I can’t believe how quickly I have reached the point of juggling too much. Between Paperhand, writing meet ups, regular video chats with Dave, and coordinating with my several hosts and the work I’m doing to earn my keep with them, I have already achieved what feels like maximum demand on my time.
I tried to orchestrate a social gathering for the other interns while I still have this beautiful secluded oasis at my disposal, and between the parade commandeering my original date and accidentally double-booking the follow-up plan, it just simply didn’t happen.
Ironically, after all that, I found myself Sunday abruptly empty after a cocktail-and-calendaring hour with Jenny fell through. I was in the mood for company, but not just general socialization. At home drinks with a friend was the specific itch I was looking to scratch. I thought I was simply gonna have none of those things and do some chores at home.
Dave would have none of it. He specifically insisted I should go purchase an alcohol on him, bring it home, and he would video-chat me through starting a fire. I have always felt I should know how to start a fire without accelerant, so I was excited at this prospect.
I picked out a beer (forgetting that Summer can be difficult on us dark beer lovers, had to get a case to find a decent dark option) and got to it.
Dave coached me through fire building via video chat to great success. It felt so good not only to learn something new, but feel like we had achieved something together across a thousand miles of distance.
I didn’t realize how much his video company made a difference until my phone ran out of battery and I was left sitting by the fire we had made together. I felt such a lurch from the sudden absence of his company, I was off kilter for the rest of the night.
I sat under the stars, watching the fire ebb and roar. A fire pit has always seemed to me like a social activity. Yet, it was just me. Halfway through the second beer, the chorus of “fiddler’s green” started circling in my head, and soon I was going through all the old nostalgic songs from my childhood. “Red is the Rose”, “Black and Tans”, and of course “Waltzing with Bears” and “Galway Shawl”. It was weird, singing them alone in a stranger’s backyard.
I felt such deep love for the people who taught me those songs, who I have been away from for much longer than just this Summer. I remember my first St. Patrick’s day away from home, when my mom left me a recording of John playing “waltzing with bears” on my voicemail and I cried as I walked between classes. There was also the year that I was in the so-called capital of St. Patrick’s day in Rolla, and by the end of the first beer I already realized I would be driving back up to St. Louis the next morning for the real deal.
I have been doing long-distance relationships for a long time, when I think about it. My dearest friends and family have been connected to me by phone calls and texts and emails across various distances, nearly continually since I left for college.
My network of love and support is cast wide, and I am endlessly impressed by it’s tenacity and security. It feels so easy to fly as far as I want, when no matter where I might fall, I know I will be caught.