Tuesday, February 23, 2010

More sadness

At 9:15 PM on February 21, 2010 my dad passed away. I had the good fortune to be with him for his last 5 days and was able to hold his hand and tell him I love him.

I have been with my family for the last week while we all grieve together. I have found it difficult to write about it. As time goes on I will try to be more able to talk about it but for now my posts will be fewer.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

My Dad is dying

My next post will be written from Florida. I am booked on a flight at 4 PM tomorrow. My dad was admitted to a hospice care facility yesterday and I see no reason not to go as soon as possible. I don't know what to expect or even if he will still be able to communicate, but I can at least go and hold his hand.

I've been fortunate to be able to spend time with him over the last several years. We had many heart to heart talks. When ever I've left it's been very emotional. He very much knows that I love him.

Finding a co-op was more his doing than mine and I had hoped he would be here for when I get one. We had been having regular conversations about it and now that I am about to make a deal on one I'm not even sure he knows. When I go see him I would like it if he can just say "good".

He's meant so much to me. He has been my mentor, my guide, my friend and my dad. Whatever I am both good and bad is because of him.

Monday, February 15, 2010

A Single Guy's Valentine's Day

I woke up on Valentine's Day early ... At 4 AM I just couldn't get back to sleep. I stayed in bed in a semi-conscious state until about 7 AM when i finally just got up, made coffee, and read the Sunday paper. I had a busy morning planned. I needed to go to my sister's and feed her pets and then I was meeting a realtor to see some co-op apartments. I was feeling very down about how my life is right now. I felt my friends don't really get me anymore, my family were all away, and the one person I want to hear from is starting a new relationship. I keep coming back to the thought that everyone will find love and it will never be me. I was not in a good place.

But then my whole day turned around. I got to my sister's and while there I started a load of laundry and relaxed and read the Times. Gradually I started to feel more optimistic. I met the realtor right on time and we had 4 units scheduled. The first two were not really what I had in mind, but then I saw what I hope will be home.
It has 2 bedrooms so I can set up an office. The kitchen is new. There is wall to wall carpeting throughout. The only problem is the bathroom looks a little shabby. But best of all the price is right about what I can do. I'm hoping to make 22 my new lucky number. That is the number of the address. I've already given it a name ... "Evening Shade" since the views are south, east and north so I get all shade in the evening. I'm already getting emotionally attached. I know that's is the worst thing to do. But I can't help it ... I want to be the optimist.
So I saw the last unit and told the realtor to make and offer on the one I liked. Still waiting but I think it will work out. I went back to my sister's to fold the laundry and called mom and told her the news. We spoke about my dad and while it is disturbing to hear about how he is withering away. But I am going for a visit and he will likely still be good by then so I can see all the upside of things.
I had a quiet evening at home. At around 5 PM my cell phone rang with the special ring I hadn't heard in a long time. It was Coleen. She wanted to know how things with dad was... it made me feel good that she still cares even when she is moving in a new direction. I hate that I need a tragedy to maintain contact. I liked hearing from her. Please don't let me use emotional distress as a tool. We spoke for a few minutes and she did mention she was having dinner with a "friend" who I knew was Jimmy. I just let it go. I miss her being my friend more than the hope of something more. So I'm processing that.
Then later Janet called and we had a much more extensive conversation. She hadn't done much that day either. We talked about my buying the co-op. And about my dad. It was good to chat. I didn't mention anything Coleen's earlier call. I am hoping to just leave it alone.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Saturday birthday party for Lisa

Yesterday was all about Lisa's birthday. It was a good time if not a little stressful. I volunteered to do the decorations and Janet helped. Because of Janet they came out great. So the night was fun. The stress came from the friends that I've grown a little more than tired of.

It seems they have this idea that they know what is best for me and I need to be scolded. But this was Lisa's party and I wasn't going to make too much of an issue. But I was struggling with how things were going with them as they were very standoff-ish.
I'm still not 100% sure what their agenda is anymore. Judy, the one on the left, has not had a nice word to say to me in years. I am so sick of it and that attitude must be rubbing off on the other three. I'm to a point I don't want to be in the same room with her. Roberta I rarely see anymore. She was the one who for what aver reason got between me and Coleen like I needed to be saved or something. Jami's deal is that she likes me just a little more than I'm comfortable. You would think in my loneliness I would feel good but she is not someone I could ever be with.
And then there is Janet. She is so beautiful and such a good friend and there was a time when I really wanted to get close to her. But over time I got over that. I keep wanting there to be something because she is so good but she has never given me the feeling that she wants me any closer than what we currently are. She rejects anything that resembles a date. Franmkly I'm fine with that.
So that was the party. I really wanted to have a fun time but I was just grumpy through the whole thing. It didn't help that I'd spoken to family in Florida and things with my dad were weighing heavily on my mind. Janet also dropped the bomb that Coleen and Jimmy were planning a Valentine dinner which I had to process without saying anything. The end of the naight came and Lisa did really enjoy herself on her birthday so I was pleased by that even as I struggled with my own little drama.
I didn't stay too late but most had left by about 10. I left at 11PM and when I got home I went right to bed. I feel asleep but then awoke at arounf 4 AM and couldn't get back to sleep. So thoughts are going in so many directions. I am sowing getting a handle on things but sleep will be tough for a while.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Here comes the weekend

