Sunday, October 25, 2009

The best friend

Well, shit.
I really didn't intend to be away for so long.
It's always the same lame excuse here...I've been at work.
So there's that.

I've also been lonely lately. There's nothing that feels more pathetic than writing about loneliness, and loneliness feels pathetic enough all on its own. So there's also that.

It hit me last weekend like it does occasionally--completely out of the blue. Like being punched in the stomach, it literally knocked the wind out of me.

I was on call overnight. It was 4 am, and for the first time in eight hours, none of the four pagers were going off. I was lying on the bottom bunk in the call room. Patty Griffin was playing on my laptop. The room was dark.

All of the sudden, there it was.

I have been alone for awhile now, but I don't usually feel it like that. It's always there. But in that moment, it was the only thing there. It suddenly felt like I was drowning in it.

I sent Graci a text message. I miss you. As I sent it, I thought, she won't even see this for hours. But then, I wasn't at all surprised when my phone rang a minute later. As utterly lame as this sounds, I know no other way to describe it except to say, my head thought she wouldn't call and my heart knew she would.

"You're sad and lonely, huh?"

"Yeah," I said, "how'd you know?"

"Well, you're texting me at four in the morning. It was a pretty safe bet."

I laughed at my own transparency.

We talked about my night on call. I told her a story that made her laugh. (I'd share it here, but it's entirely too twisted to make you laugh. If you only knew the things my friend and I find funny...) Making her laugh somehow made it all okay. Alone was still there, but it wasn't the only thing there. It hasn't been back with such a vengeance since.

I just got off the phone with her again. She became an aunt for the first time this week. She's driving home from the airport tonight, tired after a quick trip home to love on a very lucky baby.

She'll be back there in no time, rocking that lucky little boy to sleep, reading Seuss...

The news just came in
From the County of Keck

That a very small bug
By the name of Van Vleck

Is yawning so wide
You can look down his neck.

This may not seem
Very important, I know.
But it is.
So I'm bothering
Telling you so.


MmeBenaut said...

Oh little one; you could have texted me - I'd be awake at 4.00 am your time! And I would text you right back.
Graci is a wonderful friend to you and because of that, allow me to say congratulations here to her on becoming a first time auntie. As you know, I am auntie to a multitude of nieces and nephews and it's a role I really enjoy. So, you two aunties, enjoy.
PS That alone feeling always hits at 4.00 am btw. But dawn breaks and then there are things to keep you busy.

Amanda said...

loneliness. ugh. I felt that way so much this summer. and last Saturday. :) It can be a beating... especially at night.

Anna said...

Man, that post could've been from me right now. Except I seem not to know how to text or call people to tell them I'm lonely.

I so know what you mean Terroni and I'm so happy for you that you have someone like Graci in your life.

Keep up the good work and remember: every person you help in your medical career will somehow stay with you and have a reason to be grateful for your existence. That's worth a lot!

Susanlee said...

I am always awake at 4am. And you're one doctor that I'd be happy to hear from at that hour.

I'm sorry you're lonely. It's the worst feeling ever, I'm glad Graci called you. And I'm glad you've got a Blake, too.

Eric said...

It sucks how that hits, especially when it's out of the blue, but it's sure nice that you've got someone who will call to check in after a 4am text.
That's a pretty cute little bug, by the way.

Anonymous said...

I've been a long-time, random lurker. Just wanted to say thanks for sharing this. It is hard and weird to talk about being lonely "in real life" but I had a achingly acute feeling of the same just yesterday, its been creeping up on me. I also get the sense that you lead a pretty cool life with friends and work you like so, it is always comforting to hear other people sometimes feel the *space between the bars* as I like to call it. You are so blessed to have Graci, as she is to have you!

Maria said...

I can't tell you how many times I have felt lonely when I was far from alone in the house.