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Giving Thanks Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Posted by Grace in strange days.
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My back driver’s side tire picked up a nail.

I was proud as punch of myself: I got the car jacked up, took off the injured tire, and was most of the way through getting the spare on when Fearless got home from work.

After taking a look at the tire he cracked a joke about me trying to do his job. Still in his greens, he suggested we take the tire to get repaired in his car, saving us from having to get the spare on and drive it over that way.

I asked if he wanted to change, maybe shower, before we went, knowing that those things he feels are pertinent to do after getting home from work.

He said we’d do that after we finished the task at hand.

After we dropped the tire off at the store where I had bought it, we had forty minutes of time to burn before they said it would be done. So we set about meandering through the whole sale store, window shopping (is it still window shopping if you’re inside the store?).

We stopped, looking at a stand alone winch (or something, haha) and he was talking about it, adding it to the mental list of things he’d like to have. It would be so useful.

Someone stepped up behind us, and thinking that we were impeding his way, I reached for Fearless’ arm, to perhaps pull him out of the way. Before I got to him, the man stepped in between us.

The stranger took his hand and shook it. Thank you for doing what you do. God bless.

He turned and smiled at me, and then walked away.

Fearless felt kind of awkward about it. Saying, I haven’t done anything. I haven’t even been overseas.

Still, in a time when all too often men and women in uniform are regarded with a certain wariness, disrespect or even spite it was a nice thing to witness.

To any of you people in the services out there, it isn’t said often enough. Thank you, really.

Young Folks Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Posted by Grace in strange days.
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Early morning, I was sitting in the relatively empty terminal. The light that was shining in the ceiling to floor windows still had the mauve fuzzy shade that seems so unsure as to what it is, night or day. Dusk.

I had seen, printing my boarding pass, that the flight would be relatively empty. My terminal being the last in the long hall contributed to the lonely, divided feel. Of the eighty or so seats set before the gate, and the already beaming flight attendants, maybe 2 dozen were filled. We were an archipelago, us soon to be travellers. Each person their own island in a sea of seats, some small groups, travelling together, sat together.

Early and prepared for the wait, I got out my headphones, turned on the music, and cracked open a textbook. Any opportunity to study, right?

I felt the shift in the attached seats as someone took a place directly to the right of me. I was slightly confused, not because I wanted to be alone, but because there were so very many seats open, and by general, the archipelago was pretty much following bus etiquette. But hey, free country, right? Stranger can sit wherever he wants to.

I proceeded that prickles on the back of my neck feeling that someone was looking at me. It became apparent that my seat neighbor was looking at me. Once again, I pulled the Okay, little bit weird, but whatever card, and continued to read. Mmm… matrix metalloproteases.

But then, my seat neighbor leaned towards me and said Hello.

I looked up, little me with my headphones and my cell biology textbook, and saw (could you guess) a nice young man in uniform. We exchanged pleasantries, he was heading to a different base, I was going to visit family. He’s originally from out East, I’m from this neck of the woods. What are you listening to? Year Zero. Good album, I’ve got that on my iPod. Et cetera. When there was a lull I turned back to my book. He proceeded to get my attention again, but they called us to board.

The plane was virtually empty, and so he took it upon himself to seek me out and sit by me. Doubtless to say I didn’t get a lot of studying done, or music listened to for that matter. By the time we landed and picked up our luggage, we had talked about quite a lot, and he had given me his cell phone number and said we should do something while I’m still in province, or maybe he’ll drop me a line next time he’s in my neck of the woods.

Very nice guy, I hope he enjoys his time on that base (I’ve heard some stories about how boring and middle of nowhere it is), but once again, I wonder about this invisible sign I’ve got stamped on my forehead.

Song of the Day: Young Folks – Peter, Bjorn & John

Alone in the Universe Sunday, February 24, 2008

Posted by Grace in blue doves.
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First keeps calling.

And I keep talking to him because the part of me that still loves him, and probably always will, is so scared. Scared of what he is seeing and experiencing, scared of all of the possibilities of what might happen, and scared of what would happen if I stopped. There are other people he can talk to, and probably other people that he does talk to. But it’s just hard to know if you’re that person helping to tow them through, and you don’t want to stop just in case.

Before, I was that person, and that’s why it concerns me so. I know that there are all of the men and women that are overseas with him, seeing and experiencing the things he is going through; but so much of what they do is about strength and being able to get through, and I know that he at least feels that you can’t talk about these things. I know that he has his family, but they’re so at wits end that he plays the strong, everything is fine card to them as well. As he says, they worry enough as it is.

I continue to take the calls, stay on the line, because the part of me that still loves him needs so badly for him to be alright. That’s not something that I can just let go of.

There’s this tone in his voice now, disheartened and angry, that makes him hard to recognize and it just breaks my heart. Still, I continue to strain to hear over static and lags between speaking and receiving messages, because he needs someone and he chose me. Who am I to betray him of that?

He continues to voice how he wants things to go back to how they were before, that it was a mistake, and he didn’t stop loving me even though he thought it would be better for me if he did… and when he gets like this, I really can’t listen, can’t speak, can’t think. But I stay on that line because I need so much for him to be alright.

Already I feel myself falling back into place, back into rank if you will, that shadow of support behind him. Already he’s returned focus of my thoughts. It just scares me that as time goes on, how completely I will fall back into file.

The sadness and the things he says are breaking my heart, and I worry that he’s finding his way back into it.

Song of the Day: Alone in the Universe – David Usher

The Humpty Dumpty Love Song Thursday, January 10, 2008

Posted by Grace in blue doves.
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The Sandmonkey wrote a beautiful post a while ago, The Two Cups, that really struck a chord in my mind.

There was a particular man in my life, we will call him First, who definitely has a filled love cup in my heart at one time, but whose pain cup is kept at a precarious balance of full in proportion to empty. It was a cup he made sure to watch over, scoop off murky water when the levels rose too high, because he also had a love cup for me, and it is what a person dear to your heart should do.

The thing is that, those we love are the ones who hurt us the most, they don’t mean to (at least I should hope they don’t), but because of the love we hold for them, it stings the most and leaves the darker mark when they inflict pain.

First, not by purpose, but because of his dreams and his career and preparing to leave for a very far away country to go and save the world, kept the pain cup with his name on it filled to a level that had me feeling it all of the time. Day in and day out there was a throb from a wound which was trying to heal but couldn’t because it was constantly rubbed raw.

There is love, love that wipes everything else into details, love that lets me know that no matter what we will be alright because of each other. I fell into the Love cup he filled for me as if it was a well and treaded water happily, but situations beyond our control would add an extra splash or two of pain, tipping the scales to the Pain cup in which I was leaden and could not stay afloat.

In the end, being the man he was, he did not do well to feel his pain himself or see the pain in me and not be able to do anything about it. He decided for the both of us that no cups would be for the best. But that’s not really the way love works, is it? No cups is not a viable option, or at least between us it wasn’t.

For a while, it hurt pretty bad, without a love cup to look forward to and just a pain cup slowly draining. As they say, time heals, and as the last cup drained the hurt became less. But still, “Quod me nutrit, me destruit,” no?

Song of the Day: The Humpty Dumpty Love Song – Travis