One of my dearest friends asked me this on Facebook messenger the other day - checking in on me.
Is the enormity of this situation setting in? I want to make sure you stay on top of the emotional end of things. Sorry if that is a personal question.I answered:
Yannow, it has, but I think I'm getting used to it. I don't bawl every time the subject of the cat comes up now And even though I act like a pessimist, I'm really more of an optimist. Things are looking up.Even at that time I thought that was a rather weak and generic answer, even though it was true. That question has been bothering me ever since. How do I really feel about what happened?
The best answer is it depends.
I'll frame it initially in these terms - what I don't feel. I do not feel particularly singled out by God or the Fates or whatever. These things happen, and there was nothing I could have done. Perhaps I could have disconnected the electricity from the house every time I left, or had water running on the house, or some such fantastic Rube Goldbergain solution. And we all know that would be an unworkable fantasy.
Could I have purchased insurance? Sure I could. I will be in the future. Renter's insurance is cheap compared to coverage for a farm. Were I a better money manager perhaps I could have paid those insurance bills. Chalk one up for bitter experience - but once again, what happened is over and done.
The Moving Finger writes; and, having writ,My tears for my cat certainly haven't washed out much. Intellectually I realize there was nothing I could do about or for him, but emotionally I do feel responsible because I was not there for him. In his deepest hour of need, I was absent. I am responsible. Right, wrong or indifferent as this may seem, that is how I feel.
Moves on: nor all thy Piety nor Wit,
Shall lure it back to cancel half a Line,
Nor all thy Tears wash out a Word of it.
I also have a sense of The Man Without A Country. Even though I am "home," I'm not really home. That peculiar combination of location, furnishings and so on is gone forever. It's like I'm in motel mode. Let me explain.
When I'm on the road and staying in motels, I feel that I am a guest and act accordingly. I try to be neat and clean, make sure all the trash is disposed of properly, the towels aren't tossed willy nilly, and so on. I do not believe in making the maids' jobs harder for no reason, and I do have to come back to many of these places. I'd prefer they remember me in a positive light.
I am a guest now, not a resident. Even when I move into the rental, it still won't be mine. There are certain expectations that should be met under these circumstances. I always joke about peeing outside at the farm, and that sort of thing is right out living in a city. Unless indecent exposure is something I want on my record. I am going to have to be on a higher level of behavior, and I am well aware of this fact.
Plus, when I move into that rental, the furnishings might technically be mine, but they were not necessarily what I had chosen for myself, if that makes any sense. Not that there is a damn thing wrong with any of the items collected so far - not my point. My favorite chair is gone, end of story. Will I be able to relax and enjoy the different furnishings and so on? I seem to be highly adaptable, so I expect I will. Just gonna be disconcerting in an unfamiliar environment for a while.
There is also a sort of unspoken set of expectations as well - since the community has gathered around me and taken care of me, it's a given that I won't turn into some sort of child molesting, nun raping kook in a trenchcoat scaring women and children. I am being offered a new beginning, and I should be running with that.
Then there is the hard fact that all my stuff is gone and ain't coming back. It's more than just the expensive items like the guns, knives and electronics - it's also my stash of incandescent bulbs, or all the extra batteries. My die cast car collection - gone. All my books. The cool artwork on the walls. My Dad's yen notes from a trip to Japan when he was stationed at Okinawa. My favorite pots, pans and skillets. The collection of Corelle Livingwear I'd built up from a partial set by filling in from eBay. Candles stashed. Pictures from several trips to Texas Motor Speedway to watch NASCAR. And speaking of - the used tire from one of races. High school annuals. Mementos and placeholders of my past - wiped out forever. Irreplaceable.
It could be said all that stuff made me it's prisoner in a weird sort of way - that I was bound up in the traditions and habits of the past. Being rid of all of that cauterized that part of the past and now I have a fresh beginning. What I do with that opportunity is entirely up to me.
So, do I realize the enormity of the situation? Yeah, I think so. There may be other facets not yet discovered. How do I feel about it? Like I said, it depends. The future? I feel good. Missing all my stuff? Bad, but not entirely broken up about it. I don't cry about those losses. Nothing is going to change how I feel about my little buddy - just that time is necessary to heal from that wound.
So, Tracy, I hope this is a better answer for you. I think you were satisfied with my original one, even though I was not. Heh.