Ok. So yesterday I told you that Ms. Müller’s visa was denied, and any real chances she has of coming out here have been put off until further notice… So, now what?
Every day is a struggle. It’s hard to like, care about shit.
The first two days were brutal. I was on the road, and I had to keep working. I spent them in a sweaty and dirty haze, and did my best to actually get my crap done, and to put on a happy face for our customers. I stayed in the hotel bar into the wee hours of the night sipping Jim Beam, eating my dinner of onion rings and staring off into space. I didn’t really sleep much.
I suppose it was only natural of me to think that getting home would help. So I did my best to hold it together, and surprisingly, held it together well enough to finish the job and get back to Pittsburgh for the flight home. I got in pretty late on Thursday night, and went into the office Friday morning. I talked with my boss, who was kind enough to work with me so I could get out to Germany as soon as possible, and I booked a ticket using my miles to head out there next week.
Then, with the week’s work finished, and and my damage control efforts behind me, there wasn’t much else to worry about. No power plants, no part shipments, no planes to catch or flights to book. I was just at home. And the next year or so of my life was staring me in the face. I thought I’d feel better at home. I was wrong. I’ve outlined before that home is sort of a quixotic Holy Grail anymore. When I’m travelling, home sounds wonderful. When I get home, I realize it’s just an empty apartment with a handful of non-perishable goods and a TV. I don’t ever really feel at home any more. As I put it in an earlier post:
“When your life is on the road, not at home, the road becomes your home, and your home becomes sort of a mediocre hotel room that’s just another dot on the map. I’ve mentioned before that without even realizing it, I almost always refer to whatever hotel I’m staying at as ’home.’ I don’t know what that makes actual home, but I don’t really care for the sensation.”
I think I handled things better for those couple days when I was working, and had at least some modest distractions. I spent the weekend pouting more than anything else. I drank too much, and I didn’t eat enough. Looking around the apartment that a few days before I’d been incredibly excited to prepare for Ms. Müller’s arrival, I couldn’t find the motivation to so much as go to the grocery store and prepare myself a decent meal, let alone start on the laundry from the last two weeks and actually get the place cleaned up.
And Ms. Müller and I struggled to find the time to talk. On Sunday we both had an overlapping half hour, so she called me on Skype. And it sucked. For the first time since we started this crazy transatlantic relationship, I wasn’t like a kid on Christmas when I saw her face. When she popped up on my screen, the sight of her laying under her covers was like a punch in the stomach. ”This is it” I thought, “this is going to be our relationship for the foreseeable future. Skype. Fuck.” I stared off into space and she gave a futile effort to engage me in conversation. After about 10 minutes we gave up and said goodnight. Ms. Müller said it was the first time that she’s ever felt worse after talking to me.
Now Ms. Müller will be starting school soon, and I’m really happy for her. Not only because college is an amazing experience, but also because right now she has something to look forward to; something to plan for, and after having our hopes dashed, that’s invaluable. College was her back up plan just in case something exactly like this whole visa thing went down. So she’s spent the last week registering for classes, looking at apartments, and getting ready to move to the city.
And while it makes me happy to know that she has that to look forward to, it stings like hell that I feel like I’ve been left behind; I feel like I’m stuck on the platform and I’m watching her train pull away from the station. As soon as we knew for certain that her trip out here was dead, she began her preparations for the next phase of her life. I just went ‘home.’
This relationship just got a whole lot harder. The next several months just went from what promised to be an incredible and unforgettable chapter in my life, to another difficult year in power plants and hotel rooms. But it’s not going to be difficult if I don’t get my shit together. It’s going to be downright impossible.
So I guess what’s next is finding my big boy pants (they’re undoubtedly hidden unlaundered in a suitcase somewhere) and doing my best to focus on the fact that I still have this chick, not that I just had 7 months with her taken away. I need to move forward, and like, be there for her while she does her best to do the same. It’ll be tough, but at least I’ll be seeing her at the end of next week. I’m sure that will help. I hope it will help.
It has to help.