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if you live next door to a graveyard

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I just realized I haven't written about the move.
Last April L and I moved from Denver to rural northern California where he can be closer to his family and a cancer center where he gets a new form of treatment.
The treatment he's getting is called immunotherapy. He was cleared for the clinical trial and about three days after his first infusion the FDA approved the same treatment he's getting for his type of cancer. The hospital where this goes on is an Adventist hospital in Napa County. It's been around for over a hundred years and was originally a sanitarium. The people there are wonderful, and his oncologist is very well respected, which is comforting. He's definitely improved since being here; L's no longer on oxygen all the time, just when he exerts himself and then he recovers quickly, and he's also gained some mobility back. But still, the area is so isolated and there is absolutely NOTHING here, no ethnic restaurants, very little shopping (and by shopping I mean bookstores, art supplies, thrifting), and no real enriching activities, like continuing education classes, which, there goes my idea of getting my A+ certification. No A+ classes here. They don't even offer a notary public course locally.
I miss Denver. My facebook feed is full of photos of Denver - places I've been to, places L and I were planning on going to, places I drove by every day I lived there, and it makes me want to cry every time I see them. I miss living in a city. I miss evenings walking around old neighborhoods, stopping into bookshops, new age places, and music stores, hearing all the activity around me, watching all the people moving in their own little worlds, Indian lunch buffets, sushi bars, coffee shops, neon signs, church bells tolling the hours, art museums, concerts, festivals in the park, the huge library downtown and the little branches scattered all across the metro area. I miss driving around the different areas looking at beautiful mid-century houses, finding something wonderful at the thrift stores, having lunch at a favorite diner where the owner always gave me free baklava.
Maybe what I really miss is the fact that I did all those things with L, when he was able to walk and breathe and laugh with me. I don't think I could go back to Denver without him. I don't think I would want to.
And I feel like a complete shit for being sad about this. I should be happy he's doing better, and even though he'll never be able to do those things like he used to, there is hope he will continue to recover. It's just so hard to adjust to so much in such a short amount of time. I feel that I have this huge negative space in my psyche that was once filled with living in a city and I have no idea how to deal with that emptiness. Both L and I agree we can't stay here, but with his health still in question, I don't know how long we will have to bide our time. I do know we won't be able to go back to Denver; the air is too thin for him and even barring that, the cost of living there is way more than we can afford moving back.
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Time is a strange thing.
Four years ago my friend was murdered, stabbed by her boyfriend, and died in front of her door trying to escape. L was living with me in Columbus at that time and he went to the funeral with me. It was sad, of course, but also a little unreal because her death was so unexpected.
I was late to the smart phone game and finally got one last November, right before L went into the hospital and his health deteriorated. I signed up for an Instagram account and connected it to my Facebook account. From time to time I get friend suggestions on Instagram based on my Facebook friends and yesterday I had a suggestion for my friend who was murdered. I went to her account and saw the last photo she posted was six days before she was killed, and it was a photo of her murderer. She simply captioned it "The Man".
I don't know what to say after writing all that out. I have more to say, about more things that have been happening, but it's all so overwhelming. I seem to be haunted by the future I planned but never came to pass. It's there, whispering in my ear, making me daydream about what point in my life I would go back to and begin things again, hitting the clear button but somehow retaining what I know now. Numbing myself with the fantasy of alternate realities is my new hobby.
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Yesterday my great-aunt Betty died in a pretty bad car accident. She was coming home from the grocery store, driving through a rural area she's driven through a hundred times before, when for some reason she pulled in front of an oncoming car. The car t-boned her, and from the site photos it looks like her car ended upside down in the drainage ditch. She died a little later at the hospital. She was 87 years old and completely independent, even working a job at the local dollar store. My grandmother called to tell me about it yesterday evening and she was pretty upset. Betty was her only living sister and I can imagine she's feeling terrible about it. Betty was always a cautious driver, so ignoring a stop sign was highly unusual for her, especially one she was familiar with. We think she might have had a stroke and that's why she went through the intersection without stopping.

