I can’t believe I’m writing those words, but I think it should be said. It won’t last forever and there are some rough spots, but let’s put this in perspective.
I can no longer wash dishes because I don’t have a water heater and the touch of cold water has become utterly unbearable. I got back from my shower this afternoon to find the dishes washed — and the galley & front step picked up, a wholly unlooked-for bonus.
My excellent friend R. was living on the smaller boat and helping me with the boat-fixing and laundry. He set up the sale of that boat (completed today) and is moving onto Voyager. He’s taking my old cubbyhole in the quarterberth and (thanks to him moving the tools and lumber out) I’m finally moving into the forepeak — that is, the room at the pointy end of the boat. For the first time in years, I have a bedroom door that closes.
After watching me constantly overestimate my capacities (which are constantly changing), he wisely introduced the Pinky Rule: if I’m not confident of being able to pick it up or handle it with just my pinky finger, I don’t pick it up or handle it.
This doesn’t render me the complete nonentity that pure helplessness does — which helpful men are wont to suggest, with the best of intentions. (Yeah, I’ll sit back and do nothing if you let me lop off yours before lopping off mine.)
But, like the Elbow Rule I gave kids who came into my ER with things stuck in their ears and noses (“only stick things in there if they’re bigger than your elbow”), it has a certain brainless simplicity that’s hard to argue with. It is turning out to be an excellent guideline. You’d be amazed at what I can lift with a pinky.
In the fullness of time, his busy life will carry him onwards. In the meantime, I have a wise and helpful friend who is making this chicane of my own life a whole lot smoother.
It’s difficult, but strangely peaceful, to learn to share my life without the inherent drama or forced weight of romance. I’m honored to have the opportunity and I could never have imagined a better partner to learn this dance with.
I have to say, if there’s one thing CRPS teaches, it’s that Hollywood doesn’t have the answers; real life is a lot more subtle and inflected.
There is more than one way to love someone. This one comes with clever solutions. Others come with passing kisses. Which would you choose — really?
I could even learn to live with the bits of loose tobacco that find their way into everything. He rolls his own, and the stuff is more intrusive than stray tape. But we’ll find a peaceful solution there, too. I’m absolutely sure of it.