October Thoughts

The embers and blazes of the burning Tower of London, as painted by J.M.W. Turner.
Filed under Journal, Personal

[Anatolij] October 2. Already the second day of the new month… There are barely three months left in this year, and the worst is yet to come. November… or possibly, an October surprise in the Balkans.

I’ve been meaning to involve myself in the world’s affairs again. Meaning, meaning, meaning, paralysed, paralysed, paralysed, always paralysed by this damn injury, by the circumstances, by this or that material inability to work with people. I always resented myself for those things, thought they were excuses. Perhaps they were valid excuses. But still. I hated myself for them… And now the world threatens to leave me behind, like flotsam left in the rolling waves, as it speeds ahead toward some tremendous, frightening, burning and dazzling future.

What am I but an insane widow? But I want to be more than that. There are so many things to do, and the year hasn’t even ended yet. I’m feeling strangely optimistic. As calamitous as my own personal situation is—it has opened new opportunities for me. For us. I can’t forget that. I’m alive, for what little worth it is, and I’m able to live out the loves and passions that all these hearts had wanted, still want to live.

I was distracted today. Ansel said my form was sloppy. So I tried to focus. And I practiced my strikes so hard that the hoop of one of my earrings flew off into the grass… I’ll have to use pliers to tighten them. I’m trying to increase my reaction speed… Slip-counter. It should be so that they are one continuous, unbroken motion, not two moves; they should almost be on the same beat. I know I should read more. But we’re still in the process of moving, cleaning up, restoring our files, our workstations… Ansel made the hesitant decision to upgrade to Office 2019. He still doesn’t want to use Windows 10 and has half a mind to either get Windows 7 and install it on the “new” computer (we don’t have the disc and product key anymore), or alternatively partition the drive and install the older OS on that, but he worries about available disk space. That man…

As much as he hates Windows 10, he’s very fond of its Notifications functionality. And he’s gotten around to disabling much of the automatic spyware telemetry tasks endemic to the OS, and edited the hosts file, and so on. I think… it gives him something useful to do. It makes him feel not wholly ineffectual. Though it may very well be in a few weeks that we won't have an outlet to plug the computer in… Sigh.

[Nova] Anatolij has been exhausted. He doesn’t see it, until it’s too late… I worry about him. This year, he had wanted to spend more time with me, but all the museums are closed, of course. And with █████, doing so is an even dimmer prospect. A little life with some peace and learning… I remember when I first met him. Ahh, this year, we had planned to go hiking again, to enjoy the state’s vernal pools and admire the seasonal salamanders.

I still remember seeing him rise from the grass… Was that her memory as well? Of █████. They’re so similar. Well, they’re siblings, of course. But I hadn’t realised it… Until just now, that they rise and walk the same way, though they look—they gaze—very differently. And from the long grass he gazed over the fields and the ocean, and the seagulls, and the butterflies in the grass, and not too far away from this, this was always on his mind, you could see it in his brows—was the naval base.

It was quiet that day. Or, I can’t remember the sound of any aircraft. Perhaps my attention was so completely taken hold of by him. But he says he can remember the shadows of planes, passing overhead, though he did not look up at them. Is that true? Were there aircraft passing overhead, over the fields of that seaside cliff?

He is doing his hair in a half ponytail now. Sometimes he is unrecognisable to me, especially when he is drained. But my feelings for him are unchanged. And he is still the same heart to me, though he may act so unlike himself. I hope that after all this matter of moving and disruption is settled, I will be able to recognise my friend once more. It’s been too long since we’ve baked a pie together. Perhaps we’ll make another cheesecake soufflé. They are easy to make, but the important thing is baking it and laughing together, and eating it together with tea, and seeing his smile again.

I keep thinking of the past when there is no time to do that. I must attend to the present. …    How do I best help him? Right now…

Right now the circumstances are out of my hands. We can only wait and see. And then…

[Blast Ant] I’m so nonplussed. 2020 was not the year I was expecting to contend with the possibility of homelessness. And in my favourite month, too! Ansel doesn’t show it, not obviously, but he’s so stressed. He wants to take care of everyone. It’s been a while since he last laughed.

My father… He’s had to contend with worse. But the thing is, he had something to look forward to. No matter how many setbacks he suffered, he had something to fight for. Do I have something like that? Do I see a future for myself, with all the people I care for? Anatolij has become even more political. Just like our father… He says yes, there is something to fight for, there is a future for us. I can’t see it right now. Maybe I don’t look far or big enough.

I’m proud of my father, and my brother. I can proudly say, I’m the daughter of █████, and the sister of Anatolij Janáček. It didn’t have to be that way. We didn’t have to be family. We chose to be…

Thanksgiving is coming up. It’s October still, and it’s still my favourite month, but I want to look forward to Thanksgiving. I remember the macaroni and cheese we baked, we actually got father to try some and he liked it. Despite all the carbs. Ahh… He’s so much like Ansel, he takes after him. He said that he was his son too, but sometimes I think he meant that literally. They have the same eyes. The same hard, troubled eyes, that gleam like stones and thunder… Though father always looked sadder than Ansel.

I want to talk to my father again. Maybe he can give me advice. But I guess I’ll settle for Bedi. Ahh, that’s so mean, making him sound like a consolation prize…

I think with those two we can get through anything. Ansel and Bedi. Storm, famine, war, conflagration. Bedi’s been through… Ah. If Bedi can survive, then we can, too.

We have to keep fighting. I want to be a strong partner to Ansel, too.

[Ansel] God, that staff meeting went on longer than it should have. As usual. I kept falling asleep… On top of moving everything, then having to go to work… I didn’t have half a chance to sleep until the staff meeting, but I can’t afford to complain. We need the overtime. Especially now… The prospect of having to move again in two weeks is really stressing Anatolij out. This isn’t something he can just embrace or roll with.

We can rebuild. Yeah. I know that. But the fact that we’ll have to rebuild… We don’t have the resources for that! And with our income halved, what the hell are we supposed to do?

It’s been too smoky outside to spend any time at the park (or the gym). We haven’t seen the squirrels and birds in over a month. Most of the usual ways of taking the edge off aren’t practical or possible right now… Especially since we have to pack. There’s no time for a picnic.

Colorado… Well, no matter where we end up, I’ll always be with him. I’ll never leave him. Never…

[Akihiko] I ate three leftover patients’ lunches at work today.

[Yumeka] My journal has finally been shipped. I feel bad, because there’s no guarantee I’ll have a home to write it in… Good thing it’s a pocket journal! That means I can take it with me everywhere. I’ll have to take all my pens, too, if I end up homeless… Hmm…

I’d like to not be homeless for Halloween.

Maybe Akihiko will find a lot of candies at work on Halloween and bring us a whole box of chocolates. WAIT! He asked for Halloween off! Oh no!