I went to the beach for a week, then spent several days at my dad’s house in Tennessee. In order to do this, I had to leave my rats with my mom and step-dad, who took very good care of them but weren’t willing to hold them or pet them, and certainly not willing to let them out of the cage for any period of time. While I was gone, I worried about my boys the whole time. This was the first time I’ve been away from them since I bought them several months ago.
When I came back, I went straight to see them. Watson eagerly came to the front of the cage to greet me. Sherlock, who is by far more attached to me than Watson is, hung back. I called to him, which he always responds to, and he stuck his head in a hole, clearly ignoring me. So I opened the cage and got Sherlock out, knowing he needed an apology from me.
He sulked at first but after a bit, he perked back up and climbed up on my shoulder to kiss my face and chatter in my ear. Since yesterday, he and I have been visiting and enjoying each other’s presence. After being allowed a couple of hours to run around my room, Sherlock is now happily tuckered out, taking a nap in his cage. I wonder if he has forgotten that I left him so long, or if he forgave me, or if he decided that it’s easier to forget that I hurt him if it means we can have fun together for a while.
If it’s the latter, I know how he feels. But you don’t really forget. You let it go for the time being, but it hangs in the back of your mind. And if it happens over and over, you dwell on it when you’re alone and you don’t know who to be mad at.
I think Sherlock likes me because we’re kindred spirits. Watson and Merlin are different. They’re adaptable and they’ve got each other. They don’t need anyone else. But Sherlock, he doesn’t quite fit with them. He loves them too but they stay apart from him. They sleep cuddled together in the igloo, and Sherlock sleeps outside, under the water bottle. They are excited to see each other. Sherlock is only excited to see me.
When I was twelve, I read The Lord of the Rings. In the first book, Galadriel tells Frodo that “to bear a ring of power is to be alone.” I always thought that sentence was a metaphor. Maybe it meant that being the one to do the right thing, in a world full of cowards, is to be alone. But that’s such a brave thought, and then I thought maybe it meant that some people are just different. Some people are just alone, no matter how much other people love them. And actually, I hated Frodo, I thought he was a wuss. But I knew what it felt like to always be somehow separate.
I went back to that line in the book over and over, and sometimes I cried over it. When I was hurt, I would read it again, and then I would really cry, because it would hit me so hard.
The worst thing is, Frodo never could fix that part of him that had to be alone. He didn’t die, he was just… alone. No Hollywood ending, no false hope for us freakish ring-bearers. I cried about that too, and felt hollow inside when I finished the third book. I never read that last chapter again. I can remember it very clearly, but I only read it one time, even though I read other chapters over and over again. It was too much, I guess.
Not to say that a fantasy story gave me some great revelation about myself, really. I just projected myself onto it.
All of the notebooks I wrote in that year, and a couple of years after, I threw away. I didn’t throw them all away at once. Some I threw away immediately after using them. Others I kept in drawers for years, and I threw away a couple at a time until they were all gone. I read some of them, but hated it so much that I had to get rid of them all.
When I was twelve, I think I was very depressed.