and hate the spaces in between. I might get used to it, but I'm more hoping that I don't and that doing so will soon be unnecessary.
Or, put another way, time has a way of ebbing and flowing like the tide, and to enjoy the tide is to accept both the ebb and flow.