Ed. note: this post was written long ago. I’ve punted it forward in my timeline, just to allow it to land well after the moment. Even as I write this editor’s note, events have superseded what I wrote. This post, then, is my emotions, trapped in amber, from one moment.
As we contemplated her impending absence – and the certainty that I would find it challenging – we concocted the idea that Marina would send me two photos a day – one of her, one of her surroundings. So as to avert any possible contribution to my current spate of insomnia, I specified that I would prefer not to get photos on any given day if “send” would be pressed on them later than 8 pm my time.
I write this on the third full day of Marina’s 8-10 day trip.
And I’m. In. Agony.
The agony is, or should be, comical. It will be comical in retrospect. But, in the moment, it just feels like some very primal, very early alone-ness. And not just alone-ness, but alone-ness tinged with malevolence and/or, even worse, indifference.
I know better.
I know that Marina cares about me. That she intended, at least, at the start of the trip, to return to me in something like the way things were when she left. But left to my imagination, I’m left to my imagination. And my imagination follows deep, deep ruts.
When the photos came – and she’s sent several now – they couldn’t have landed less like I had hoped. I think I conceived of them as “postcards,” but I instructed her poorly. All I asked her to send was the photos. But postcards provide a simultaneous visual and verbal communication. The photos we had agreed she would send? They landed much as a blank postcard might: “Having a great time.” But without the “… wish you were here,” part.
I know Marina doesn’t wish I were there. And that’s pretty much ok with me. But what’s very hard for me is to imagine not only that she doesn’t wish I were there, but that she doesn’t imagine me, that she isn’t thinking about me.
And that is, for me, a special sort of annihilation.