Thursday, October 25, 2007

This past weekend, Catherine apparently told someone that I live in Illinois, and that she only sees me a few days of month. True enough, but god, how depressing to hear your marriage described in these terms. Don't I live in Bloomington anymore? I don't really live here, so if I don't live there, either... As of today, we have only had 3 days together in October. We've arranged for us to be in the same town Saturday through Wednesday of next week, though, so that will give us an amazing 8 whole days together this month (one of which is our 15th anniversary). Then I'm off to Washington, D.C. for a conference, and then I have a different conference paper due, so I'll probably need to stay in Illinois and work....

Anyway, I type this because this is what distance can do to you. Catherine has told me a MILLION times that she was going to be out of town today. We'd even discussed the transportation possibilities. She needed to go Indy, and I obviously can't drive her because I'm in Illinois, so she'd arranged to take the shuttle up to the airport. From there, someone would pick her up.

I KNOW THIS. Still, I must have called her office ten times today, trying to get in touch with her. Unusual that she was away from her desk all afternoon, but it's been a little unusual all the way around at her office, so I guess that's okay. Still, she wasn't home by 9:00 her time, and she wasn't at her office. And she didn't answer her cell phone. I don't know how many times I called home, her office, her cell.... I'm embarrassed to admit it, but I even brought up the webpage for the local newspaper in case to make sure there was nothing going on in town. And then I looked at the campus newspaper...could she be at some Dalai Lama event??? *I even looked at the page for the local hospital, wondering, should I call?*

And this is when I realized there was a huge problem with the way we've been communicating. What if something was wrong? I don't have our neighbors' phone numbers. I don't have the phone number for her assistant curator--only his long expired cell phone number. Who can I call, after hours, to see if she was at work? I have one phone number for some friends, and I didn't think calling them and saying, "Hey, would you drive by my house and check in on my wife for me?" seemed very rational, so I didn't call them.

In the end, I checked Catherine's e-mail. That is so incredibly unethical, isn't it? But I opened it up, and discovered she hadn't read any of today's e-mails, and then that really set me in a panic. Where IS SHE???? But then I went to the second page, and saw the subject headings for two messages marked read from yesterday, from the airport shuttle company. Mystery solved, suddenly I remembered, oh....yeah....we talked about that. Multiple times. Yeah.

And then when Catherine finally called me (she'd forgotten her cell phone at home, and couldn't call me during the day), I burst into tears.

It sucks to be me.

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Well, I wish my cell phone had a camera, because I'd like to remember what the counter top around my laptop looks like after completing a sixth draft (Stardate 61223.3) of a fellowship proposal.

To my right is my wallet (open so everyone here can see my debit card and a completely pointless card for a download of some song Starbucks thinks I need from iTunes) (I feel like I should follow that up by pointing out that I'm NOT at Starbucks, but at a local coffee shop), a spent straw wrapper, and an empty glass that once held a sugar-free raspberry Italian soda. It's weeping condensation onto the countertop.

In front of me is, of course, the laptop, and the wireless network card sticking out from the side of it. I'm facing the window.

To my left are 9 out of 10 pages of an earlier draft of my fellowship proposal. I lost the first page on the way to the coffee shop, and I just now realized that I sent Beth a copy to read without having made corrections on page one because I couldn't find it two hours ago (sorry, Beth). On top of these pages are my cell phone (used to make an appt. with the infectious disease specialist about fifteen minutes ago), a blue pen, a wrinkled napkin (into which I keep coughing so I can't use it to wipe of the perspiration from the glass on my right), a little over a dollar in loose change, my keys, a flash drive with a bright orange University of Illinois lanyard attached, a case for my earphones, a black MP3 player full of Hindi music and dead batteries, a silver and turquoise MP3 player full of English, Russian and Korean music with partially charged batteries, and a credit card with which I'm purchasing Wil's newest book. I'm occupying a lot of territory here at the coffee shop, both physically and spiritually, I think.