Hello, exhaustion, my faithful friend. How've you been?
It's been 18 days since Jason and I last had a day off together. I called him at work yesterday to ask him how many freckles he has on his inner thigh. I'd forgotten, and it upset me that I'd forgotten. I love those freckles. I miss those freckles. He put me on hold and went to the bathroom to check.
He was home by 7 last night, but by 7 I was at the retirement residence where I volunteer, calling out bingo numbers in a faux-british accent that the residents really love. Then we all ate the bran/chocolate chip muffins that I'd brought (ew) and I chatted with Mrs. Harrington about a cat named Sprinkles that's been dead for 37 years. The good thing about the Golden Palm is that last call is always 9pm, at which point the residents start insisting that "It's way past my bedtime, dear" and I can make an early exit, having played only 18 games of checkers and a dozen hands of gin.
The only quality time I spend with Jason anymore is when he keeps me company in the bathroom while I soak my screaming feet. I sit in the too-hot bath, trying not to cry, and he sits on the toilet facing the bath, trying to distract me with funny stories, such as the Christian girl at work who has an enormously public crush on him (to which I reply, how Christian can she be if she wants to jump the bones of a married man? to which Jason replies, I think she mostly just wants to hold hands or something).
Every day is the same, but different.
I "teach" a class on creative writing, and spend most of my time trying to come up with non-lame assignments. I come home with sore feet and ink-stained fingers, and my head in the clouds.
I spend several afternoons a week at a group home for the developmentally disabled. I have now made so many arts and crafts out of popsicle sticks that if I ever come across the person responsible for white craft glue, I will knock their teeth out. The only thing white glue will bond together is fingers. I teach them french songs and make pizza pinwheels and spend a quarter of my time there running warm water to unstick fingers.
On the weekends I lead a class on digital photography for "golden agers". Considering how lacking my skills are, I am pleased to note that the group, once they learned where the ON buttons were, was only too happy to just follow me around interesting parts of Toronto, clicking away until our batteries are depleted.
Jason, meanwhile, stays late at work out of the goodness of his heart because mothers let their kids roam wild at the mall, and then become upset when they can't find them. Jason now rivals milk cartons in missing child action. He's been pulling double duty lately because his colleague brought her white husband home to Korea for the first time ever to meet her family, and you can imagine what kinds of fun they're having while Jason combs patiently through racks of clothing looking for small, devious children hiding amongst the hangers.
And as much as I miss my husband, I have to give time to my friends. None of us are static anymore. As we passed our thai orders up and down a long table to accommodate us all, I realized how quickly things are changing, how quickly we are changing. Of course, I was too busy trying to absorb all the wedding news, baby news, career news, family news, that I neglected to pick the chili peppers out of my food. I swallowed several, whole. I burnt off the left side of my throat and tongue. I think the mucus layer of my throat literally peeled off (and I subsequently swallowed it, of course). Days later, it's still so raw that I've been existing on a diet of fruit juice and milkshakes. When Jason picked me up, I really appreciated how hard he tried not to laugh at me. He tried really, really hard. I could tell.
But Jason is battling demons of his own. His mother is threatening to get married again, and though she hasn't yet found a man who will comply, Jason is quaking as he gets his favourite suit pressed and ready for stand-by.
And though today is my day off, I have already spent the morning battling Gilad. Gilad is the task-master assigned to "build my core strength", whatever that means. I'm still battling back from several back surgeries, and Gilad likes to see me pay in sweat.
What Gilad doesn't know is that I left the masochistic world of aerobics to come home to dozens and dozens of cookies, which I have promised to send with Jason to his work. I'm making white chocolate macadamia cookies, which are sinfully delicious, because with each bite I am reminded of the $72 I paid for the nuts alone. $72 for nuts! But damn are they good.
It adds up, though. It all adds up. I'm tired. I took a small break from laundry to sit down and say hello to all of you but all I can think is: nap, nap, go nap, bed is empty, Jamie tired, must nap, go nap. And the urge for napping is so strong that I have to pinch myself to remember the real order of the day: laundry, cookies, post office, library, NO time for naps. In fact, the only thing we seem to find time for these days is claiming an empty table at Jake's for some very cold, very alcoholic drinks. We're both so tired that we drink mostly in silence, neither of us fully capable of forming complete sentences. But we hold hands, and when he looks into my eyes, I know he is thinking the same exact thing as I am:
Why the fuck did we book our holidays all the way in August?