I'm doing better this week in terms of immediate angst mostly because I have a guest visiting, and being the thorougly noxious extravert that I normally am, I focus on interactions with/doing stuff with or for/house stuff around the guest.
No, I am not giving any more info than 'guest' - those of you who know who it is, will know, and those who don't, will know if guest decides to post here and say.
I've left a little introspective ghost-on-my-shoulder watching what goes on, because I'm curious about how I'm dealing with all this.
First, when I'm alone, the pain is just about where it was last week. I'm still deliberately leaving the radio on when that song comes on, and now that I've gotten past the immediate visceral reaction, I can analyze it for content.
It's basically, "I love you girl and we're both gonna die sometime, and I stylishly disbelieve that we'll get an afterlife, at least not the kind that they show on TV, Wahh, I was abused by nuns in school, so I don't believe in anything they said except that I really sorta do, anyway, I love you girl, and when you die (and you're gonna die before me) then I'll be there when you do and I'll die shortly after, and if heaven and hell won't let us in, then we'll go into the eternal dark and wait for something to happen together."
Mmmmyeah. OK. Enough in there that doesn't match anything I believe to be true, that I can look at it as a somewhat maudlin lovesong, and I can also recognize that it pisses me off because I wasn't there when Penny died, which is also extremely painful, as we had not really come to any kind of agreement about that particular thing.
It didn't really help my stability a lot this weekend, to hear L.Carter talking about 1993, when Janice (his wife) was coming out of the operating room after her second brain surgery to deal with cancer, and had a heart attack (they didn't recognize it as such at the time) ... He was a nurse, and was able to be with her immediately after the operation (and maybe during, I dunno) ... anyway, she was talking about floating, and after a bit, as her vitals readings dropped, the attendant nurse had her hand poised next to the red button to call for the crash cart, and Jan (who is moderately blind without glasses, and the nurse was out of her line of sight) asked why the nurse had her hand in the air, and why people were standing around, and what the doctor was doing outside the room. Then, she started slipping again. Carter started praying, "God, please don't take her yet, I'm not done with her" and her vitals reset back to where they should have been, and she stopped feeling that she was floating, and stopped seeing the room from above.
Out of body near-death stuff is one of the most disturbing and hard to handle things for skeptics, but then, about this particular event I'm not skeptical. Janice has gone through quite a bit of misery and suffering since then, but also through a fair amount of happiness and joy, I think, and Carter's had his own share of both, and has also become a lot better person overall, which is frankly what should happen.
The trouble (for me) is my purely selfish whine that I wasn't given the opportunity ... then again, the cancer was so thoroughly through her organs that she would have died in a week or so anyway, because even if the cancer had been killed or knocked back by chemo, the amount of damage it had done could not be regenerated without a complete and functioning liver, and she didn't have one of those. Intellectually, and from a spiritually honest point of view, she really was freed from a body of death, and even when I'm selfishly complaining about this, I do know that truth.
Observations from the introspective critter: Feeding my guest has been an interesting battle. Guest doesn't want to use my kitchen (and frankly, I understand, it's not just a mess, it's also Someone Else's Kitchen) but we did get microwaveable lunches and such, which means it's not a problem.
However, when I ask preferences for food, well. Penny was always able to say what she wanted to eat, even if it was 'just a can of chocolate glop please' (referring to Ensure) and she knew what I can and cannot cook well and quickly. Guest probably does not, although I'm a significantly better cook than I was back in college, and I have probably demonstrated that fact.
Food preferences are also interesting. Guest dislikes visible fat in meat, a common enough thing, but one I'm not accustomed to. Vegetables are referred to as 'roughage' and as such, tolerated as necessary... I made quinoa bread last Friday, and to go along with some pan-fried thin-cut flanken ribs with mummy dust, I made sandwiches with thin slices of this bread plus butter and three or four ribs of Romaine lettuce. If I'd had vegemite or marmite, that would've gone in there too.
This was deemed acceptable, although I was fussily worried that the bread wouldn't really be appreciated. (It's weird stuff, very densely textured, and not good by itself, and tends to be a bit dusty in the mouth. I'm still working on the recipe.) It was, though, as a sandwich-bookend substance.
Anyway. Sleep with another person in the apartment ... different. I have been staying up later than I should.
I have been paying for that by having mild headaches, and more frequent narcoleptic events at work, but I'm factoring that into the hours I charge anyway.
Getting up and going in the morning isn't terribly hard, if it's something I know is critical then the brainstem adjusts and makes enough hypocretin for me to get going earlier, but again, later on, I run out.
I suspect Guest was worried about disrupting my sleep. Nah. I can sleep through almost anything, not always a good thing either, and was only surprised to wake up at 5AMish a couple times to the call of the bladder, to find that there was still awakeness in the living room. This doesn't bother me at all. I know Guest has sleep disorder issues as well.
Anyway. Penny would have been crankier about parts of it. She might have just gone along with the disrupted hours, because Guest was one of her friends as well, and they enjoyed sharing videogame geekery that I'm simply not as good at.
Which reminds me now that I need to get a half hour's more worth of work done, then I have to take off early and return in the afternoon to set up a test run over the weekend.
Miss you, Penny.