Aphantasia. 7p, 11 March, 2019

I see a small cloud in the sky sort of in the shape of an anatomical heart. I so much want to ask you if you can see it too, or if you just see a slightly muddled shape. So many things I have thought of to ask you since you’ve been gone. And I can’t.

From 21 September, 2018

So this is how Gary and I discovered that he had aphantasia, and that I have hyperphantasia. If you, too, “dream blind” or at the opposite end, “cannot unsee” things, I think you’ll be interested in this and the attendant questionnaire. This article, written two years before Gary died, is what allowed us to truly begin fixing some terribly broken things in our marriage.

Chariot. 9:49p 16 March, 2019

“Just imagine, we woke up in paradise
Don’t need magic, let my force just carry us home tonight
Future’s golden, don’t let go don’t give it up
Just keep holding, even when you had enough
I will be your light

“When you’re low, I’ll lead you home, Chariot
Take you back to where you’re from, Chariot

“One step forward, on the road ahead of us
Don’t look back, no…” — Chariot by Mega

I’ve been having the most strange and wonderful feeling, way down deep to the very core of my soul. Don’t get me wrong; my life is utter chaos for the most part but I cannot even with that yet. I just cannot. It’s just… amidst the bomb cyclones and tornadoes and lightning storms there is this oasis, this ethereal calm that I am experiencing. This absolute letting go. Of letting pleasurable feelings suffuse my entire body, take over every atom of my being, to submit fully to them, to abandoning myself to them. Of inspecting unpleasant feelings, tasting them, knowing that succumbing to those will sicken me, and allow them to pass with as little interference as possible. To apologize without being sorry because that will cause me the least pain and give them what they want. To apologize in addition to being sorry, not receiving any acknowledgement, and being okay to walk away from that. That I don’t have to make the offending party see my side. That I can truly be done and walk away. That is a fucking alien concept. Foreign. Strange. And wonderful.

To be, well I wouldn’t say comfortable, but certainly 100% okay with others’ uncomfortability at my own fuck you-ness at things I just don’t wanna. My fuck yeah-ness at the things I do. To throw caution to the wind and say the things I feel when I feel them because LIFE IS FUCKING SHORT. To not feel guilt for unfriending, for ending things and blocking, for being blunt when it is the least bit necessary.

To say that I don’t think I would ever have evolved to this state had Gary not died is painfully sharp and bright. I wouldn’t have had to. It is me against the evil in the universe and I have become much cleverer at spotting it before there’s too much damage done. I also feel a greater, deeper capacity for empathy, for gentleness, for softness. The obverse to my pointy, barbed side.

“Future’s golden, don’t let go don’t give it up
Just keep holding, even when you had enough
I will be your light…”

We ride across the sky in a golden chariot of hope, fully cognizant of the eventual fall. The ride is worth it.

Clarity. 11 September, 2018/17

I wrote this in an email to a good friend just after midnight last year. How I wish, how I wish we had had more time. After fifteen and a half years with Gary and the last three days of his life were at once the most crystal clear, even through the muddiness and haze of drug reactions.

“On my way home again for the night. So tired, so drained from the day. I’m sure it’s much more tiring for him, but having to play all the roles I am playing is getting exhausting. Caregiver I’m fairly used to; but now there’s translator, interpreter, social worker, and cryptographer added in. I am fortunate in that the medical staff is used to people in my position and they tolerate me well.

“He’s made some mental and emotional breakthroughs as well; the combination of a massive drugs cocktail and PTSD (because that’s definitely what is happening after incurring seven shocks in three days) is making him hallucinate, lose words, and essentially experience things that happen to me on the regular as just a lovely feature of my own illness. I (gently) confronted him with the comparison, telling him how explicitly I understand and why, and it was like a light bulb went off. He apologized, and wept, realizing how dreadfully little patience he’s had for me in my times of extreme stress, just when I needed empathy the most. So, silver lining.

“He may not remember what he said. He knows that. He’s given me leave to remind him. Here’s hoping.

