Well, I for one am waiting for said CSCW talk in Seattle two weeks
from now, at which time I'd have to pronounce him well and fully dead
to his professional committments. He has, not surprisingly, missed a
series of milestones during his nearly-two-month absence. Not just
'mine' or 'ours', but I hear, a host at Caltech as well. To say
nothing of the overdue library books I'm sure M$ is hounding him for.
No FoRK has physically heard from him since the wedding. For a while,
rumors of ill health swirled about, rooted in his long-running LA
asthma. It appears that was a major, major setback. Though I'm at a
loss what I did to so offend his wife and mother that neither has ever
called me back in that time. Since then, though, he has logged in
intermittently and appeared at Caltech dept retreat, as well as
shopped for a new apartment with Michelle. One can onlyhope that in
return for burning down the house, he's finishing his MS thesis, a
longtime bogeyman, or taking on the PhD plan so he can finally get out
This doesn't explain why he apparently
hates/resents/couldn't-care-less to even contact his colleagues and
apologize his way out of professional committments, to say nothing of
the psychological trauma this is causing me personally. I suspect he
is relying on the fact there's a new significant other in my life to
bridge the gap, but that's on a completely different level.
Essentially, then, my life is on hold without him. I have decided to
make our relationship an indispensible part of our professional and
personal identities, and I suppose he's trying to tell me I'm
wrong. Maybe Michelle is trying to enforce some higher ideal of
monogamy. In the end, though, I don't want to know this.
Denial is why I didn't peek at the windows when Jim and I were on a
field trip last weekend and I dropped off an invitation to the big
Thanksgiving party at my folks'. If both cars are in on a Sunday night
and they don't want to answer the phone, why should it be any
different the 101st time?
phase -- Adam can only be happy around the house for so long without
more media. Nothing I can game out explains his behavior, though.
Here is the sum total evidence we have so far:
* he emailed Ernie a birthday greeting three weeks ago ("Say hi to
Rohit -- I'll call next week")
* he and michelle have been sending out thank-you/change-of-address
notes. Mine went "thank you... for your "get well" wishes in Adam's
extended sickness" -- yes, in quotes. I suppose that since nobody
*told me*, Michelle may not have been too happy with the first few
dozen messages expecting him to get to work on papers and projects we
owe. I've also given up on addressing her directly, since no amount of
pleading with her at work or on voicemail has shown any mercy.
* My parents' simply said "thanks for having such a wonderful son
[and] for the hand-knotted Kashmiri bedspread" Typically over-the-top
and endearingly cute rifkingardnerism -- though now I suppose it
really is just a rifkinism, in both parts.
* Sally's said "sorry Adam missed you at Rohit's housewarming,"
presumably on the theory I wasn't inclusive enough in my wishes that
both could have made it. (to say nothing of the fact Adam still has the
full bar kit I bought him in Seattle :-)
Anyway, I hope there's a very happy explanation for all this, because
I can only wish them well. If Adam wants to part ways, well I might
even have to agree to that, but I'd expect to discuss it. And if he
ever resurfaces, I'm sure it's because he fears my towering and
uncomplicated rage. Even I can't promise it won't flood out. But there
is one thing I can't do for him now -- ironically, the same thing he's
been unwilling to do for me all along: I can't judge him anymore.
Unconditional love doesn't mean it's always saccharine and sticky: it
means it's always there, non-negotiable. Yes, I'm angry and hurt and
sad and fearful and I still love you.
Get well soon,