Betty was a hellraiser wild child, completely opposite of my grandmother. She was named after her grandmother and apparently looked very much like her. When she wore her hair in braids, she could very easily have passed for full Cherokee, which her namesake was. She was rail thin with wrinkley, dark tanned skin, and missing quite a few teeth, refusing to have the hangers on pulled because they were her teeth dammit, and no one was taking them from her. One of my earliest memories of her was when my grandmother, her sisters Betty and Grace, my mom, Betty's daughters and I were out at a restaurant and Betty ordered a cocktail. I'd never seen such a beautiful thing! It was bright yellow with a tiny umbrella and a maraschino cherry, which I thought was just magical. Aunt Betty held it in her hand gesticulating to add emphasis to whatever story she was telling. At some point, she let a curse word fly, whereupon she paused, looked me dead in the eye and said in a low voice, "Pardon my French!" I was simultaneously terrified and enthralled. One of her favorite sayings was "It's better to be pissed off than pissed on."

What's strange to me is that when I google Aunt Betty's name, I get news articles with comments by people who stupidly assume all kinds of things. "Why was an 87 year old woman driving?" "Where was her family?" "I'll bet she was texting!" It's so damn infuriating, especially since I deactivated my Facebook account and I can't respond to these holier than thou shitstains. I want to tell them all to mind their own fucking business and piss off, à la Aunt Betty. I don't care if they pardon my French or not.
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I'm still around! Just been too busy and exhausted to write much. Hopefully I'll be able to update in a day or two.


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I went to the jewelry making class last Sunday and really loved it. I made a little cresent moon with an agate bead hanging from it and I think it turned out quite nicely. Cutting the sheet metal was tricky, but I finally got the hang of it. Pounding out the metal and smoothing it down with a file and sandpaper was really theraputic too. It looks nice hanging from a chain, nice enough that if I saw it in a shop for a reasonable price, I'd probably buy it. I'll have to take a photo when I get home. I also have some ideas for more jewelry so I'm going to have to look into possibly acquiring some tools. Thankfully, this isn't a very expensive hobby and there are a lot of tutorials online.

Whyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy can't I make a living by putting together terrariums, embroidering my own designs, making jewelry out of metal and pretty crystals, and doing tarot card readings? I could get so much done if I didn't have to eat and pay rent.
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Some people think Disney gives girls an unrealistic view of how they're supposed to fall in love. Me? My expectations of romance came from The Dot and the Line, a Romance in Lower Mathematics., I just knew that out there, somewhere was some guy willing to get into yoga and bend himself into spirograph designs just for me.

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Aleister Tarot Cards 1
“You don’t need to see the card I’m sitting on. It’s the one that shows how you’re going to make an important journey in the near future and pick up an extra large bag of kitty cat treats.”
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Suspend your skepticism for a few minutes and tell me all about your Fortean self.

1. If you could have any one psi ability, what would it be?
2. What is your favorite cryptid?
3. What dead person would you like to talk to for one hour via Ouija board?
4. What urban legend do you love?
5. What is the one conspiracy you believe is absolutely, unquestionably, categorically true?
6. If you were going to start a cult, what would your core doctrine be?
7. What is your favorite curse?
8. Tesla or Reich?
9. Crowley or Blavatsky?
10. Spontaneous generation or spontaneous combustion?
11. What message would you like to give your doppelgänger?
12. What is your preferred technique to rid your home of ghosts and/or demonic entities?
13. If UFOs exist, what would you like to hear the aliens say after they abduct you?

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In my dream last night, L and I were at a convention being held in a gorgeous and vast 19th century mansion. After dinner, we were directed to a dance being held in one of the ballrooms. It was all very formal - L was wearing a black tux and I was in a long white gown. We stood in line to purchase tickets and when we got to the ticket counter, the person there said it was free and directed us through the ornately carved mahogany door. We walked into the ballroom, which was dark and dimly lit by overhead twinkling string lights. The ceilings were about twenty feet high, the left side of the room had been walled off and I wondered what was behind it. The other walls were a dusky blue, the stage where the band was playing was illuminated in a golden glow and all the other people were sitting quietly in chairs, watching the band instead of dancing. L and I stood behind them and I noticed my gown had changed from white to black. L smiled at me and put his arm around my waist.

I could still feel it when I woke up.
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