Tuesday, December 28, 2010


Another week. It feels like a day; it feels like a year. Time seems so random right now, so arbitrary, so fluid. Complicated at the moment, of course, by the holidays.

Despite everything, I did manage to have a good Christmas. I baked many cookies, I hung out with family (and I actually love and get along well with my extended family), I smiled for pictures, I ate much foods, I got nice presents, my presents were well-received. I wore black. I made perhaps the best batch of meringues I have ever made. I got some good after-Christmas-clearance deals. Mostly the family, though; my cousins are terrific.

At one point, my grandma held my hand and said, "I'm sorry about Eric." Hugs, sad eyes, and the words 'I'm sorry' make me cry instantly. I nodded, trying to keep it together. She continued, "It always happens at the wrong time of year, doesn't it?" I whispered a 'yeah' and nodded, squeezed her hand, and walked away to breathe. But, really? Is there ever a good time of year for your boyfriend to kill himself? No. No there is not.

Eric and I had talked about what to get for his brother and sister-in-law for Christmas. He ordered some games online when they were having a big sale, with recipients to be decided when said games arrived. I don't know if he had decided on something for mem (he never says "mom," it's always mem, even written in texts.). But he had my gifts.

Over his birthday weekend, he gave me a couple of them, since they were there and we usually get too excited to wait to give each other things. I got a nerdy board game with 100 wooden camel pieces - very similar to my birthday present of a nerdy board game with plastic camel pieces. He gave it to me and said, "You have a new collection, that only I add to, apparently." The other gift he preceded with a warning: "This is just a toy. It cannot be used in gameplay. It's just for fun, a joke. Okay? It cannot be used in the game." Then he threw a blue plush Carcassonne meeple at me. (Standard game meeples are wooden, about a half inch tall. My plush meeple is, I don't know, eight inches? And plush. And adorable.)

The third present actually arrived in the mail on Friday the 3rd. He had the day off of work, and we were lounging about his apartment when his buzzer rang. He went down to grab the package, and immediately brought it into his room and out of my reach. Naturally, I hounded him about it. "What is it? Where's it from? Is it for me? Is it pretty? What is it?" I had told him previously to buy me something pretty, and pointed out some things in the Kohl's black Friday ad that I liked.

The first time I went back into his apartment, after, it was there. Sitting on the edge of the coffee table, edges of the box lined up with the edges of the table. It had a post-it note on it, "For Cindy," and a tiny, handmade Christmas card.

In the Kohl's ad, I showed him simple necklaces, some blue topaz, "diamond" stud earrings, dangly earrings. I showed him the topaz and said, "these are pretty, I like blue, but I prefer sapphires. Sapphires are my favorites." Mem eyed my finger and asked what my ring size was. I laughed and told her, "Four and three quarters, but yeah right!" He ignored that exchange, my sweet robot. He told me on black Friday that he was able to get some shopping done online that day, despite having to work. "I think I did good. I hope I listened to things right."

In the box was a pair of beautiful sapphire studs. I put them on the next morning, and haven't taken them off since. They are the best Christmas present, and I can't even thank him. He did good, though. He did good by me.

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