When we excitedly jumped into the military life, we did so with such naïve confidence. In fact, even now, I forgot the military cardinal rule: never plan anything. April blows.
Well, here we are, a year down and he is not home yet. Who can I thank for this? CHI-NA? No, well, maybe. COVID-19 really put our hopes of being a family in the blender. I don’t blame the country, I blame the process of how it spilled over. Was it a person or an animal? Or an experiment gone wrong? Who really knows? Not I. The only thing I know is that I shouldn’t have planned ahead. Everyone in the military knows to never have a set plan because shit happens and shit did, indeed, happen.
When I should have been buying decorations and making my cliche “Welcome Home,” sign, I was, instead, buying masks, gloves, and hand sanitizers (seriously, those people who hoarded toilet paper, you suck).
It was a huge let down to know he would not be coming home on time. It felt unfair, like, why me? I know, first world problems, woo is me! But, c’mon, enough is enough, okay? I’d like my husband to be here when I shotgun a pizza, when I sneeze into my mask only to realize I had food stuck in my teeth and now it’s on my mask and I will now have to throw out my one-time-used mask, or when I decide to not shave my legs and he feels like he’s laying next to his his best friend Andrew (Andrew is pretty furry).
The comforting thing about this is he felt the same as well. He also wanted to be home to watch me do mundane, everyday things. We just want to be a normal family again. We, the spouses, don’t receive daily updates but we do get some news almost weekly… or two. Other than some encouraging words, not much was being said. There was no known date when he was coming home. It actually got to the point where I thought maybe my life was a lie? HEAR ME OUT:
In 2014 I had gotten really sick and ended up being hospitalized for about a week. Maybe in that time frame whatever I had contracted had eaten at my brain so much so that I lost my job but not before the doctors diagnosed me insane. To keep me from going off the edge, doctors told me parents to play along with me whenever I say outrageous claims (i.e. I’m getting married!). See, to everyone else, I had gone crazy but they could not tell ME that or else I would not have been able to handle the news well.
D ended up meeting some girl at this party he had gone to leading to our break up where I was forced to move back in with my parents. In my head, D and I were still together and I had created this whole relationship through my imagination. Whatever trips I went to with him were really my parents putting me in the backseat so I can get out of the house and have fresh air. I replaced that reality with a made up relationship. Finally, I see that D had enlisted and my imagination, once again, goes haywire. I start going around saying we are going to get married despite the fact he had never purposed (mind you, we were not even together anymore). I have this conversation with my father on what I should do: should I marry D or should I stay at home? My father “gives me his blessing” which turns out to be just a discussion to move me from the upstairs room to the basement apartment so I have “privacy” to act out my make believe marriage. I never moved to Massachusetts or Puerto Rico. I just moved to the basement.
As for my pets, they were stuffed animals given to me by my mother when she helped set up my basement room. One was a Dalmatian and the other a chihuahua; I named the Dalmatian Potato and the chihuahua Chimi. Those were my pets that I would drag on a leash outside, throw a ball to play “fetch”, and carried around in my arms. After having so many years of believing this lie and taking the medication prescribed to keep me docile, COVID happened. I could no longer keep my doctor visits, I could not get my medicine refilled, therefore, my brain that was once mush began to form itself again and become lucid. I slowly but surely started to piece things together and realized my life had been a lie. I had never moved, D married someone else, and I stayed in the same place since 2014. Rather than having the meltdown the doctors and everyone else worried about, I was able to keep my composure and play along with everyone who was playing along with me from the beginning. Having so much time at home during quarantine helped me slowly accept the fact my whole life was a huge lie.
My “husband” keeps encouraging me to turn this into a book.