I had planned to go to the gym last night, but when I saw Coleen's car parked near Gates I blew it off and had drinks instead. I spoke to her but she was only there for an hour or so. She knows enough to go home at reasonable time. Something I should learn. I stayed until almost 10 and lost count of how much I had to drink. I'm paying for it now though. I just didn't want to be home alone for another night.

I actually spent most of the night talking to Jimmy, who Coleen is now seeing. (I think) He's a good guy and I can see why she likes him ... I just wish I wasn't so jealous. I'm not really sure how that's going as they weren't sitting together when I came in. It doesn't really matter because she isn't into me at all anymore. She doesn't flirt with me or tell me things so I'm getting those bad feelings out of my head as best I can.

There is good news from my parents in Florida. My dad's condition has improved. For a few days it looked like he may not have many tomorrows left. As it is he may only have a few months at best. At least I'll have a chance to visit in March and spend some time with him. I want it to be happy times.

It's Friday and the big party for Lisa's birthday is tomorrow. I plan to take pictures and enjoy things. I still need to find her a present. I kind of know what I want to give her, but I need to get into a store. Planning to do that during lunch today.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

It Happens

My dad is sick. He has a cold. When you are getting chemo for cancer and have emphysema a simple cold turns deadly. So I don't know what to expect. I'm trying to hope for the best but prepare for the worst. This has been going on since the weekend... and now it is Thursday. It's really adding to my being unable to sleep, although I did sleep last night, mostly because of the several glasses of wine I had to drink.

I got calls from everyone in the family and also had a phone conversation with Janet. So I didn't have that isolation that was making me a little crazy only days before. Not really sure how the next week will be but at least I don't have that miserable loneliness any more. Of course the one person I'd like most to hear from isn't calling but I'm getting over that as best I can.

I didn't really do much about the co-op purchase yesterday. We got a ton of snow so I figured I should wait a day to call the realtor. I did get an email from one of them. I guess I'll look at one this weekend and be patient with my next step. If anything happens with dad I may just table the whole idea.

This will be a fun filled weekend. Lisa has her birthday party on Saturday. She will be celebrating her 40th year on earth. I still need to find her a present. I did the decorations and Saturday I will be filling balloons most of the afternoon. I expect there will be pictures.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

I Found an Old Love Letter

I was digging around some old boxes trying to clean a little and found this old box of 45s that I think were Jenny's. But I noticed a 30 year old letter at the bottom of the box from the first girl I ever really loved. I don't know why I saved it but I had to read it. I decided to type it into this ...
My Dear Babe,
This has got to be a quickie, since I must get back to my studying. I went to a bio review session tonight and there's so much I don't know. Scares the hell out of me, but I had to write to you even if only a little.
Thank you so much for coming this weekend. Maybe things didn't turn out exactly as planned but I had a wonderful time, and ... I love you so much. You make me feel so much like a spoiled child (which, I guess, I am) the way you pamper me and buy me things and smother me with love and attention. Sometimes I really feel that I'm not giving you enough and I feel terrible about it, but - I only have so much to give. You're so wonderful about it though. I miss you already, Baby. When are you coming back?
I don't feel let down about your leaving. I just have a very warm rosy glow inside of me. I keep feeling your body against mine and it gives me such comfort like nothing can get me, even though this bio test is going to. I'll write a good letter by Thursday - after the test is over. I love you very much. - S

This was dated a few days after my one and only visit to her while she was attending college. I was going to school near home and working full time. It would be a month before I would see her again and that was when she told me she wanted to see someone else. But I read this letter and it makes me realize how I was once loved and adored by someone who I felt the same way about. No one ever has written a letter to me like this. I mean it sounds like she really loved me when she wrote it. And then it slipped away. Did I even appreciate it then as much as I do now?

