I can imagine Jay sitting at his desk on his computer in the office. Working, making a list, paying bills or catching up on the latest Phish news, it was more his space than mine. His side was neat and tidy, mine was usually varying degrees of messy.
I, on the other hand, prefer almost any other room in the house to the office. Our screened-in porch is most often where I can be found when the weather is not cold and even on the hottest of days, I will be on the porch for as long as I can take it. I prefer working anywhere that is soft and comfortable where I can prop up my feet.
Jay would ask me why I did not work in the office more. He also advised me often that a list would be helpful. I will admit over time Jay converted me in some ways. I do every now and then make a list and as organized as Jay was, when I was on a roll, I could out-organize him. The difference being Jay was consistently on a roll and my rolls come and go.
One area incredibly hard for me to roll with has always been numbers. Considering the attention span I have for numbers as an adult, It makes sense why my parents hired a math tutor to come to my house at least twice a week during high school and why, if no one was home, I would hide in my room and not answer the door when my tutor came until I was caught.
I tried to do a similiar version when Jay and I would have our monthly budget meetings. I would come up with every excuse as to why I was too busy to meet and then when we did, my rule was we had to meet somewhere other than the office. You know somewhere that was soft and comfortable where I could prop up my feet. Usually for the first few minutes, I would talk in an accent or insist we have a staring contest before we began or something that should have driven Jay nuts but he was happy that I was finally cornered.
It also began to make sense to me as I learned more about ADD in my adulthood that I have it. An evaluation many years ago confirmed this to be true. Jay, always being the yin to my yang, was unbelievably focused and efficient and loved math and numbers. He was also more likely to brag than I was but being a lovable and humble guy, he could get away with it.
"Babe, you do realize that at every parent/teacher conference about our children you always manage to bring the topic around to you winning the math award in high school?" I would say.
I did not win the math award so maybe that is why numbers and logic are not working for me these days as I try to add up and make sense of what happened. I can add, subtract, divide and multiply as I go over and over it but it still does not compute in my brain or feel real in many moments. The numbers do not explain why we sometimes lose someone way before logic tells us we should.
The only math formula that works for me is the almost twenty years we spent together. 20 years x 365 days with all the minutes in between is a big number full of so much. The only solution I can come up with is to keep writing about it all.
I understand now why Jay preferred the office when he was crunching numbers. It's important to sit up straight and pay attention to these matters even if my ADD is calling me to do about 100 other things and is very exacerbated by the trauma of losing Jay. I am not linear in how I get things done like Jay was so it feels like I am circling around to it in the way that I do. Often as I go around and around and around, I find myself stopping on the screened-in porch to write and think about Jay.
The song is Fitz & Dizzyspells by Andrew Bird.