Introducing Azzo

...or Mauro, I haven't decided yet.
He comes home in about 2 weeks.

Holes are spaces with no things in them.

I've gone through stages when I can't find things. Last fall I kept locking myself out of my apartment, I lost my wallet, and on several occasions I lost my subway card. This summer I've been loosing things again - only now I'm losing people. My great-uncle died this week, my wonderful uncle Dave died last week, my dog died right after my birthday (okay, not a person), an old family friend died on the 4th of July...
and then there are the misplaced: Rachel and Ashley and my Girlies and all the friends and aquintances I left behind in Illinois (and at Porters, and at AB, and beyond). I know they're not gone forever, but I can't quite get my hands on them right now when I need them. Like when you're late and you can't find your keys.
And of course, there's Boy. I don't know what to say about him, except there's an emptiness.

There's an emptiness that comes from all of this. It's an expanding kind of emptiness. It's like a wall that needs pictures, but there are no pictures to hang. I lost some important things, and when I go to fill the empty space left, I find that whatever it was I was going to use is missing. Someone dies and all I want is for someone to come and keep me company, but there's no one to call.

That's not partucularly true. There are lots of people I could call. I don't lose friends, I sort of collect them. There is no one in my life who I wouldn't want to see or hear from again. No one I've cut ties with. Some of my relationships are packed away in storage, some are sitting on a shelf and collecting dust, I mentioned earlier that some are misplaced, many need some repair after so much disuse. But if I pulled them out and shined them up a bit, I know they'd still sparkle. It's just that they seem to be just out of my reach.

So the sense of emptiness prevails.
And I'm trying to fill it up in other ways: With my family. With grad school research. I joined a gym and I'm actually using it. It's a project that fills the empty hours. That's productive.
Not so productive is my desire to shop. I want more books and more shoes and I'm dying for a new laptop and maybe some clothes or accesories or jewelry or home furnishings. I feel like those things are going to fill the void a little. But the reality is that I will love my new brown t-strap wedge heels, and I'll imagine how cute they'll look with skirts in the fall, and I'll be so disappointed and annoyed when they get their first scuff. But then they'll get more scuffs and soon they'll be another pair of shoes that I own and not something special. I'll still use and enjoy them, but they'll be something else weighing me down and not something that lifts me up.

I don't think there's anything wrong with owning things - some of my favorite things are things (go figure) - but I'm looking for something fill me up and raise me higher. Maybe I need to make new friends - I don't even know where you find them these days - or maybe I need to invest the time and effort in my old collection.
Maybe I just need to rely on TJ Maxx and their liberal return policy and excellent deals for awhile.
Maybe if I can flounder a little longer the answer will come to me - and maybe not.

But here's something I'm sure of: No more losing people. You hear that everyone? Just because you haven't heard from me in awhile doesn't mean that I'm done with you, so don't go dying on me. I can't stand it and I won't have it.
I'm glad we settled that.
Here is an excerpt of an email my aunt Polly sent to the family about her husband, Dave:
It is with profound sadness that I am writing to you to tell you about our family's decision to let Dave go in peace. In spite of every conceivable diagnostic test, there is simply no explanation for the extensive clot in Dave's lungs; it is irreversible and untreatable. He has been 100% dependent on the ventilator and cannot survive without one. Continuing to do so is explicitly against his wishes so, after several meetings with his doctors, our family is going to honor his directives.

It hasn't happened yet, and I'm just waiting to hear when it does.

I might write more on this later. But that's enough for now.

Except for: no, I'm not okay.