Day 74- Whiskey & Snakes

We bonded over Books, Booze, and Corn Snakes.

We got to know each other in the library at LASFS. We would hide in the back, sample various drinks and flirt outrageously. We would argue over which alternate history authors got it right and the difference between urban fantasy and romance novels masquerading as such.

We would talk late, make excuses as to why we had to go, and then talk for another two hours or so. When we met he had a girlfriend, and then when they broke up I had a boyfriend, and so on. We kept our boundaries in place declaring it more fun that way.

One day he was leaving for Austria and he needed a snake sitter, right away, right now, help! So we had another long evening talking, saying goodnight, and talking some more.  We had figured it out by then. We were both single! We liked each other! This was great!

The sunrise was beautiful.

Then he went away for six months.

When he came back, I was no longer available.

Our timing always was terrible.

This pattern continued for a bit. I was free, he wasn’t, he was free, I wasn’t.  I got a new snake, we bought a bigger tank, we said “hello” and “goodbye” a lot. (The snakes kept going back and forth for care of course.)

Upon his most recent return I was overwhelmed with depression. My illness kept me away from everything and everyone. I was melting down within my chrysalis hoping to emerge a butterfly. (Or at least have my PTSD, anxiety, depression and Bi-polar under control.) I was in and out of the hospital and he would send me PM’s. Heart emojis and bad jokes abounded. He kept the lines of communication open and I carefully responded as best I could from under the heap of cushions around my head.

Then I had the depression managed! I was ready to talk, and to be social and to… Move.

The eviction, the job-loss, the maddening swirl of my upcoming adventure took over and suddenly there was so much to do. Panic, plan, pack, deploy!

I needed care for my snakes of course.

Our last goodbye was bittersweet. I gave my girls,  Brownie and Candy, to the man named Whiskey with a snake named Bourbon. (Which sounds like the opening to some sort of joke, I know.)  We quipped about how often we had passed them back and forth, “like a pair of divorced parents.”  When we hugged it felt horribly final; I chalked it up to nerves and stress. We agreed to talk when I got back.

Our timing always was terrible.

I am grateful that we were able to grab some stolen hours during the periods when our calendars magically aligned.

I always thought there would be more.

I’m sure he did too.

I feel so terribly alone. My friends who are also grieving his loss are hundreds of miles away and I am stuck here on my way to Albuquerque. I suppose if there is a memorial I will miss it, not due back to California for another 10 days or so.

Even now, it appears our timing is still terrible.

At least I am left with a pilgrimage to make. He wanted to take me to Austria someday. So someday I will go on the road again only this time on a plane. I will find the place he told me about.

And I will cry myself dry.

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