Chris has officially boycotted kale and quinoa. While both are full of nutrients and are obviously extremely healthy choices to add to our everyday diets, he refuses to eat or buy them, as they are so trendy now that everyone seems to be serving them on menus everywhere, and as a result, the prices of both items have increased significantly. He hates how trendy and hipster they have become. While there are some fair points made here, I refuse to completely stop eating them. There are places to buy both items at fairly reasonable prices, and it’s not like we eat them every single day. I’m not one of those people who have actually succumbed to purchasing “kale chips” at the market (though I have tried to make them, and the result was that about 1/4 were crunchy, and the rest were just… steamed in the oven).
A decent group of individuals at my office have decided to pay $120 for a three-day juice cleanse. Yes, that’s $40/day – for non-solid food. And apparently, that is considered “cheap.” With that said, I think that there are far worse and stupider eating choices to make than eating quinoa and kale regularly.
We just found out that our next door neighbors in our apartment building are moving out as soon as their lease is up in a couple of months. Their desire to move has been exacerbated by a massive mice problem they’ve been facing. Mice have been raiding all of their cabinets, even the top ones, and it’s gotten so bad that they’ve completely stopped cooking or eating at home, and just go out for food all the time. Today, the building paid these exterminator-type people $125 per apartment unit to inspect each apartment. Lucky us (for real this time), there wasn’t a single trace of mice in our apartment anywhere, even in the heaters where they usually hide.
I’m still not sure how that is even possible that the mice could hang out in their apartment, which is literally on the opposite side of our wall, but never make their way to our side. Chris and I are very anal about cleanliness and making sure all food remnants are cleaned up and raw foods sealed in air-tight containers, but even when you are the model of cleanliness in New York, rodents and roaches can still come visit.
Or maybe just by writing this post, I will curse our good luck and a mouse might decide to stop by..
So the first birthday celebration at a bar I’ve been to in a long time happened tonight, and as lucky as Chris and I are, it was pouring rain most of the night. Chris’s shoes and socks were completely soaked. Then we got forced into a mandatory paid coat check because apparently at this drinks/dance/pool venue (yes, four-feet-deep only, though), you’re not allowed to wear your coat or even carry it. I also couldn’t order a drink for Chris and could only order a drink for myself – the rules of the bar. And my friend’s happy hour ended just half an hour after we arrived. Now, I’m reminded of all the reasons I don’t enjoy “partying.” Even before I was living with Chris and “settled down” in that way, even when I wanted to like it, deep down, I still didn’t. Why would I have a conversation yelling with someone over loud music when I could possibly do the exact same thing at a restaurant or wine bar where we could all sit comfortably and talk without straining our voices?
Maybe it’s a sign of age, or maybe it’s my inner “oldness” that I’ve always had because I never got that excited about these types of events. Either way, I’d only go for someone I really cared about. As time goes on, the need to “party” and “get wasted” will die down for everyone with age, anyway, and will be replaced with more meaningful activities. It’s one positive of getting older.
He came again. It’s been over a month since I last saw him in my dreams.
I was standing in some factory setting, and I saw my dad instructing Ed how to lift these big bars that had heavy metal hangers carrying sliced meat and sausages. It was the strangest scene ever. Each sausage link dangled individually from the hangers. Ed seemed apprehensive about the weight of the big metal bars and hangers, but he submissively went along with what my dad said, probably in fear that he’d get yelled at.
So my dad takes the front of the cart of bars, and Ed takes the back. Ed is obviously struggling to keep them up because they are so heavy, and seconds later, I see him stumble and fall, the heavy metal bars coming down after him, on top of him. I immediately rush over to him to see if he’s all right. I push the metal bars off of him, and he climbs out. I can see he’s been injured. There were some sharp metal edges on the bars, and parts of his face and the back of his neck have been cut. I happen to have a damp cloth in my hand, and I start wiping away some of the blood from his wounds. I ask him if he’s okay, and he nods and says he is fine.
This is by far the strangest dream I’ve had with Ed. Who dreams of people carrying metal carts of hanging sausages and then getting injured by them?
I finally went to visit my therapist today after over a month of not seeing her. It’s been difficult to see her regularly given work has gotten so much busier. Having flown out of the state twice for three to eight day spans in the last month didn’t really help that, either.
But I was sad to learn that she is actually leaving in five weeks. She’s not actually a “therapist,” per se – she’s a social work intern who’s finally graduating and moving on to the next big thing in her life. I guess we all have to move on at some point.
So before we began talking about what I came to talk about, she asked me to spend some time in the next week thinking about what I have been getting out of seeing her, what I am taking away, and then compare that to what I thought I would accomplish by seeing her. I can’t honestly say I am better off just because I have seen her – time heals a lot of pain in itself, even if we secretly may not want it to. I do think it has helped to have someone who doesn’t know me personally to reassure me that I’m not becoming a mad woman, and that what I am thinking and feeling is normal. It’s helped having someone non-judgmental. All my friends are judgmental whether they want to admit it or not. They’re human beings who know me. That by default makes them judgmental.
She asked me if I might want to consider continuing to see one of her colleagues. I think the answer to that is definitely not. I don’t want to have to go through my life story with yet another stranger all over again. I will miss her when she leaves.
