The Death of a Vacation

My trip to NYC served several purposes. It was a vacation, which I haven’t had in years. It was a chance to visit a place I’ve never been. It was a chance to get some great photos for work and ideas for writing. It was also a chance to meet a friend and new love in person and spend time with him.  (Declan is amazing in person.)

But, then I had to leave. Even though I am glad to be away from all the people, I wish parts of it didn’t have to end. Like, spending time kissing Declan or playing in the ocean or listening to all the different languages being spoken. NYC is as different from Sioux City as you can get. There is so much to see and do. And there is always more opportunities to learn something new. The constant motion of the city was energizing.

It wasn’t until the plane was landing in Omaha that I realized how much in the middle of nowhere I actually live. Flying into Chicago and NYC, you could see the city long before landing. In Omaha, the plane was practically on the tarmac before I saw any of the city. Part of that is the location of the airport, but it was like there was nothing out here. It was one giant expanse of fields with a few dots here and there that serve as towns. From the air, the fields reminded me of a deserted patio made up of foot by foot paver stones with weeds growing between them.

I drove the hour and a half or so home from Omaha to Sioux City in the comfort that I wasn’t going die because of crazy taxi drivers randomly switching lanes or from tons of merging traffic with nowhere to go. Andrew caught me up on his week of college and work and I told him about my trip.

Upon arrival at home, my dogs acted like I had abandoned them. They wouldn’t leave me alone for 2 seconds. It was interesting trying to unpack since they insisted that walking a couple feet away from them meant that I was again going to abandon them.

At first, it didn’t seem at all real that my vacation was over. A few times, I caught myself reaching for Declan’s hand or turning to say something to him only to remember that he was 1200 miles away. The memories of the people and places were still so fresh in my mind that it didn’t seem as if I had returned. It was a shock when I stepped out of my apartment and the beauty of the city wasn’t there.

The first day back to work was hard. Everything irritated me. I didn’t want to be here. I wanted to be there away from the work and responsibilities. I wanted to be wrapped in Declan’s arms looking out over the Hudson River or holding hands while walking through Central Park. I wanted to be riding the subway with it’s interesting people or taking in the scenery along the roadways and admiring the buildings and bridges.

Day two back was worse. I woke up in a destructive mood. Okay, that’s a bit of an understatement. I wanted to hurt people. Not just physically, but emotionally, mentally and if I didn’t have such good damn control over myself in this respect I would have without any remorse at all. Of course, I wouldn’t have meant a single word, but I could have made people cry. It was the type of mood that makes Elizabeth in The Children of Whitechapel seem warm and fuzzy.

My mood improved as the day went on. I adjusted back into work and began looking through my to-do list to see what needed to be done yet. I have a crap ton of things I still need to do and expect that the load will increase as the weeks go on. I was already behind on Nanowrimo and other writing projects that I need to get busy on. It was looking like the weekend would be spent behind a computer. Maybe it would take my mind off of what I was missing.

My to-do list started forming two lines. Paying work and non-paying work. If I could just get a few more writing assignments, I’d have enough money to go back to NYC for a weekend or fly Declan to Iowa. If only I could win the lottery, then I could go out there whenever I wanted to and see more of the sights. The rest of the day I flipped between working my ass off so I can return and wanting to just forget about ever going back there. In reality, NYC has little appeal to me beyond getting to experience new things with someone I know and love. If Declan lived in the middle of the Nevada desert, I’d be just as happy to go there. I’m sure we could make up things to do and my time and money would be well spent.

I’m still not at acceptance. I am past denial. I know it’s over, that the time with Declan is forever gone and I’ll never get it back. I have some awesome pictures though. Mostly I fluctuate between anger, depression and happiness. Anger over not getting to do what I want to do right this very minute. The depression part is harder. It’s all the parade of horribles that could happen. Things like my boss retiring and me being penniless and too poor to even take a vacation let alone to someplace like NYC. That this thing with Declan will fall apart making NYC sad memories.

It feels as if this was the one and only vacation that I will ever have, and I know it’s not. Next year, I already have plans to attend the Catholic Writers Conference Live in Chicago and possibly Worldcon in Kansas City. And who knows, maybe I will win the lottery and I’ll get to go wherever my heart desires.

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