Apparently a lot has happened since I last posted anything. An uncle of mine died very unexpectedly, it was presumed to be a heart attack, and I haven't heard anything that would dispel that initial premise. Work told me I could have off, but I ended up working on Wednesday since that would have left people very short handed. I probably could have pressed the issue, but honestly didn't feel like driving out to Michigan for reasons that still confuse and perplex me. The drive out was awesome once I committed to it. After I got home from work I took a nap, got up, threw some things together, and left. I drove pretty much straight through, stopping for fuel and a bathroom break which was smart because at the next stop, everything was completely closed which I felt was strange for an interestate exit despite the time of night. There was very little traffic, I did about 80 - 90 for most of the interstate miles, and was really pleased at the way my car drove and handled. I ended up sleeping in the back for a couple of hours because I didn't want to pay for a hotel, maybe not the absolute best decision I have ever made, but the downtown area felt safe and sufficiently upscale/sleepy for me to risk it.
Before I get into the funeral, which was surprisingly fun, and I'm not being sarcastic at all, I want to cover work on Wednesday. We were slammed, and it was stressful. I didn't know how to tell my crush that I was going to be out of town, I still had the painting and card, so I decided to give it to him on my lunch break. As I'm walking down the shop floor, another guy falls in step with me. The place is large, but of course he walks right up to my crush with me, and then it is super awkward since I have been spotted, and don't feel like a graceful exit is possible since I am holding my gift bag and I don't want the other guy thinking it is, whatever. I don't really know how to adequately explain everything that was going through my head at that moment. So rather than talking to my crush about the reason he was there, he turns to me and asks what I'm doing or something similar. My crush is now sitting on something that doesn't look like a chair, and is not facing me so I'm already really regretting this move, but there we are so I tell both men that I have a present for my crush, and then add that I made it myself in a dippy five year old type voice that sounds unlike my regular one, but I'm super embarrassed so there is that.
Let me back up further and explain that the previous Friday I had asked my crush to help me with a necklace I broke. The clasp falls off because there is a gap in the metal around it, I had walked up to him when he was doing something to the vehicle he was working with, but he stopped what he was doing to see what I needed. Right away I told him that this was personal, and could wait, but he dismissed what he was doing and said it wasn't anything important which I thought was adorable since tires are kind of a critical component of someone's Land Rover. I'm wearing the necklace so he stares at the back of my neck for what seems like ages before he tells me to take it off because his hands are filthy. I explain that he doesn't have to do this right now, but he insists which was also endearing. I take it off, hand it to him, show him the issue, and he takes out an orange handled needle nose pliers. I ask if he's left handed, and he tells me it's one of his quirks. I had taken off my scarf to get at the necklace, it was looped around my hand with the end dangling, I tossed it at him so it hit his arm, and said something like, oh, you mean one of your admirable qualities, and I feel like he blushed, but maybe not.
There was an unexpected and protected intimacy to the moment. We're standing pretty close to each other, he's handling my necklace as if it's a fortune of diamond studded glitteriness rather than a cheap glass pendant I bought at the mall years ago for $10. I ask about further sealing the very small opening that is left, more because I was nervous than because I was questioning his competency, and he said it wasn't necessary. I really wanted to hug, or kiss, him; but I thanked him and walked away with my newly repaired merchandise. I read an article about dropping your guard and opening your heart; I want to learn how to better do both things. A friend called me out of the blue, she thought I had quit after a friend of mine was fired. I was so surprised at her reasoning; the things people think, say, and do rarely fail to astonish me. We talked about all sorts of topics; cats, sex, what she wanted to eat that evening, me getting sick. She said that she was sad that I was allergic to cats because she feels like we would good roommates and I agreed. I think we need each other and would be a good balancing act of sorts.
Monday I will find a new place to eat lunch; my friend told me that the alignment rack would be reserved in my honor since I wasn't there to eat at it. I will really miss those days of taking my lunch back there. People said it was dirty, and it is, but it was solid and reliable in its dingy worn and scarred faded redness. We had so many really great conversations, good food, it was a feeding of the mind and psyche as well as the actual body. The picnic we planned will probably never take place, there's typically at least one person who changes my life at a workplace. He listened to me, he cared, he loved me, supported me, but for his sake, I am glad he finally has a break from a place that still employs the real problematic person(s). I'm sure my friend is not guilt free; he said he was relieved when I asked him how he was doing, and I understand that having been on that side of a firing. I wonder what it is that makes us see potential in others. He didn't like me at first, and I wasn't too sure about him either. I can't say why I kept making the effort when he seemed so resistant, what made him change his mind, or when I realized I could open up, relax, vent, and be myself in front of him. While I'm sure the company had their reasons, all I can say is my workplace has been dimmed now that my emotional support candle has been snuffed out so suddenly. Maybe I will stop trying so hard, people are either going to like me, or they won't. Why do I even care?
Finally went to the grocery store. I bought a can of soup, some gluten free crackers, and my stomach is still unhappy; but I am content overall with the way my life is trending. I did some decluttering, I made an effort to attend the funeral of a man I respected who impacted my life positively, and I'm really glad that I endured some personal discomfort for the chance to have those few precious hours with my family. I have a lot of that side in me; I forget that since I am typically so disconnected from them. They make sense in a way my mother's side never will. Despite getting sick, I feel healthier in some indefinable ways. As if the fresh air, sunshine, and a military burial in a sprawling grassy cemetery was what I needed more than the money I would have earned working. It was hard to leave my crush, but it will give him time to miss me, and I hope that he has a really good weekend and comes back to work the way I plan on, refreshed, and ready to tackle the challenges, obstacles, and opportunities of an upcoming work week. May it ever be so until there is no need to punch a time clock.
All my best;
P.S. All of these funerals makes me think about what I want for others when I'm gone. Blue skies, laughter and light hearted conversations, great food, hopefully it will be baseball season. That would be the best from my current point of view although there is something about the biting crisp cold of winter that makes me feel as if it is fitting funeral weather.