This has been a subdued week. I feel very little motivation to do anything proactive. I suppose I was proactive in going to that Meetup yesterday, but I felt dejected thinking about how little may come of it.
I feel like I am spending so much time doing things that are supposed to be making me a better, more knowledgeable person, yet this week, I feel unfulfilled by it. All the brain games from Lumosity, the history of Chinese business and sky jacking and Economist reading, and even Meetup events aren’t really helping. I’m not doing them for the sake of doing them as I loathe – I actually do enjoy them. But this week, it’s not really cutting it for me. It feels like I am just drifting and waiting for each day to end so I can go to sleep and be away from this world for seven or eight hours.
Tonight, I went to a free Hula dance class at the Chelsea Recreation Center that was organized by a Meetup group I am in. The funny thing about this particular event is that only two Meetup group people actually came – one other girl who organized it and me. Everyone else there had just come for the free class. Several people committed to coming and did not. Others just wrote apologies on the Meetup event’s wall and said they’d make it “next time.” It’s such a typical New York thing – to be flaky, not commit, and ultimately in the end never show up.
The Meetup girl I met was actually pretty interesting. She has dual citizenship in Greece and the U.K., but was born and raised in Dubai. Now, she’s living permanently in the States. Although we seemed to have clicked and had a lot in common (amazing – I finally found someone who actually enjoys cooking – and does it regularly!), I have doubts I will see her outside of Meetup events. Everyone in this city just loves having their options open until the very last second and not committing to anything. Instead of wanting to make real friendships, people just seem to want to do what’s convenient for them in that very moment. People are impossible.
It’s as official as it’s going to get: the Malaysia Airlines flight 370 was confirmed to have gone down in the Indian Ocean. None of those onboard could have survived. There are probably bodies and parts of this plane that have sunk as far deep as 23,000 feet to the bottom of the ocean floor. Thinking about this leaves me feeling a bit sick, especially when I think of how my brother died. The last thing he was in before being confirmed gone was water. At least the U.S. Coast Guard got to him before he sunk to the bottom of the San Francisco Bay. These bodies may never be recovered… ever. It’s already so heartbreaking to think of losing someone you love in a disaster like this. It’s even worse to know that you can’t even properly lay him to rest and that his body will just break down and become one with the ocean algae. In these cases, it’s like you know he’s dead, but you can’t even see his face or body again to shake yourself into really accepting the fact he’s gone forever. Sometimes, it’s hard to accept that there is a higher power who cares when the worst things possible become a reality.
Spring is officially here, yet New York seems to have trouble understanding this since the forecasted temperature tomorrow is 35 degrees, and a snow storm is expected this Wednesday. The down coat and winter gloves and hats are not getting tucked away just yet.
Spring also tends to mean spring cleaning – in other words, clean all the crap out of your apartment and de-clutter it. I just went through our cupboard of all our bath, body, and cleaning products, and I can’t believe how much stuff we have. I’ve lost count of the number of lotion bottles I’ve accumulated, there are too many samples of lip products from Birchbox, and I have an inane number of travel-size toiletries from hotels everywhere. This is just confirmation that I need to end my Birchbox subscription, as much as I love getting a “present” in the mail once a month. I can barely keep up with my samples and still have bottles of product I haven’t even looked at since two years ago.
Today marks eight months since I lost my brother. Even though he has left this world, he’s come back to visit me quite a bit in my dreams. It has progressed from dreams of him dying in different ways, his confessing he wanted to die and my trying to convince him not to end his life, his squeamishness when I’d try to hug him or grab him and running away from me, to his acceptance of my love for him through my hugs and squeezes. It sounds almost like I made all of this up – this progression – when I reflect upon it now, but I’ve been blogging a lot about him since he passed away eight months ago today, and I have a record of all my dreams of him right here.
In the beginning, I told my mom a few times that he’d come to me in dreams, and she would give me this sad look and say, “you got to see him? I never have any dreams with him. It’s not fair.” She was envious that he wouldn’t come to her. Now, eight months later, she called me and told me that she finally dreamt of him. In the dream, she went out to the living room at our house and noticed the TV on. She thought it was weird because my dad was already in bed, I was obviously in New York, and Ed was gone, so why would the TV be on? She went out there to see Ed sitting. He was dressed in what looked like new clothing, his skin tanner, and a little more meat on his body than she remembered. She immediately cried out, “Ed? Is that you? Is it really you?” And she tried walking closer to him to touch him, but he kept backing away slowly from her, just staring. He wouldn’t let her touch him.
That’s like the dreams I had shortly after he passed away. I’d always try to hug him or touch him, but he’d get squeamish and struggle out my grasp or run away from me. Then I’d start crying because of how much I missed him. My mom woke up yelling, and my dad had to calm her down. She felt miserable the rest of the day. I suppose this is part of the healing process. Maybe now, Ed is finally ready to visit her in her dreams. He couldn’t allow her to see him before now. And maybe now, she will be ready to fully accept that he isn’t one of us anymore.
It’s been eight months. I still have moments where I still can’t understand how it had to come to this. I have moments when I still go numb thinking about my brother being dead, and my mind goes blank and I can’t think of anything else. I don’t think anyone ever fully recovers from tragedies like this.