My first day was somewhat less than productive, though I suspect that is the natural case with most first days. I do think that I will get along fine here, despite some difficulties adjusting. Most of my issues will likely stem from the fact that I think my experience makes me a trifle overqualified for some of what they are doing here. I want to be rather dutiful to how I learned to do things, and what they are having me do is rather simple in comparison. Some of their growth media for cell lines is all of three differing components, whereas I am used to media comprised of near a dozen different things. I have to admit that I suspect I will rule the lab in short order, and hopefully my new boss lady will find me indispensable. I get the feeling that there is some angst amongst the lower echelons here towards my boss, probably owing to her being something of a “go getter” in a field that seems full of slackers, so I may face some chaff due to that. I am not terribly afraid though, and have already taken to showing some of my coworkers a bit of why I am not one to trifle with. In an amusing little bit of “testing the new guy” several of them invited me to participate in a small strategy game called Pente with them my second lunch here. I had watched it played a few times, and there was some insistence that I play. Having already devised a few strategies based on the play style of my opponents, I played dumb for a bit and then executed an unbeatable move that I had figured out after lulling them into thinking me no threat. A few questions were fielded about “how did you do that?” which I gracefully declined to answer while bowing out to return to my lab. I am a bit amused at some of them being easily toyed with in a game they professed to be rather good at, but at this stage in my life, I know not everyone sees things quite the same as I do.
The local environment is rather a strange one, and unfortunately reminds me rather strongly of that place from whence we came. I’ve little positive to say about my visit to Walmart the evening after we got here, save for how healthy and fit I felt compared to the local populace. It is as though a segment of the locals from “that place” have been transported here just to torment me. I suppose it is not any great surprise that rednecks might be about here and there throughout the state, and I will hope that I can by and large avoid them and find an area more devoid of them than what I saw the other night. My coworkers at least seem generally not of that ilk, but there is an odd hodgepodge here.
The only thing that is missing is you. I need someone to talk to during the days, even if only once in a while to make me be positive and such. Know of anyone capable of fulfilling that role? A confidant to share all my troubles with who might also be drop dead sexy and intelligent (in my opinion)? In all seriousness, you are missed. I am glad for some few small notes from you, and hopefully I will begin being able to write a bit more since I have daily internet/computer access again. I will try to keep you abreast of all the goings on in life. Thank you for keeping me in mind… it helps more than you know to feel I have a friend rooting for me, even if at a distance. I miss you so much…
Tomorrow is the last day of the first job I have had in nearly two years, and I find myself rather nervous of the next few steps. With a better income more options open up, but there will quite a few difficulties between here and complete relief. I just hope I am finally able to take care of my family again, without so much struggling. I want to see my children a little happier than what has been, and to begin to create a future for all of those I love. If we are able to create a business or two that is something that one of them might wish to get into, that would be great. If that same business merely becomes the means of generating funds for them to discover their own route, that seems a good thing too. Mostly I just want to know that striving towards a future won’t be so painful or hopeless anymore. Those who have never experienced crushing poverty will never understand the fears involved with it, and I honestly will fear allowing that to happen to my family ever again. I will do everything it takes from now on to keep them safe and to build a future, especially now that we are in a place that suites us a bit better than that horrid place of the past. We have already had people here tell us that they were regretful of our leaving despite having only known us for a mere few weeks. There we were ever the black sheep and painfully aware of how badly we stood out for our oddity in that environment. Here we are seen in a completely different light, and I am finding that I rather enjoy it. It is actually a rather strange idea that we might be able to find friends here, or at least acquaintances that do not think us completely unacceptable to be around under any circumstance. Even those a little more like ourselves from back there never seemed to think us worth dealing with. Those with godless tendencies were always very angry and hateful towards the rest of the populace and even towards those that did not carry a brick on their shoulder due to persecution. Those who tended to pursue the more “risqué” aspects of life that we do also tended to shun us because many of them were older and were more along the lines of “swingers.” Thanks, but no thanks, I would like some emotional attachment in my relationships. I get the feeling that perhaps we might actually be able to find some small social circle for ourselves, though I really do not wish to pursue anything more than that anymore. I do not know that I have room in my heart for anyone more than the two so firmly entrenched there, and others seem mostly just to cause me pain. That one of those two is mostly out of reach is a pain unto itself, but one I will continue to endure so long as is required.
You are still spoken of here, rather more these days than has been the case in the recent past. I had gotten a bit despondent about things, and my seeming inability to help anyone in this world did not help matters. The long painful silences between us of course had an impact on my mental state, but not to the same degree as in times past. At no point did I grow completely withdrawn as before, though to many I would have seemed in the deepest state of despair. I am still growing as a person, and still becoming better able to deal with life. I know that is partly because of the oddities of my mind, and the limitations that sets on me, but I take solace in the fact that those with more normality in them fail so many times to accomplish personal growth past their early teens. Even as slow as it happens, I am still trying to be a better person. I will keep on trying so long as I live, for you, for Sarah, for my children, and even for myself. That last one has been the hardest really… to learn to try and improve for myself has been the most difficult battle in that it requires self-value that I have lacked for a great many years. I am at least nominally aware that I am not all that bad of a person, due to the love granted me that I have earned. I look at it that way you know. The love granted to me is earned, and through that I have learned a certain amount of self-worth. Perhaps I am not as horrid as I have always feared. Perhaps my loyalty, love, and dedication mean something after all? I hope perhaps someday things will work out so that I can continue to grow in confidence, but one small step at a time right?
