I want to sleep. I can feel my eyes burning. Sometimes, I'll blink, and my vision will be blurry until I blink a couple more times. I notice that, as I sit here typing this out, one of my eyes is closed. Turning on a light helps, I can actually sit with both of them open now.
Thank you everybody for the well wishes and prayers. I hope that my writing shows just how much love and respect I have for my teacher. In a way, this is why the prospect of losing her, of her simply being gone from my life, hits me so hard. She's more than my teacher. She's more than my friend. There's this aspect to our relationship that I have no way of describing, no analog I can frame it with. Even in those days when I got along with my family, when my sister and I truly acted like brother and sister, it was never anything this...deep, I guess. Like the word "love" just doesn't cover it. My teacher shaped me. She says that I am the reason I have become what I am because I made the choice to become a better person, but I don't buy it. Without her knowledge, her wisdom, her LOVE, there is no way I'd be what I am today. That's my belief and I'm sticking to it.
I'm trying not to make this read like a eulogy. I mean, it's a miracle of modern medicine, she's expected to be just fine. But it's almost emergency surgery. Watching her today, in pain and so frail, was the most painful moment I've ever experienced, like my heart was in a vise.
It's a strange thing about death. I haven't just accepted that I'm going to die some day. I know it and have processed it to the point where it's just another thing that's going to happen. There's no fear or intimidation to it at all for me (and sometimes, given the state of the world, it's actually a sort of relief). But her death? I don't know what to do. She's older than me, she won't say by how much (I asked her her age recently, and she said, "29"), but I know she'll be gone before I am.
And it scares the living daylights out of me.
When she went to California, there was a time where I lost contact with her. No emails, no IM's, no phone, nothing. That just wasn't like her. Then, one night, I had a nightmare. I was standing in a shopping mall, just looking around at one of those island kiosks, when an angel came up to me and said she had died. I snapped awake in full fight-or-flight mode. I sleep on my stomach, so there I am on my bed, on my hands and knees, spread out like I'm ready to dodge an attack from any direction, looking around the dark in pure panic, and I know that yell didn't occur in the dream. My heart pouding in my ears sounded like a war drum. It took a long time to get my emotions back under control. A few days later, I got an e-mail from her. It was like someone pulled a plug out from me, and all the anxiety poured away. Even after all this time, I'm still not ready to be without her.
I'm not particularly close to my family, and even more distant from my extended family. No one in my family has died in decades, everyone is still chugging along. The friends I have I've been friends with for decades. Because I'm perfectly content by myself, I haven't cultivated many new friendships. As a result of all this, I haven't really had to deal with loss. The last time I not only lost someone, but lost someone dear to me, was back in junior high when my grandpa died. I called my grandpa "Popeye" because, the way he sort of grumbled when he spoke, his chin, his squint -- if you replaced the cigars he smoked with a pipe, he'd be a perfect match.
The surgery makes me feel like I'm looking at this giant Gordian knot of emotions. And I know this is just a preview -- when the day comes that she is gone, it's going to be bigger and worse. And I don't know how I'll deal with it. I mean, I know I will somehow. I have to. But I just don't see how. I don't know what to do to prepare for it. I don't know what to do when it happens. All I see when I look at that future is me being a total emotional wreck, and I don't know for how long or how to pull out of it.
I'm going to try laying down again. Please, God, help her be fine.