We stayed in contact and even had a few dates a couple of years later that included one great make-out session that could have gone farther but I stopped it because I didn't want to say goodbye twice. We drifted apart and eventually lost contact for years and years ... I google her every now and then and we even exchanged emails but she is no longer the girl who wrote the letter so I'm not interested in what her life is anymore.

But it does give me comfort that at one time in my life I loved someone who felt what I felt. I also still believe it can happen again. Maybe it won't but it is certainly possible.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

I need a little more c-c-c-courage

Nothing happened yesterday. Those are the days I seem to the most to say but no one to say it to. After working all day at home alone I then spend my evening silently watching tv alone. It's getting to me. I've been feeling the need to call my family and friends more and more. And they don't seem to need to talk to me.

I broke down and make a call to say hello to Coleen ... only got voicemail so I left a message. She did not call me back. So seeing her this past weekend didn't lead to anything other than frustration for me. It the same thing I'd been getting from her for about a month. She has her own agenda and clearly I am not on it. My friends tried to tell me this but I could never listen.

I don't like feeling this way. I've been trying to change direction and have hopes of finding something new to focus on. One of those things is my plan to buy a co-op apartment. Sometimes I feel as if it is moving at snail's pace then I feel like it's a freight train that can't be stopped. I did some things about that yesterday. I do have hopes that changing my environment will bring about positive results. Maybe I'll never get the girl I want but if I don't make some kind of change it will just be more of the same.

In my mind I have a vision of how this will go ... I have more than enough money in my 401-k to make this happen. The prices in the complex I am most interested in are lower now than they were 2 years ago mostly because the market has dropped about 20 percent. The mortgage interest rate is about as low as I can expect to see. And to top it off there is a federal government $8000 incentive good until the last day of April.

I have been doing research and I know that these units are all asking for more than $200k. My goal is to get one for considerably less than that. I read an article on what to expect when making low offers to sellers. They can get insulted by offers where I look to take more than 20% off the asking price. My research says most units sell at about 10% below the asking price. So my goal is to get a one bedroom for $175k or a 2 bedroom for $185k. It may take right up until the end of April. I would prefer the 2 bedroom but I am not sure how I can afford the extra dollars.

My next move is to commit to an agent who I want to represent me. I am very nervous about how this will go. I keep coming off as if i want some help and guidance but I also have a very firm idea of how this should go. I have already gone through one agent and am now talking to number 2. I can't quite figure out how to make my case for what I want. I have more of a feeling than an idea. I may need to turn this blog into my space for expressing those thoughts. Feedback would be welcomed so anything in comments will help my anxiety. Especially since most people in my life aren't that interested in talking to me about this process.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Fear and loathing during Super Bowl

As I was getting out the door to go see the Super Bowl at the Gate I got a call on my cell from Coleen .... first incoming call from her in about a month. Imagine my shock. It felt great to talk to her although the little voice in my head was making me wonder why she suddenly was back calling me. I didn't make a big deal about it, if fact I tried to not say how much I'd missed her at all. We were both going to the Gate so I agreed to pick her up and we would make the trip together. Last thing I said is she should let me know when she was ready to leave and to not stay longer just because of me. Her response was that she could always get a ride home from someone. Well that pretty much sums up what my role is.

Okay, so here we go on the rollercoaster ride that was my evening. Now I know just about everyone there and so does Coleen and we weren't really together once we got inside. Jimmy was there too so I wanted to keep a distance and see if I could figure out what is really going on. Coleen wasn't paying much attention to any one person. Judy actually came in and put herself in between Jimmy and Coleen. I am still not wanting to talk to Judy so I moved even a little farther away.

Time to cut to the chase ... somewhere between the first and second quarter a girl walked in that I didn't recognize and went right up he gave her the biggest hello I've ever seen him give. They shared conversation exclusively for about the rest of the night. I could see Coleen go quiet and was trying not be noticed.... I know the feeling because that is where I was only days before. Obviously I'd misread where they were and they are not a couple ... not yet anyway.

So there was no talking to Coleen after that. What could I even say? I mean I did talk to her but she was not engaging. I could see she was getting upset and trying like hell not to show it. She didn't move out of her seat. She smokes and there was a moment when Jimmy asked her to go out on a cigarette break and she just shook her head no.

So after an hour or so of that ... a little past halftime... she got her coat. Judy was going to give her a ride. So there would be no discussion during the ride home. I am glad not to do that as I would not be able to say anything. I'm sure she thinks no one could see how upset she was and if I drove her home she would be closed up like a clam.

