Two weeks later, she's nearly landed in Oakland; meanwhile, I'm esconced in darkness in a neat, comfortable apartment revealing traces of a Pottery Barn Bergamot candle, the scent of Tazo orange spice tea and honey, the newest Audioslave album on my CD player and my head pounding from a Summer/Fall cold that stole my sleep last night and much of today, which had me in bed for much thereof.
Two weeks ago today, I came home to Kaia in my apartment; today, as I fought through fits of coughing and pounding headaches and tried to stay awake, I watched as she packed and brought me tea and Halls mentholated lozenges. The Cherry flavor is nearly as repulsive as is this cold, but at least the Halls are part of the solution, so I'm not complaining. The Airborne gummy chews are effective too, but they taste like shoe leather -- used shoe leather.
The tea I made, whether as a result of leaving the bag in too long or using bad honey -- as if honey could go bad -- tasted even worse than the used shoe-leather Airborne gummy-chews. I think, in general, being sick is shitty in general, and having to watch her leave while in this awful state is a blessing and a curse. Obviously we hate when geography and reality, at least temporarily, dictate our relationship, but at least the cold waited until she left to appear. Plus, while she was nothing but wonderful at making me feel as good as I could despite how I felt, I would feel terrible if I coughed through the entire night and kept her up and/or got her sick. So all in all, I'll get through tonight and be satisfied by knowing she'll at least be somewhat comfortable in her own bed, even though I know she'll be as weirded out as I will be knowing we're not lying next to each other, not until I head out there or she comes back to NYC.
Six weeks to go.
Meanwhile, I'm not going into any specifics because I'm feeling shitty, but -- again -- suffice to say we're pining for the days when we share an address and a home phone number. In addition, while we saw a bunch of people and ran around and got a lot done, it's difficult fitting everything and everyone in. We didn't get a chance to see a few people we wanted to see, as per usual, and while we both spent a lot of time out of the office working (nights and weekends, and a bit on Labor Day as well) we still managed to only get done about two-thirds of our "list" of stuff to accomplish.
The pros and cons, of course, of a long-distance relationship is that everything feels new and fresh for a couple of days, especially when it's been a month or two between visits. But because we are constantly in communication, we're never out of mind, even if we are -- occasionally -- out of sight. But this past visit -- replete with a heavy workload on her end and a seemingly infinite of potential technological catastrophes on mine -- just confirmed that we, together, manage to do better facing the world as a unit than as two separate entities. Even when the heaviest pressure hits, having her there somehow makes me smile and puts me at ease. And even when she's facing pressure as well, I'm hoping that, on some level, me being there for her makes things better as well. We're both realistic enough to know that we can't snap our fingers and make everything better, but having a "safe place to land" reminds me why I miss her so much when she's gone and why I am so happy when she's somewhere nearby.
At some point tomorrow, I'll wind up tossing the pink and white roses on the coffee table; they're starting to wilt and since they're fully bloomed they'll be drooping noticeably by tomorrow morning. Throwing them away, though, just is another reminder that she's there and I'm here, and as is my wont, I want to put that reminder off as much as possible.
Tomorrow, or the day after, or the day after that.