Last night was going to be goodbye for me and Jeff. At least for a few months. We haven’t broken up or anything but our relationship has shifted. For the past 3 years our relationship has always had our alma matter, CSU Channel Islands, somewhere in the center. We met in the dorms, lived together in the dorms, and for two years while he finished at school I visited him at his apartment (a wise and independent alternative to the dorms) and we had our time together.
It was difficult for me when I had to move back home with my family after I graduated. I was unprepared for the state of the economy and I’m still here, in the smallest bedroom of the apartment, with my mother and grandmother. I make it work. But now Jeff is also back home, feeling a tremendous loss of independence. Where before we were separated by 100 miles we are now separated by 130+, only without an apartment where we can be together and do couple-y things. If we want to see each other now it’s either someplace in the mutual middle (like Santa Barbara) or at his parent’s house or my parent’s apartment. We’ve lost a lot of privacy.
Last night he lost his $500 Calvin Klein glasses. The amazing glasses I picked out for him because they had an amazing retro look that made him look like a sexy and sophisticated scientist circa Apollo-era NASA.
LOL. Okay, maybe not in this picture. But you get the idea.
We had just finished a long day of moving and cleaning and all he wanted to do was take me and my mom out for a nice dinner to thank us for our work. But when he couldn’t find his glasses things turned very bad. I’ll leave some details private out of respect for him but let’s just say I’ve never had a reason to dig through a community garbage before. After he calmed down a bit we decided to proceed on with dinner. Only when he got in his car he discovered one of his headlights was out. It was close to sun down and despite Jeff’s excellent driving, very few people could drive an hour towards darkness in prescription sunglasses with one headlight after already driving 100+ miles and being very tired. I offered to drive him home.
But first we said goodbye to the apartment. It was a great two years and every corner of each room had a special memory of just us. It took a very long time to get every piece of furniture in exactly the right place. It never looked quite like a home but it definitely looked better than a dorm room. Here is how we left it.
Apartment #303. It was always a pretty sight to walk up to the door. Behind you were tall palm trees and a very nicely landscaped pool and BBQ area.
A view from the front door. The wall on the right is the original paint color. The wall on the left painted in primer was a very bright blue color that we painted together. Later I painted on an Amur Leopard, Jeff’s favorite animal (and a very endangered cat).
View from the desk area. Living room to the left. Right in front of the window was where he kept his 55” television that was somewhat famous in the dorms. We enjoyed many movies and video games on that TV. And we will again.
From the doorway/living area you go straight back into a fairly large kitchen with a patio. The door on the right leads to a changing room, a bathroom and then the bedroom through the next door. I always liked to park in a certain spot on the street so that I could see my car from the kitchen/bedroom (because I’m a dork in that way).
View from the front door. Despite some cheaply done stuff inside the apartments (sheets of laminate for the bathroom floor, painted bathtubs) the grounds were landscaped very nicely.
Another view from the door. The pool was very nice to swim in. Six feet in the deep end and a hot tub to the right of it. I was very tan last summer because of this pool.
Jeffrey treated me and my mom to dinner with appetizers and a chocolate cheesecake with strawberries to take home. We drove the 60+ miles to Valencia where we stopped to fill up the tank (which I had filled up that morning at home). Jeff was positively amazed that it only required a little over 4 gallons. Jeff did some quick math and determined I had been getting 36 miles per gallon; 160+ miles on just over a quarter tank of gas. No air conditioning on the drive, just the windows cracked and the sunroof open. I drove as close to 70 as I could manage (despite the absolutely desperate driving of every asshole around me who simply had to get to where they were going assoonasfuckingpossible. Plus I have excellent tires which helps the gas mileage tremendously. I think he would have been proud had he not been slightly jealous.
So we dropped him off, used the restroom, chatted with his parents for a few minutes, took our half of the cheesecake and headed back for home, 130+ miles away. It was difficult. My mind was awake but my face was tired and I had to keep the car somewhat cool so I would stay alert (we cracked open the sunroof, warm air makes me sleepy). We made it home after 1am and we were both extremely tired. I think we were thankful that it wasn’t our stuff we were moving and therefore did not have to unpack the car when we got home. Not like in past years when we would move me home from the dorms for the summer and get home super late.
So now Jeffrey and I are a almost a month into our third year of dating and we begin a new chapter. Had he not lost his glasses and been one headlight short a car we would have had to have our goodbye in our mutual home of Camarillo. We’d had similar goodbyes in the past and it always led to tears (mine, not his). This time, instead of being sad to say goodbye to the apartment I promised him the next one would be ours and much better. Because we were at his parent’s house and they were watching and my mom and I had to head home we didn’t have a long goodbye. Just a hug and a kiss. It was more of a “see you later” than a “goodbye”.
Sadly I have no idea when I will see him next. He now has to unpack the life he’s lived for the past five years in university into the room he’s lived in his entire life. He’s still waiting to hear back from a few graduate programs and he’ll need to find a job for the summer or, if he doesn’t get into grad school, for the foreseeable future. I, on the other hand, continue living with my parents and working a part-time job as a receptionist, a job I am vastly over-qualified for. But it’s a job and I appreciate it.
Money is tight. I had to take a few days off this month which means my paycheck next week will not be what I want it to be. Between the car payment, student loans, my cell phone, website and paying back certain family members for fixing my car, I won’t have much left to buy things like personal toiletries and quarters for laundry. I won’t be able to do shopping at Fresh and Easy as I love to do. It’s a whole new world of experiences I’m heading into and it’s only the first day.
I want to cry and be upset. It would probably be easy to cry right now. But I’d rather stay positive and hopeful. We knew this day was coming and there’s a possibility it won’t last more than 3 or 4 months. In the grand scheme of things 3 or 4 months isn’t very long. Even if we’re apart for a year. Okay, a year would be a lot to ask of me. The point is that I know there will be a day when Jeff and I are together and it will be the two of us together every day for the rest of our lives. And if medicine allows us to live even longer and with better health then we’re talking decades of togetherness. What’s a few months of separation compared to a lifetime of being with your soul mate?
Okay, now I am crying. I miss him. But I know it will work.