It's Friday evening. On Monday morning in the middle of still Sunday night really, I will be off to the airport, where I will board an aeroplane bound for New York. And when I get there, I will see my Susan, hold her, and spend eleven wonderful weeks with her, her family and friends.
She's been writing list after list, of things to do, things to eat, things to see, things to buy, things to cook. She's a list maker, and also a folder user, which will benefit me greatly in the years to come: no more wondering where the hell that electricity bill has disappeared to! No more panicking because I can't find the prescription the doctor gave me just that morning! I will learn to live with her organisationalism (don't care, it's a word NOW), she will learn to live with my scatterism (ditto), we will reach amicable accommodations together. We do so already, mostly without rancour or unpleasantness, although there is on both sides the occasional dropped jaw or raised eyebrow, and sometimes both at once. But most of the time there's only ONE side, called Us; Cameron and Susan; Susan and Cameron.
We're an And now. As in John AND Yoko, Romeo AND Juliet, fish AND chips, bagels AND more bagels. I have never been more certain of anything in my life, and I know, not just feel or think but know, that nor has Susan.
They say that relationships, marriages, take work. They're right. And we're working on this one, out of a shared Love and a shared determination to succeed. Sometimes it takes surprisingly HARD work, and when that's the case, there's a satisfaction of enormous proportions in it when we come out on the other side of it knowing we've done a good job together and put another potential obstacle behind us. We joke and laugh often, talk about films and art and culture, and language, often; discuss serious issues frequently and share always. We don't always agree about everything, but we have a set of shared assumptions that means major conflicts are rare to the point of non-existence.
Sound idyllic? Does it? Well, sorry, but it is. I am hugely happy. It's odd being so happy while still being aware, inside my head, of suffering from depression. Most of the time the depression is fairly distant, more than a memory but less than a spectre. Sometimes it looms larger, when I become aware of still living on a different continent from her or when we have a fight (they're inevitably about really silly little things, all sound and fury but signifying nothing, but they hurt terribly). On occasions like that there are still clouds above my head; but they're little grey ones, not at all the thunderous black devils that used to be there.
Wow. I started this post just because I wanted to write something and wanted to tell you all how exciting it is to be me, here, now. It's taken itself in unexpected directions. Probably not unpredictable ones though. I love it when a piece of writing does that, when I start with a vague idea of what I'm about to write and then the words themselves take over and I end up writing something completely different. Sometimes comedy turns into tragedy or whimsy turns into nostalgia, or nostalgia into feminism. Sometimes even the form changes, and a poem becomes a fairy tale. Once, a poem about a paragraph long got sculpted down to four words, while on another occasion one which felt just not quite right was studied and worried over for two days before I realised that what it needed was to start with a comma. With the comma in place, I felt like baby bear.
I think this post is done now.