I'm starting to feel like I'm cursed.
In the grand scheme of things, it's not a big curse. Or, well, maybe it is. But no matter what, it's a curse and it sucks.
Here's the thing. You know I'm a Jersey girl, right? And that I live in South Carolina now?
I still love my home state, though, and all the friends and family I left behind. And I miss the hell out of New York. The city, of course. I miss the smells (chestnuts, pretzels, a touch of smog). I miss the sounds (honking, shouting, cursing, sirens). I miss wandering the halls of the Met, losing myself in the Degas hall (I'm not a dancer, but his paintings make me want to dance). I miss walking the streets at night, when the city shows no sign of rest.
I just miss it.
I haven't been to New York since before Zoe was born, and I haven't been home to Jersey in a few years either. Because every time I plan a trip...something happens.
First it was a road trip, planned for Charles, Zoe and me at the end of last summer. After a nasty flair-up of my insomnia (I don't think I slept more than two hours for about five nights straight), I was nervous about a 12 hour drive and a crazy, chaotic week of visiting friends. I canceled that trip myself, making the decision to take care of my body instead of partying like a rock star (a rock star with a four-year-old but who's counting). That kind of sucked, but just a little.
So I planned a trip for later in the fall. We'd leave on a Friday, fly up, and come home Monday. It would be busy and hectic, but it would just be a few nights. I'd survive, even if I didn't sleep.
The Tuesday before we were supposed to leave, Hurricane Sandy hit. Much of my hometown was underwater, and most of the state was without power. Clearly that trip was canceled.
That sucked on a whole new level.
We were supposed to leave Thursday for a trip to the city. This time we'd stay IN the city, in a hotel. We'd DO the city. FAO Schwartz. The Museum of Natural History. Maybe even a Broadway show, if TKTS cooperated.
Last week, we noticed our Dalmatian, Molly, was getting thin. She's old, almost fourteen, so it wasn't entirely unexpected or surprising. But still, it was concerning, and when she couldn't eat without getting sick, well...
Today I took her to the vet. I found out her liver and her pancreas are failing. She's probably only got a few days or a week to live.
Clearly we're not headed north. I doubt we'll even leave the house much over the course of the next few days.
Molly is Charles's girl, but I love her dearly too. She's a sweet dog (except for that time she tried to eat our neighbor's little boy...but that's a story for another day). Very loving and always happy to see us. Even through yesterday, sometimes she still acted like a puppy. To look at her wasn't to see an old, tired dog. It was to see a vibrant, alive creature, always excited to see what the day would bring.
I'm not ready to lose her. None of us are. Tonight we sent Zoe to sleep at a friend's house because we didn't know what the evening would bring. Tonight Charles and I are sleeping downstairs, near Molly, because we don't know what the night will bring. It may be days...it may even be weeks if the fluids and meds she's taken help her rally...but our time is running short.
I'm sad to miss New York and New Jersey yet again. I'm angry that we can't refund our tickets.
But those thoughts pale in comparison to how much I'm going to miss our Molly.
So I might be cursed. I'm certainly not going to plan another trip north anytime soon. Third time was definitely not the charm, and I'd hate to see what another attempt could bring. I'm not ready to lose anyone else.
Maybe that's the horror writer in me talking. Curses. Bah. I'm probably crazy. But who cares.
Tonight I'm going to lay here (insomnia rearing its ugly head of course) and listen to everyone in the house breathe. The ins and outs of each breath. Charles is the loudest, but I have good ears. I can hear them all. Molly's quiet, slightly-labored snore. The snuffles of our other dog, Quentin. The soft sounds of our cats, Doozer and Owen. We're all here, in the living room.
Tomorrow night is New Year's Eve. I imagine tomorrow night will find us doing the same, with the wild, thrashing breaths of Zoe thrown into the mix.
I'm going to listen all night to the ins and outs of everyone's breaths. Because at this point? I don't know what else to do.
|Left to right: Quentin, Zoe, Molly|