I have been terrified to turn on my computer, for I just know I will find an e-mail waiting for me from TBM.
Besides which, the noise of the digital world has been deafening lately. Am I imagining it, or has the sound of life really just gone up several decibels?
There is only so much superficial blah blah blah, who-the-fuck-even-cares that I can endure. If I didn't go willingly off the grid, I'd surely jump.
Walking long stretches the last few days along the Rideau Canal, staring at the Parliament Buildings, has allowed me to switch my brain from digital to analogue mode. Ambling along the world's longest skating rink, I've barely given a thought to my future.
But trying to leave my screen blank screen was pointless. TBM phoned.
"Have you forgotten about time zones you idiot?" It was barely 6 a.m.
"You always got up early, Joelly. I figured that hadn't changed." He sounded slightly contrite but I was not letting him off the hook. I just breathed into the phone. That always drove him nuts when he would call home from a business trip.
"I can see this is going to be productive," he finally mumbled down the line sarcastically. I could hear a voice in the background. The baby must be right there.
"Well, what do you want? To ask me after the fact if I think it's a good idea for Brian to move to Beijing? You might have thought about consulting me."
"Would you have agreed with the idea?"
"No. Since it's apparently a fait accompli, however, I am trying very hard to see something positive. The best I can come up with, at least for the moment, is that he doesn't despise you right now. You managed to get him out of his unemployment doldrums. That's got to be a good thing."
"Why does he hate me? What have you been saying about me?"
Nothing, asshole, although you mightily deserve to be trashed.
I wanted to throw my phone against the wall. I couldn't possibly afford another one, though, so stopped myself in time.
"You're breaking up, Martin. I can barely hear you. If you can hear me, send me an e-mail."
Click. Relief. Sigh.
The phone rang again. Caller unknown. I let it go to my voice mail.
It was time to turn on my computer. Sure enough, TBM had sent me an e-mail to tell me he was going to be calling me today to discuss our son.
A weariness washed over me. I couldn't remember feeling this emotionally exhausted since the children were little. Back then, in a state of sleep deprivation, despite the best help in the world, everything had always looked bleak.
I desperately need to get out of my own head. I need to remember that outside of being broke and alone, my life is a very good one, privileged as hell.
I'm healthy. End of story.