Now for the kicker ... about 10 or 20 minutes after Coleen left I noticed Jimmy had disappeared but the girlfriend was still that but was on her phone. I don't know what really happened but this is what I'm guessing ... Coleen got home and sent some kind of text to Jimmy. Jimmy got the text and either was on the phone with Coleen for hours or he went to her leaving the girl behind.

I have no idea how this could have went but I'm betting there was an emotional exchange. For all I know Coleen just went home and went to bed. I stayed until well after the game ended and Jimmy never did come back. I got into this long deep talk with Janet. For some reason she wasn't that anxious to go. I don't think she knew what I was doing but maybe she did.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

What happened this weekend

It's Super Bowl Sunday. The Jets were close to being one of the teams playing but now I get to watch two teams I have little or no interest in. My plan is to go to the Gate to see the game although I wonder if I should. I was there Friday night and again last night and I have this little voice telling me I need a change of scenery.

Friday night I went to the Gate after work and at first I didn't see anyone but after 10 minutes Dave came in and then much to my surprise Roberta came in. Roberta has been staying away for a while saying she doesn't really like the "element" that she sees there... I think she means Coleen but who knows. Speaking of Coleen she wasn't there. More on that later.

I only stayed for one drink because I was going to help Lisa move some furniture she had gotten second hand. It was only going to take an hour or so. I was hoping to just hang out somewhere besides the Gate and I told Roberta I would call and meet somewhere if she wanted. She seemed to be agreeable to that but when I called she didn't answer or call back.

Rather than go home early I decided to see who might be at the Gate. I pulled into the parking lot and saw Janet's car and parked and went in. I didn't see Coleen's car. I was kind of relieved. I went in and at the end of the bar Janet was with Jami and Jimmy ... the same Jimmy that I thought Coleen was now seeing. So I was curious about what was with that. Jimmy was downing drinks and was really intoxicated. Even though I was wondering how things were going with Jimmy and Coleen no one mentioned it and I certainly wasn't bringing it up.

One of the things I noticed was that Janet seemed awfully tense. I seemed like everything I would say was getting on her nerves. But I didn't really care. She had been a little secretive about where she had dinner. I suspect she had a date and maybe it didn't go so well. So I'm not putting a lot of into it. So I was there for an hour or so and Jimmy was too drunk to drive so Janet took him home... which was the smart thing to do. Don't read anything into that ... she just drove and he got home okay. That was the end of the night.

Saturday started out okay. I got up early and met Lisa at the gym and did a good long run on the treadmill and I am really feeling good about myself. Afterwards I called Janet and we went to get some party supplies which took most of the afternoon. On the way back we stopped into Partners which is our Halloween Party bar. There were only a couple people there and the girl behind the bar was very chatty. Her name is Maria and she seemed nice and I liked her looks. But she looked way too young. She did like me I thought. Makes me wonder if I shouldn't consider this to be my change of scenery. We didn't stay long and we had decided to meet the rest of the "gang" at the Gate.

We get there and I see Coleen's car and I immediately swallowed hard and hoped this wouldn't be too bad. To my surprise she was there alone and no Jimmy. Maybe I've completely misread what is really going on. We chatted a bit but there really nothing there anymore. I need ti start feeling less and less and maybe that's a good start. She said she was sick on Friday and didn't come out. I still don't really know what to expect but I am fairly sure she still isn't looking to call me as much as she once did. She left pretty early and I just waved as she walked out the door.

That was my Saturday. Not much happened after that and I was home early. Today I can expect to see all the same people at the Super Bowl party. I'll try to have fun.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Some thing new

It's Friday and almost the end of my self-imposed exile from going to the bar. I still don't know if I'm coming out as I do have some options and also there is a prediction for snow. Still I need to get out and mix it up. So much solitude is making me a little loopy.

Last night I went to the gym and then went to see Mariana and her husband John. They needed help to moving things out of the basement then they gave me piece of exercise equipment that I need to give to Lisa. It ended up being a rather late night. I am feeling the need to get out and see people. Pretty much anyone.

So I am understandably anxious to get out at least for something. Got an email from Roberta so maybe I can meet her somewhere new.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Being pro-active

I really needed to talk to someone last night so I reached out to Janet and we chatted for over an hour. First thing she asked was "what's wrong" and just said I was alone all day and just wanted to hear the sound of a human voice. She seemed to understand and we proceeded to talk about anything that would come up. I really needed it. At least I found out that I am not in her dog house. She empathises with me in my feelings about Judy. She is just not getting dragged into anything. That s a relief. So now I can kind of relax.

