Thursday, August 18, 2005

The Way We See

You see better in the dark. When things sting, when they prick at you, when your husband is still on the phone to his girlfriend after an hour, when you see one of their emails and how bold and sexy she is, writing things like, “Do you still want me?” When you wake up from a bad dream where you’ve gone too far and kicked your husband out of the house, when you’re driving like a freak-head through the streets of your town looking for a smoke instead of getting to the Brownie Court of Awards ceremony, anytime you walk on the school yard and into the sea of mothers wearing holiday sweaters, the way you try to diminish your longings for your lover, the way you fight your feelings and then how you give way to his body like you did last Sunday, both of you fully dressed and in a mob of people at your house. It was only a hug but you released yourself and everything you have tried to hold back.

You like the dark; you understand everything better when you see its complexity, its trouble. It’s just the way you are. When the stone from your wedding ring fell out last week and was lost, after the momentary panic you smiled because it perfectly symbolized your marriage; loss and beauty; everything you hoped for and what happened instead and how only marriage can take you down that bright, shadowy path. And mostly whom you have needed to become to live into that.

After a day you stopped looking for the stone because the story about its loss was so much more compelling than the possibility of finding it.

But darkness takes its toll. Cement boots. Bad dreams. Agitation. A desire to smoke. Close down. Shut people out. Valerian and amino acids at night to stop your thoughts, and then waking up every morning at 4:30 to roll out your dark observations; does the lover love me? Not enough. No more emails or phone calls for him. Do I have the energy to teach today? God, I have nothing for my students and have they figured that out yet? Will I ever finish that book proposal? Do I love my husband enough? Am I screwing up the kids? Have I always been this unhappy?

It’s not that you don’t seek the light or appreciate sweetness, you do, it’s just that even when something has loveliness, like last night when you and your husband went to see your kids in the summer production of Beach Blanket Banana, even though you were moved by how beautiful and talented your daughters were, the way they’d memorized their lines and sung with such expression, what captivated you was the way your ten-year-old held hands with Rat Dog at the end of the show when she finds out he rides a Harley, and the way you watched her holding hands with this boy, the way you examined those clasped hands, like tea leaves, reading into the future. You see everything, you see too much. You always have.

7 comments:

art said...

You really should be writting a book. you evoke so much emotion with your words you are crazy not to try and get published.

Stephanie said...

Beautiful and agonizing and true. You've done it again. Inspiring.

Dale said...

I'm not entirely convinced. I'll believe that you see more things to write about in the dark, anyway :-) Might there be a third way of seeing, neither through your own eyes nor through anyone else's?

Dale said...

Oh. And this is beautifully done, again. You know that :-)

Yoki said...

You've got fever, baby. Fever all through the night.

keviningals32884691 said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
duncan60heather said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.