“Sitting in the car outside the hospital writing this because it was so unbelievably upsetting, him realizing all this and talking about it, and not wanting to show him how much. Showing him anyway, but trying desperately to keep as tight as lid on it as possible. So I’m letting it out here before the drive home. I’m wound so fucking tightly at this point I feel like I’m made of glass. I can barely breathe.”

More Than Two. 25 August, 2018

More data is always better. Telling is always better. Being told is always better than finding out, discovering secrets. Especially when there are such deep truths that once uncovered, need the light of day, need to breathe and be nurtured. Knowing is always better, even when the truth seems impossible, unwieldy. Polyamory is real, is valid.

To my partners; past, present, and future: the answer is always more data. It is why I always present my self in my entirety, the whole ride through Adventureland: my pitfalls as well as my heights, my topography and menu, my as-yet-unknowns. No unwelcome surprises, nothing unexpected, yet there always is the promise of much to discover. While I am complex and sweet and tantalizing and addicting, you will always know where you stand with me. Always.

If you recognize yourself, this is for you. If I love you (and I do) you can tell me anything. Everything. Always.

Read the words. Listen to the music. Read the book. Accept yourself as I have. Love, and love more.

Seven months gone. 13 April, 2018

Today is Friday the 13th of April.

In the months and years to come since the day you died there will be plenty Friday the thirteenths. You and I always reveled in the delight of knowing that our love of all things spooky and strange made people uncomfortable. Your love of me, Gary​, spooky and strange girl that I am, our love of black cats Teaz’ka​ and Mojo​ and their deliciously convoluted names of Ivan Rumpelteazer and Yevgeny Mungojerrie, the joy you took in planning eight hours of spookily appropriate music for our Halloween at Hoffman House dinners, the abject intensity of the two of us left no room for anything but that intensity. It glows, still.

Others withered in our presence at times; faded into the background as we pushed and pulled and explored one meandering trail of conversation after another, finding ourselves deep in the woods of discussion, the light gone from the sky. Our light, however, remained; remains.

As I move through time and space, as I reach out to explore and experience life, this widow’s life, there are so very few who can even begin to hold a candle to the enormous presence of you, your person, your being. So very few who can begin to fathom the depths of me, of my intensity. Changes we’d made a year and a half ago, the things we decided would help heal us and did heal us? They’re helping me now, even more. Allowing me to know I’m doing the right things. Our having had grown-up conversations about difficult things has made it possible for me to keep living. The knowledge that you loved and understood me enough, even back then, to be as supportive as you were, and to then have the breakthroughs you did in your last few days on this planet, truly, finally understanding me in sum, and knowing that not only did I forgive every single trespass but embraced our future?


Love you more, love you always,

The Girl Who Was Never Too Intense For You

Traysure, 1 February, 2018

Gary and I shared a love of boxes, containers, the *perfect* container to house some precious thing or collection of preciouses. I don’t remember whether he had this sliding-lid box when we met all those years ago or whether it was one we bought together along the way but it matters not. I’m cleaning, tidying, encouraging spring (so not like me) and took this wonder down from his shelves in the bedroom. A Freud action figure. A sample of Glastonbury shave soap. A pad of graph paper with his notes about things I have no clue (especially “Remind Russ, Lysa”). A Metro-North receipt from a trip to NYC two years to the day before the day he died; ostensibly for lunch with his friend and colleague, David Ewalt. And then, the page I tore from a small pad of love notes, the perfect one for how I was feeling that day, some shitshow of my illness intruding into our lives, again. One that I left on my pillow for him to find after I’d left for work. One that applies today, and every day since he had the incredible breakthroughs he had only days before he died. It reads:

“This is the beginning of a new day. You have been given this day to use as you will. You can waste it or use it for good. What you do today is important because you are exchanging a day of your life for it. When tomorrow comes, this day will be gone forever; in its place is something that you have left behind. Let it be something good.”

On the reverse, I wrote in pink ink: 9.25.12 I’m trying for a good day. I love you. bisous — glitter 🙂

I’m still trying for a good day. Every day.