I went to the bank and took care of paying off one of my 401-k loans. Now I am set to make a move on an apartment. I need to stay on budget for a while so I can make things work. In my mind I believe this will happen. I don't know what to expect after that but it would be nice to get something I want for a change.

I'll get to the gym again tonight and hopefully Lisa makes it there too. In my conversations with Janet we spoke of Lisa's birthday ... her boyfriend is planning a party and I asked Janet for help with decorations. We have a plan for the weekend. I need to make plans so I don't have another nothing weekend last week.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Better every day

I feel a little better every day. It's amazing what time does. I can survive anything. My trouble sleeping continues but it's a little bit better each night. Exercise helps a lot.

I have been making it into the gym as often as I can and I am now running just about 3 miles. Lisa has been joining me and it feels easier when she is there also. She is still working harder than me.... something that surprises me. She was never much of a runner but she has pushed herself which in turn pushes me. I always get an urge to quit at 2 miles more because I get mentally tired than just tired. But if Lisa keeps going so will I. Other than my feelings of better health I don't see much changing weight-wise or body-wise. Changes like that come so slow I'll probably never see much of a difference unless I do some kind of crash diet ... which I don't think I can ever do anymore. I just hope I can live as long and healthy life.

Meanwhile I still have barely heard from any of my circle of friends. I'm betting there is much discussion amongst Janet and Roberta ... although I have nothing that proves it. Just that they are being very distant. I counter that by being distant myself ... fight fire with fire I guess. There may be a better way but for now that is my tactic. At some point this weekend I'm sure something will break ... probably me.

I am still obsessed with buying myself a co-op. Today I plan to go get a bank check to send to the 401-k people to set up the loans so I'll have a down payment ready to go. Then next week I'll see what I need to do to secure a mortgage approval. I have this little voice in my head telling me if I don't do this now it may never happen. Here is a picture of what I hope will be my kitchen. I've seen about 6 or 8 different places and some were better and some were not as good. But I can see myself in this one. It felt like home.

Monday, February 1, 2010

It's good times - NOT

I can't seem to get to sleep at night like I should. I'm tired but I just lay there ... I want to talk but no one is there except my cat. I have been more lonely that I can ever remember.

I went back to last year's entries and it seems like I was this way last year too. It seems I've changed nothing since then. I'm thinking it has to do with the cold and lack of sunlight.

Right now I am struggling with all my relationships. I don't feel close to anyone right now. All the people I've been connecting with seem to have gone AWOL.

Coleen is now interested in Jimmy. The last 3 calls I made to her cell were either not returned for 3 days or not returned at all. Not even a text. So I've decided not to reach for her anymore. Trying to let go is very hard. Funny ... she called me out of the blue to have lunch and I'd just eaten. It felt like we would do it another time but looks unlikely now. Was it my last chance?

The picture is Roberta and Judy. I have had problem with Judy for sometime now. She is such a shrew. She hangs around Roberta like a ball and chain and vexes me at every opportunity. I never liked her but now I really dislike her. And she returns the dislike too. Problem is I think she has said things to my other friends because I've been getting frozen out lately.

From Roberta I can live with that but now Janet seems to be cold and distant. And she was there when I told Judy to leave me alone. She took Judy's side. Most times I give credit to Janet as she has really good common sense and I trust her judgement. But it's happened so many times from Judy and I'm just not going to give her another pass.

Lisa has been there as much as anyone ... except she's pretty much "married" now. She only focuses on her new house and her boyfriend. We talk most days but not like we once did. We did get together for lunch on Saturday. Was my only real social activity all weekend.

I did do a lot of thinks this weekend even if I didn't see friends. I have this nervous energy. I don't want to just sit and do nothing. I got up early on Sunday morning and went to see where my friend Joe is buried. It will be 5 years since he died on Feb. 20th. Doesn't seem like it's that long ago.

I also went to see the spot where my ex-wife Brenda is buried. I'd been wanting to do that for a month or so to see if her friend Rich had put a stone on her grave. She left him everything and he was in charge of it. I half expected nothing to be there but it was there.... Brenda, Loving Aunt, Beloved Daughter, Good Friend ... blah, blah, blah. I guess since she was close to his kids he put Aunt. Certainly was never an aunt to my family. I guess since I was not included in her will I shouldn't complain. This just adds to my depressed state.

Is it really darkest before the dawn? I hope this is rock bottom ... or at least spring can't come fast enough.