I think the idea of keeping up a blog is a charming, weirdly outdated thing, but I still feel the compulsion to keep one. I’ve thought a lot recently about the impermanence of connection in the digital world I choose to live and work in.
In the years since The Incident™ happened, I’ve become more and more private online, because the things I most needed to say were things I did not feel comfortable posting here. My only regrets about choosing to go dark for the past few years are the lack of records for me to point to now; those records exist in my email archives but do not exist here on this site. It means I’m harder to get to know on any metric that matters, and about the only way you can do it now is to be in the digital realm where I spend much of my day (a coworker) or to live near me in Portland.
I lost some friends in the divorce. Two former friends explicitly said “don’t contact us again.” I am fine with that; as the time to move away drew near, their opinions on the divorce were pretty clear, and their decision was not a surprise to me. I suspect I quietly lost a few others; people whom I only had contact with online. Online, it’s easier to let the current drift you elsewhere, and I can’t have been the only person who pared down their friends list on various social media. I expect others did too, and in the chaos of the move and everything after, a few people probably chose a genteel parting of ways.
Luckily, the one member of my family who had a strongly negative reaction to my divorce lives nowhere near me. The diatribe that got posted to Facebook got her unfriended and blocked immediately, and within a handful of hours I’d made sure that the screenshot and text of her message got shared out with our mutual family, so it was clear why I’d done so. The family equivalent of sunshine laws, I suppose. As it turns out, her posting a message that ended with “I hope you find someone who loves you as little as you love your family. You are a piece of shit” at me totally didn’t cause our shared family to jump up and wave banners.
Eventually, though, the cumulative changes mean you can write not about the divorce or its aftermath, but instead about the life you’re living now. I thought about this concept yesterday as I was driving; I needed new thimbles, and because of the exploring I’ve done over the past two years, I knew where I needed to go and didn’t need a GPS to get there. I didn’t talk about this learning process, but it happened, nevertheless. I got my thimbles, avoided the traffic bottleneck I’ve learned exists between there and here, and got home in time for Noah’s arrival.
…and, yeah. That.
Noah lives with me now. The 818-square-foot condo felt a little empty when I first moved in, that post-divorce oddness of walls either undecorated or with oddly-shaped artwork clearly brought from a different space. He brought little furniture, but boxes and boxes of books; his beloved Oxford English Dictionary lines the shelves of our (our? our!) living room, and the shelves in our dining room are full to bursting with everything from English literature to comics.
His seventeen-year-old tuxedo kitty, who I was warned didn’t like anyone but him? She’s sitting in my lap, purring away, as I write this message. She’s become quite the little marshmallow in her old age. I slip her snacks when the other cats aren’t looking, and call her “heathen tuxie bitch” like the affectionate nickname it is. (“State of the household,” October 2015) She has what could be delicately referred to as a ‘sonorous’ meow – the less delicate among us might say she honks like a foghorn – and I’ve picked up Noah’s habit of responding “Noise!” whenever she starts proclaiming.
She’s quite the noisebeast.
We’re thinking of starting to host a regular movie night for friends.
I built a RAID array.
I bought a dishwasher.
I bought a washer and dryer.
I’ve learned I like linen sheets better than cotton. Luckily, Noah agrees. So does Toph, his bouncy two-year-old cat:
I’ve gained weight. My hair is greying more rapidly. I’m developing a silver streak at my right temple.
I’m happy here. I need to talk with Noah about whether or not we want to combine our AAA memberships. I’ve never lived with someone I wasn’t married to, so I’m learning to navigate the waters of what can and can’t be combined. Much of our life is ordinary.
If 2010, 2011, and 2012 taught me anything, it’s to be thoroughly grateful for a healthy, peaceful, self-determined life. I don’t quite know how best to share it, but it’s happening.