I went to therapy tonight. I gave E the coolest card with a crow wearing boots and that looked like he was wearing his feathers as a cape. Along with the card I gave her a small book about birds with quotes. This is all to celebrate E-preciation Day, a day Monkey declared last week to honor Eileen and expresses huge gratitude for being in it with me, for sticking it out, for not leaving.
She seems pleased, a little uncomfortable and not too emotional. Something, I think and feel, is up.
She then pauses, leans forward in her chair and says that there is something she wants to talk about.
Suddenly, I don’t feel well. And I sense in slow motion a blow about to land.
She clasps her hands together in front of her and says that she is … done.
With the Sandbox.
She is giving her notice.
She will stay for six more weeks, and then she will leave for her vacation. When she comes back, she will never read me again.
I feel faint, nauseated, dizzy. My world seems to be crumbling, and the shame around this rushes into my gut. I hold back tears and manage to ask … why?
Personal reasons, she says.
I ask why again, and she says she has told me, personal reasons. But I say that doesn’t really explain, and she says simply that she has fulfilled her obligation.
But I don’t know what the obligation was, exactly, or that she even had one. I only know that my stomach hurts very badly and that I am overcome by shame.
Monkey, I can’t even begin to tell you how sorry I am to do this to you.
You didn’t do it. She did.
But still, I got you into this mess.
Last December we are on top of our mountain. And tonight we fall quickly down. Loved and discarded both … for personal reasons.
S, how sorry I am to see her do this to you — to us — so abruptly. What would cause such a thing, such a sharp declaration without any clear reason? Did she not like that we asked her to stop depressing us? Is this, somehow, her response to our anger and to our request to feel better?
I feel so ashamed to have given her the book and card on this day, the day she gives us her Notice.
Our gifts do not matter; she is set only on one thing: letting us go. She wants to do this “therapeutically,” meaning in a few weeks, but we all know this is a slice. And a deep one.
I left early because I didn’t want her to see me fall apart.
She declares removing herself is not clinical, not advised by Dr. Dissociation. So it’s personal. Her choice. She could have said she is tired from her illness and needs more time for sleep and rest. But she decides to say nothing, other than she wants to be done with her obligation by July.
Obligation. What a word.
The mountain we stood atop when she chose us in December. How she read every word with her whole heart every day. How special we were, never in my life did I feel so special. But tonight … she chooses to leave us on the cutting room floor.
I was created in front of her.
Aw, Monkey. It’s gonna be okay. We will hang onto Leon, and we’ll find a way through.
Alone. In the dark. We will find way.
I can barely write. My fingers feel slow, and eye rain comes down hard.
You feel as if you have been shot, and I am so sorry.
I have no Sandbox without E. And no life without my Sandbox. This place was built before her eyes, nearly for her.
I am here. I am here. I am here.
I dreamed last night I was in an electronics store of sorts. I look up, and I see a video has begun — and it is from E. It is about the Sandbox, about birds, it has scraps of odd fabric that reach outside of the video. It is very quirky. I am somewhere else, and again, the video begins to randomly play. This time I watch it more closely, and there are cryptic messages — messages of love, things she wants to say to me, but she never can.
It’s okay. Eye rain is healing.
Oh, my Not Gods, it hurts. I am shaking.
S, I am here to help you. Please know because I know with all my heart, that you will be okay.
S, you know you thought it would be me that would fall apart, and in some moments I do, but I am here for you. I have been here for you, not E, all along.
I feel like the rug has been pulled out from under me. It’s so hard to sleep. To finally have someone by my side. E pulled up a chair, listened to and loved my words. As I have erupted into a thousand urgent novels, she’s had the insight to know that the key to discovering me is through my writing.
But last night, my Not Gods, things turned. And, oh, I cannot imagine life without her in the Sandbox.
I knew it would need to end some day, but I thought it would be long off, at a time when what feels unimaginable to me now would be imaginable. I would begin to flap my wings, slightly and slowly at first, but then over time with more strength. Until one day with her wind at my back and her nest in sight, I would have … flown.
You wish you were strong enough to have left her first in the type, then eventually and completely forever. She stole this flight away from us, so we need to fly differently. But S, mark my words, we will, indeed, fly.