Saturday, December 12, 2009
I'm participating in Gwen Bell's Best of 2009 Blog Challenge. You can read about it here.
Day 9 Prompt: Challenge. Something that really made you grow this year. That made you go to your edge and then some. What made it the best challenge for you?
I lost my best friend. I guess what makes it the best challenge--a challenge that will continue in these final days of 2009 and on to 2010--is that I am trying my best to put things in perspective. I'm trying my best to remember all the shining moments. I'm trying to remember that I did my best. And I want to be sure that, unlike him, I am not hateful. His personality dictates that those shining moments are now tarnished or erased. And that is his choice. I, on the other hand, know that I gave my all in 4 years and that there were tons of beautiful moments.
In honor of that challenge, I present a diary entry I wrote August 3, an entry I wrote while on his family farm. The entry captures the tail-end of a fight and also the sweet aftermath:
"I awakened first, per usual. I went and sat on the porch and read, letting the sun bear down on my legs and shoulders. It felt good, as though baking out all my discontents. Two hours later, after 10 anyway, A. woke up. I could hear him in the kitchen and wondered if I was going to get the silent treatment. Maybe 10 minutes passed until he decided to say good morning. I came in, got dressed, and started working on one of the upstairs bedrooms. A. came in and hugged me, said, "I'm sorry. I try to be a good man," and the combination of those words and the contact with his hairy chest made me teary. My only response was, "I know." I tried to continue working in the room, but really I wanted to be with A. I walked out into the kitchen and found him watching a movie on my laptop. I stood behind him and put my hand on his shoulder. He put his hand on my calf and squeezed. I sat down and watched the rest of the movie, Small Town Ecstasy, about a dad to 3 kids who was addicted to ecstasy and the rave scene, and he shared that habit with his kids.
After, we worked on the basement. We took a break to eat lunch then went back to work, this time on Kim's bedroom. Near 5, we quit. A. invited me to walk up the driveway with him to call his mom and see when she was coming the next day. Around 7 p.m., we climbed over a fence to cut weeds. At first, A. did the cutting, and I stuffed the clingy little fellows in a feed sack. Then we swapped. When finished, A. was the worse for wear, with weeds sticking all over his arm hair, head hair, and clothes. I felt a bit like a mama ape helping him pick burrs off himself, but it was also quite intimate and reminded me that there's pretty much nothing I wouldn't do for him. I think he knew it. As such, he kissed me, and we continued picking burrs.
Later, I told him that I wanted to bake his mom a pie, which he approved of and also volunteered to pick them with me, so for the next hour or so, we traipsed out into the stickery blackberries, even making a second trip up to the top of the driveway near the spring. When we returned, I made him quesadillas with TVP, onion, green pepper, with a cabbage slaw on top and hot sauce. We watched the dumbest movie, Freaks. Then we went to bed. We both made a point of showering, which crassly means that we'll likely make love. And, thankfully, we did."