Well, the day is nearly here. Tonight, I'll call Tim down in San Diego and see if he can help. (That was pending.) Sean has said he'll help. (But he's rather puny, so...)
But actually, the main difficulty lies not with the manual labor; the main difficulty lies where it always lies... up here... in my head. As the day has approached, I've found myself growing increasingly nervous... not just nervous but rather anxious about the whole thing. I've become so disturbed, I've broken out in pimples - not good.
So, what is it?
It took me until last night to figure it out. I'd known all along that it has to do with Rosa - most problems do - but I'm happy to say that the big "ROSA" stamp does hold up any more. I get that big "ROSA" stamp and immediately shrug that off these days. For this to stick as it has, it had to be something more.
And so, there I was, sitting outside with Vicky last night. Both of us were having a clove. In the midst of telling Vicky my latest laments about my job and about my dad, the thing that had been pounding me rather indelicately in the pores - damn these pimples! - came in a flash.
It was nothing surprising, nothing new, but it was there.
It was April of 1986 and Rosa and I were moving into our first apartment. It didn't take too long; we didn't have much and I had Rob to help. (Rob will have to be a bystander like the rest of you this time.) We finished before too late and went groceries. Then, as Rob and I set things up (and set ourselves down), Rosa made Hamburger Helper.
This all came to me in a flash and, aside from how terribly young I looked - dammit, the point of it all was clear. Rosa and I didn't start off hating each other, betraying each other, hurting each other. We started off happy. We started off with an incredible future ahead of us.
We started off ignorant of what life does to you.
That life is a bitch is universally known - it's the core of Buddhist philosophy - but we all, each of us, do an incredible job at ignoring that fact. One other thing: Looking for happiness is asking for trouble. Life's a bitch and happiness is fleeting. That's why we not only have to enjoy every minute of it but why we're fools to think we'll get more.
Vicky and I might not end up like Rosa and I - and I think you know I hope we don't - but we are in for our measure of pain. There will be bad times. There will be anguish.
And I think it was around last night that, having realized that this is what was bothering me, I surrendered to it. I surrender to the pain and anguish and suffering I'll endure and she'll endure and any child we bring into this world will endure. Life is suffering but it is life, after all.
Not knowing I was going to write this, Vicky told me, on the phone this morning, "Say something nice about me when you write today's My Side."
"Something nice," I asked.
"You know," she replied, "not the truth."
Vicky, you see, has been less that amiable of late. In fact, she's been contrary, argumentative, testy... a right bitch at times. She doesn't want me to tell you this... but I just did, didn't I?
Meanwhile, I've been a bit sullen, pensive, touchy, and frustrated.
In short, we've been human. Which isn't the "something nice" Vicky wanted me to say but it needs to be said to lead in to the "something nice".
I know that we'll both be far worse in our time together and, hopefully, far better. I know that as moody as we've both been, we still love each other and don't want to hurt one another. I know this is all part of the price you pay to be on this ride. I know this and I consider myself very lucky to be on the ride with Vicky. She's a good person, a decent person, someone you want on your side. The thing about Vicky is that she has just as many demons on her shoulder as anyone else but, every day I'm with her, I can see her leaning towards the angels. This makes her pretty cool in my eyes and I consider myself very fortunate.
So, that's the "something nice" for Vicky. I love you, Vicky, very much and look forward to our life in our first home.