Immunity Challenge #2 for SurvivorBLOG 3


The Beatles were wrong when they sang:

... and in the end
the love you take
is equal to the love
you make...

I think that we're born with a finite amount of love and once we've used it, once it's gone, it's gone forever and nothing is ever going to bring it back - not hope, not prayer, and not even somebody else's love.

She has been out of my life for nine years now, but I still wake up every morning expecting to see her face on the pillow next to me and I still feel a little ache inside when I don't see it.

This ache isn't exactly pain, but the memory of pain. You've, no doubt, read that people who've lost limbs will sometimes still feel "phantom pain." It's that kind of ache - a memory of something of great beauty that is gone forever.

Every now and then I experience flashbacks of our life together. Giving our cats a bath. Taking her to New England to meet my parents and watching her see snow for the first time. How much she loved to eat crab. Making love during a thunderstorm so she wouldn't be frightened. Sometimes, I'll smell her perfume on another woman and feel that same dull ache.

Two years ago, and two relationships later for her, she got married. She showed me photos of herself and her new husband. Nice guy. I like him. Really. As I looked at the photos, it hit me that her life had moved forward since she left me, but that my life




I can't shake her.

I can go for weeks without thinking about her once and then discover a shirt she gave me in my closet, or maybe eat at a restaurant and have a waited ask me where she is.

I live in the same apartment, and though I've changed nearly everything about it since she left, I can't get her out of the shape of the cinder blocks or the cracks on the ceiling.

I have all the same friends, and they tell me things, "I like this new girl... but not as much as Susan." Behind my back they say, "he just hasn't been the same since Susan left him."

My only hope is to leave this town. Leave my friends, change jobs, eat different foods, use a different toothpaste, adopt a different way of walking, shave my head, change my face, and learn a new language.

Even if I do all that, how can I ever replace this missing part of my soul?

For the rest of my life, this ghost of a love long dead is in me.

It is in me.

It is in me.
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I Think I'm Dumb, But I Can Pretend

I am covered in black paint. No. Really. Head to toe. It is all over me.

As some of you know, I spend time volunteering at a local theatre sometimes. I have discussed this recently here. If you don't wish to click there, here is what I wrote:

I wish I could dress normal today, but, unfortunately, my arms are peppered with splinters.

Yesterday, I spent the day doing set construction and, as always, I was assigned to the jigsaw. You would think the lawsuit would have prevented that, or that the missing thumb would have let the technical director in on the fact that I am a danger to all humanity when equipped with power tools. Alas, the jigsaw was shoved into my four-fingered paw and I was assigned to cut large, stenciled letters out of a couple of boards.

I remember somebody saying something about proper safety gear once, but I was flirting with one of the actesses at the time and sort of missed what they said. This was in the 1980s. So, there I was, in my Wile E. Coyote t-shirt carving out letters. I decided that "M" sucks the most, as far as letters to jigsaw go, though I didn't have to do "Q."

Splinters and sawdust flew everywhere. After taking a particularly large lungfull of sawdust, it dawned on me that I should be wearing a mask or something. I went to look for a mask and realized, from my blindness, that I should probably find safety goggles as well. So, blind, choking and, yes, bleeding from the head and arms, I stumbled into the tool room and managed to knock over a stack of flats onto myself, badly spraining my wrist and puncturing my bare foot.

As the T.D. and I nursed my wounds with hydroen peroxide and iodine, we had a good laugh. Anyhow, today I look like a mummy, with bandages wrapped up and down both arms and covering my mouth.

So, I volunteered there again this weekend and today I was wisely assigned to paint. Unwisely, they asked me to do this on top of one of those long things that you lean against a wall and then climb it. You know, the thing that looks like a big letter "H" with many more wooden plank things between the two sides of the "H?"

Anyhow, I left the paint up there, but, gravity being in effect, I soon was wearing most of the paint. I tried to get it off by pouring paint remover on myself, but got some in my eyes, which stung like hell. By this time, all the people around me were backing up, saying things like, "remember what happened last week" and "dear lord, watch out for the table saw." Yeah, like I could see anything by that time.

So, it was another trip to the hospital for me. They said I would still be able to have children, but that I should pee sitting down for a few weeks. No problem.

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