Friday, February 17, 2006

Okay, I am officially going nuts.

I am sitting in my boyfriend's kitchen typing these words on my laptop. It is quite surreal to me to think of all that has changed in this last year.

Next to me is work I am supposed to be doing (I am a great procrastinator), and it seems like the most normal thing in the world for me to be alone in this otherwise empty apartment. I have often come down here with friends, but have often been alone here too.

The first time I came here after he left, it felt wrong. It felt wrong to be unlocking his apartment and waltzing in. I got a lump into my throat when I walked into the bathroom and saw in the laundry basket the shirt he had been wearing the night I left.

I remember picking it up, and hoping I could make out his scent. I opened the bathroom cabinet and there was his bottle of cologne. I later sprayed it on an undershirt of his, and took it back with me to my place, and slept in it occasionally.

I kept that t-shirt in my top drawer. A few months ago, I found that t-shirt, but didn't recognize it, because it had completely lost its scent. It no longer smelled like my boyfriend. It was just a plain t-shirt.

And his apartment has become that way too. For the last year I have come to this apartment, and he hasn't been here. I have since washed the clothes he left in the laundry basket. I have spent endless hours watching DVDs, movies, and Tv sitting on the couch, and can hardly even remember the last time I spent on the sofa with him, those memories having been replaced by all the more recent memories of drinking a morning coffee and reading trashy magazines with one of my best friends.

The first few times I was here, I would sit on the couch, and remember how it sounded like to be in the living room and hearing his keys in the door, the door opening, and him walking in his boots, and striding down the hallway to check on me. I would almost expect to hear it and would miss it. It would be weird to be in his apartment for a while 24 hours and not see or hear him. I had acute boyfriend withdrawal symptoms.

In his kitchen cabinets, his groceries have since been replaced by my groceries and spices. The fridge that he emptied and unplugged when he left, is now full of foods that aren't his favorites, but mine.

Even the sheets on the bed are new...and the pillow and comforter. I didn't like his, so I brought my spare set down here.

And since I long used up his American brand laundry detergent, the sheets and towels don't even smell how they are “supposed” too.

There is a small sliver of his soap left in the shower, that I will occasionally use, but otherwise it seems like through one year's worth of visits to his apartment, I have managed to almost erase most signs that he was ever here. (Except for all his material possessions).

Today I found this funny post at Household 6 about trying to figure out when her husband will be back in Germany:

It's 34 days from the BOG date which incidentally stands for Big Orange Pumpkin, but it will probably be something more like 23.4 days plus or 1.7 days based on the meteorological algorithm but that has to be converted to Greenwich Mean Time and adjusted for the Borealis effect. Throw in 3.2 days for customs inspections pre-flight briefings and time reserved for the Air Force Pax terminal workers to smile smugly and piss you off then subtract 2.1 days if you happen to have an Air Force O5 or above flying with you on Space A. Of course this doesn't include the mandatory .375 phases of the moon wait at that Purgatory in K'stan and all of this is subject to the whim of the Evil Flight Planning Voo Doo Witch Doctor.

It made me crack up so much, because anyone who has ever waited for a soldier to come home from a deployment or for R&R tries to find some logical calculation of when their soldier will be home. It's the randomness that drives everyone so nuts.

Today the first two flights of soldiers from our unit arrived back in Germany. It makes me giddy to think that sometimes in the next week I will also make the trek to the base to stand there, and wait for my soldier to walk in.

And I can't wait until he comes back and refreshes my memory! I can't wait to open the freezer and see Eggos, and open the fridge and see Velveeta. I can't wait for him to buy Tide liquid detergent, and Downey softener sheets. I just can't wait.

Sitting, Waiting, Wishing...

7 Comments:

Blogger nicole said...

That is halarious. Yeah, you gotta love the "hurry up and wait" condition...I just loved the few days before the return when I started getting calls saying "Your husband will be arriving at such and such a day at such and such time." That day comes and I get a call at 12:00pm...he's coming at 6:30. I get a call at 5:30...he's coming at 8:00. 7:00--he's coming at 12:00...there's been a delay. So we're in the gym with our PJs on at 10pm...too funny.

6:59 PM  
Blogger nicole said...

In addition, I can empathize with your feelings of "strangeness"...when you're alone, you have no choice but to move on and become independent and get things done for yourself and somewhere in the midst, you fall into your little rigid routines and your space becomes YOUR space, your time YOUR time...it's weird but very common ;)

7:04 PM  
Blogger bee said...

Sitting, wishing, waiting, indeed!
So exciting! :)

12:28 AM  
Blogger Shannon said...

In April 04 (husband left in Aug 03), I sort of went through the same thing. I came downstairs after putting the babies to bed and it just hit me like a ton of bricks: this is MY normal now...

STUNK - we still had a while to go before he'd return. I can say, after reading the entry on my old blog about it tonight, all the worries I had about how we'd get back to normal once he returned were baseless. We had no problems adjusting.

Have a wonderful reunion! I hope you're wait is over very soon and I can't wait to read about it!

2:48 AM  
Blogger airforcewife said...

Oh my goodness! You just described so many things I went thorough!

I used to sleep with one of hubby's dirty t-shirts. Sounds kind of gross, but it made him feel closer. And when the smell started to run out, I made him send me a sweaty-from-the-desert one. It was rank when he sent it, but by the time it got here it was okay.

What is REALLY gross is that when he is gone on short TDY's I can't seem to bring myself to change the sheets! So I'll have the same sheets on the bed for two weeks.

I must sound like a terrible pig! (but I understand totally what you were describing!)

3:48 PM  
Blogger Lizzie said...

I'm so excited for you! Despite not commenting often, reading your blog has helped me feel less alone in this wait.

I took some of his clothes too, and wore one of his hats during my first triathlon. I still wear it out running. I also recently returned from a trip to his house and it felt strange not to have him around. I can't wait for my next trip to spruce it up for his return.

Three more months to go.

3:39 AM  
Blogger Household6 said...

AFW - I did the same thing after R&R. I kept the same sheets for about three weeks when I was worried that they might have out done their "manly" smell to something different.

HH6

11:55 AM  

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