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Strangely enough, Sue, your post makes sense to me. It feels so wrong to even consider that life can exist now that Mama’s not here… but the mere fact that you’re missing stuff means that you’re not dead inside. I know. Me too. Even though I didn’t leave physically because I have this stupid thing called a job, I find myself occasionally caring a little bit about stuff, and then jarring myself “awake” and realizing that I just cared about something even though Mama’s gone. And then of course, it puts everything back into perspective – I mean, does anything really matter all that much since Mama left? No, of course not. But the fact is that even though she’s gone, and my heart aches constantly, I think that we’re starting to figure out how to work around it. How to work around the giant gaping gash that now is where our center used to be. How is that possible? I honestly don’t know. But when Bobby and I zoomed along the Blue Ridge Parkway (which, unfortunately, was platypus-free), I looked out over the mountains, at the leaves changing color, I realized that it’s still beautiful. Even though my world as I knew it has crumbled and will never be completely right again and Mama’s not here to see it, the Blue Ridge Parkway is still a gorgeous drive during the fall, and Mama would be pissed if she saw me not fully acknowledging that fact. Look at the trees, damn it!!

I don’t know. It feels so weird to care about anything besides ya’ll. We do still love each other the best, of course, maybe even more now that Mama’s not here. I missed Jennifer and Maggie wretchedly while I was wandering through the cornfields, and I feel like Sue has been gone forever, not just for a few weeks. I want Sue to heal at least enough to function, to have time to reflect and be introspective and all that jazz, but the selfish part of me just really, really freaking misses you. And it’s going to be horrible to get on that plane, and see you waving goodbye from the other side of security-hell-on-earth. (Just a side note – I hate, I repeat HATE, going through airport security. It’s truly a miserable, wretched thing). I actually just got a lump in my throat thinking about it – Sue waving bye, that is, not airport security. But you have a job. That’s good. You are figuring out yourself, and learning who you really are – which actually can only happen when you stop long enough to listen to yourself. That’s really good. And you discovered that you like to bop about on your newly acquired kick-ass bike. That’s great. So if you stay and we leave at Thanksgiving, it’s ok. We’ll cry, we’ll be sad, but hey it could be worse, you could be dead instead of just on the other side of the country.

I do agree though, that being in a place of aloneness only makes sense for so long – after you’ve squeezed all the benefit out of being alone, it just becomes kinda pointless. Like, ok, why exactly am I choosing to sit here by myself day after day when I have an entire network of people who love me dearly anxiously waiting for me to come home? After a while, sipping chai tea in an internet cafe starts to pale in comparison to sitting on the couch with your plump eldest sister and mocking Horatio. I mean, come on, how could you choose a sophisticated life of chai tea by the sea when you could squat in NorthGate Apts?!?!

Ok, I’m going to go now. The Gamecockies are losing, which brings joy to my heart… not a lot, mind you, just a faint glimmer. But hell, it’s better than the complete and total apathy that’s been my MO for the last two months.

Love you, Susie-Q :)

Love you, Jen & Maggie, my beloved neighbors… am so, so glad to be back next door :)