Longest month of my life
Frankie died in the first week of the month. He was very sick and now he isn’t. It was such an emotionally demanding week that it’s hard to believe I only had three weeks with him, a fact my limited repository of our memories together reminds me of. The scarcity of them is also a sharp reminder of his short life, a fact I obviously try not to dwell on.
I’ve been trying not to dwell a lot on how this whole situation played out, but my attempts have all proven futile because I have to make a conscious effort to extricate all aspects of Frankie from my daily routine. When I’m on my way back home, I momentarily “remember” that I have to feed him once I’m back, that he’ll be crying for food, that afterwards he’ll nap in the crook of my neck; when I go to the grocery store and inevitably walk past his vet, the world briefly rearranges itself back to the moment when she told me he had too much liquid in his lungs and couldn’t breathe properly. Even waking up in the morning comes with its own dreaded pang of remembrance because I have to actively forget I no longer have to feed him.
I’m not a fan of these “mental vortexes,” as Joan Didion refers to them in The Year of Magical Thinking. My brain tends to cope with them by panicking and flooding my thoughts with happy memories of Frankie, which of course are usually followed by more sad feelings.
Sometimes this weird psychological exercise is fun, but generally it exhausts me and I just want to move on to the point where I don’t get upset thinking about him.
TLDR: I miss Frankie a lot.
Alex and I have gotten closer, which is the only silver lining this whole Frankie experience has offered; she was a source of support in the waiting room at the vet in Silla, and she continues to be one as we stick to our rigid plans of curling up on our couch (which we call “megabed”) and watching reality TV. Vanderpump Rules, Real Housewives, The Bachelorette, and Amor con Fianza are always in rotation.
My depressed episode is only one reason why these plans rarely change, with the other being the state of my finances. I write this on the last day of November, having still not been paid for working in October. Not being paid is always bad, but this particular instance has been doubly worse because of Frankie’s hospital bills. Since his death, I’ve been sustaining myself on skimpily paid writing jobs, money from babysitting, and much-appreciated donations.
These meager earnings have barely been enough to get by, but that didn’t stop me from still celebrating Alex’s birthday with some friends in Valencia, where I finally went out like a true Spaniard–– paella and Agua de Valencia for dinner, with dessert being an amazing combo of flirting with Alex’s extremely cute German friend and dancing until six in the morning to “Breaking Free” in the club.
Granted, I got no sleep and was a literal zombie the next day as I finally went to Primark and later Taste of America, which carries what I’ve been chasing in this country for nearly three months (cue angelic, holy music): Hoy Fong Sriracha. It was such a fun weekend overall that I’m putting it on par with Red (Taylor’s Version) as one of the few things redeeming this extremely long and exhaustive month.