My small collection of plants continues to grow. Whilst here at the park I was given a couple of divisions of some orchids, and acquired a couple more, though I really want to be able to start collecting things in earnest again. Those things that I have presently are growing in a fashion that I had only dreamed possible before whilst in the hellhole of the past, and in particular, I brought one plant down with me that is growing amazingly. It had been reduced to a barely living collection of sunburned leaves and yellow stems, but now is almost returned to a blooming size. Each direction of growth in certain kinds of orchids are called “leads” and when it came down here it was just one sad little lead that I feared constantly might die out. Now it has three separate leads and every new growth is bigger and healthier than the last. I am hopeful that soon I will finally have things blooming again. Perhaps someday you may find a random blossom along your path… On your request for a black orchid, I certainly know of several that already exist that fit the bill, though I will have to do some looking and growing before I can provide it in person. I promise I will learn how to grow you one though, and if circumstance allows, I will put it in your hands. Perhaps it might even come to pass that the plant may mysteriously make its way to you, but I know to keep a division back to keep you from killing it. ;) Sorry, but do not feel too badly over it, I picked on my mother similarly. She loved plants, but was forbidden from caring for mine due to her black thumb of doom. You are in good company. I still miss her far more often than I let on, which I know is natural, and I hate that I am mostly estranged from the remainder of my family, especially since she would have been terribly upset at that. My father has become totally withdrawn from life, and his interest in ever coming out of his little den up there seems to be zero. My elder sister has grown into even more of a cold conniving creature than ever, and apparently now that she has a kid to take care of, mine are of less interest. That is actually fine in my opinion, considering how terrible of an influence I suspect she might be on anyone she can manipulate. I was always too willful and intelligent to easily fall prey to her efforts, but then she had not perfected her arts to the same level as now. My younger sister seems to have lost any interest in growing past her idiocy and babyish tendencies. She has at this point self-diagnosed herself with some half dozen different mental disorders to explain why she is rather the failure at life, and rather than try to get past them, merely wallows about in it. How did I come from that in a reasonably functional state? I still say it was because of the extra input from my mother and being raised by the authors of a great many books.
I went back and looked at your letters again, and have to briefly touch on the blue orchids that have been such a thing in the markets of late. They are, in a way, fake actually. The blue coloration is due to a dye that was infected into the bloom stem and was then drawn up into the flowers. Next time you look at those, check the stem all the blossoms are on, and you will likely find a wound two-thirds of the way down or lower where there seems to be a waxy covering and tons of dark blue staining. That same methodology would likely not work for black since in most cases the coloring dyes that plants will transport through their stems do not include black without horrible toxicity to the plant itself in short order. Other times the plant will break down the various components and chemicals used to make the black coloration and it will look like some horrible muddy mess. If I acquire for you a black orchid, or manage to grow one to name for you, it will not be some fake super market garbage. It will be a creation of years of effort, love, and attention. It will also be YOURS and yours alone.
I quit the first good job I’ve had in nearly two years so that Monday I can start an even better one. I told Sarah that I would almost be willing to pray to any diety that might be willing to listen that this works out. This place really held no long term potential for me except for being easily able to apply for other jobs within the state system. That is nothing to be scoffed at of course, but this new job offers that plus so much more, and gets me closer to where I think we would rather be anyway. Naples is not a bad place as far as the environment is concerned, but the people here are a rather varied and somewhat annoying lot. Sarah grinds her teeth each and every time some snooty bitch looks at us or the kids with the obviously disdainful face, and I have taken to being rather rude to the majority of the public down here. We have seen a bit more of that in Tampa than we were used to, but down here it is just rampant. We have conjectured it has to do with concentration of money down here and everyone’s aspirations to be a big something, or maybe it is just the general attitude of the area. Regardless, it isn’t anything we care to continue enduring needlessly. It is also rather crazily hot here we are living at. The campsite has absolutely no shade, and the house is turned to get a broadside blast of sun first thing in the morning and last thing in the afternoon. You can imagine how difficult that has made it to keep the place cool and comfortable. We hope to move into a nicer spot for time in the new area using just a county park until we save up for our own place for our final move.
I got my electronic offer package today, which is the final step before I am a full fledged employee of the university. We are going to really make it here! Life has finally seen fit to reward our insanity. :)
Now all I need to do is make myself indispensable to my new employer. Shall I go back to school for botany, marine biology, or what? Suggestions?
Cymbidium Kiwi Midnight
I whisper nothings in her ear and attempt alway to give her everything.
I love all she is and always will.