I’m sitting here by myself trying to understand how silence, which was wonderful and almost magical at Wupatki, is so oppressive, sad, and lonely here in the condo.
Of course it’s far from silent here. There is the constant sound of traffic, and beginning early in the morning there is the sound of planes taking off from the nearby airport. Yesterday there was a crew doing some sort of repair work on the roof. And there is the relentless roar of my two-day headache that has stopped me from even thinking about running.
The lack of silence here is superficial, and overwhelmed by a deeper silence. I am all by myself in a place I never really wanted to be, trying to deal with the remnants of the life of the person who so badly wanted to be in this place.
When we last left here in mid-May (which turned out to be less than a month before he died), I had encouraged him to leave some of his things behind, ostensibly to simplify packing but really to give him an incentive to return. As it turned out, he had left very little — a brand-new pair of jeans still in the package, two pairs of shoes, a pair of gloves, several combs, a few bottles of vitamins, and some magazines and books. I kept the books and some of the magazines, but threw away the combs, vitamins, and miscellaneous small stuff. I took the rest, along with a bunch of hangers and his shower seat, to Goodwill this afternoon. They seemed to be most excited about the hangers.
Of course this place is still full of his things and our shared memories… from the furniture to the floor tiles. But there are fewer land mines here than when I first walked in a week ago.
It was sweltering hot yesterday and today at 106 degrees (neither of us ever intended to be here at this time of year). The heat makes it hard to think clearly and harder to contemplate actually doing anything. I almost never watch TV, but I might have watched it here except that I couldn’t get the TV, surround sound, and cable box all talking to one another. My iPod works with the surround sound receiver, however, so I have been listening to music, reading, and giving myself permission to drift off to sleep.
I am still hopeful that my headache will ease overnight and that I’ll feel like running at the crack of dawn, as it’s my best chance for turning off the screaming silence. But it’s 87 degrees on my patio at 10:30 PM, so it’s going to have to cool off a lot between now and tomorrow morning. I’m telling myself that I’m supposed to be “tapering” my running now anyway, with the Victoria half marathon only 18 days away, but I’m craving the zen quality of the movement.
Besides running, tomorrow I have to try to take care of things I haven’t had the energy to do yet: wash the car, sweep the patio, pack things up or put them away, and get this place ready to leave for X number of months until I decide to return. The good news is that I’m supposed to have dinner with friends, so I won’t be completely alone.