I got through my second class without tears but discovered that in two days I have to share the draft of my research paper with my classmates for “peer review.”
“You mean I have to show this to people?” I asked my classmate. The professor expected us to come up with a 5-10 page draft essay in one week over the Thanksgiving break and my draft is really nothing but disparate thoughts and ideas spilled out on to paper based not on research (yet) but on my own memories. I had my older daughter come to visit for much of the week and had just one day to try to write in which my younger daughter repeatedly interrupted me and half my brain was paralyzed with panic, feeling like I had no time for research and just had to produce five pages of something. The topic is asocial versus social perceptions of nature in my hometown of Ojai. I still don’t exactly know how to approach it and am afraid to re-read my draft.
When I got home, I began sifting through all the scholarly articles we’ve read in the class (I must incorporate 3+) and picking out several that I might use. Then I became distracted with paying credit card bills. I made a giant salad for lunch from random things in my nearly bare kitchen. I now know that cornbread is never a good thing to include in a salad. With a salad, sure, but not in a salad. As a kid I saw my dad mix his dinner salad in with his spaghetti and say it tasted good and I’ve been trying odd combos ever since.
All of these mundane distractions took my mind off my feelings for a bit and off it wandered to what Matthew is feeling. He and I have been so close for so long; even if he has been terribly wrong in the latest episode of discord, I know he must be hurting from being separated from me and I feel stung with sympathy for him alongside my pain, anger and resentment. It feels so wrong to never speak to a person again but every time we have stayed in touch after a break up, we just got back together and every time we got back together we ended up in this miserable situation all over again, where he says or does something callous and hurtful, I try to talk to him about it, he says he’s sorry at first but then tells me that I’m just being oversensitive and there really isn’t a problem and I should think about such and such differently, at which point I get louder and more angry and insistent that it was indeed bad, he gives another shallow apology followed by further justification, my temper is long gone now, he shuts me out, saying that he is too tired to endure the argument and I tell him I can’t stand any more of him and must leave. It isn’t the initial event that is quite so awful–it is everything that follows it. It is not being heard or cared about from the person you love most that is so awful.