He was my Home

What happened to my favorite long talks in the middle of the night? Lying naked together. “Cuddle me,” he’d say and roll over. I would press my face into that little place between his shoulder blades that I loved and breathe in the masculine scent of him, draping my arm over his broad chest, thrilled to have such a beautiful lover to call my own. And he is beautiful, all long arms and long legs and long back. His smooth skin taut across his muscular frame. We would laze there, pleased with life and each other, and just talk.

What were those long conversations about? Life, politics, neighbors, colleagues, love, sex, music, books, religion, we covered it all. Oh, and those baths. He would scrub my feet and I would wash his back, counting the moles and freckles, pretending they were a star map of the night sky.

We spent hours in the hot soapy water, just talking more long talks and laughing with each other. After a time he decided it was too much time spent wasted, and our long baths were cut.

What went wrong? When did the snide remarks become stitched into the fabric of the words we had to say to each other? When did he start to sneer at me and mimic my words in a whiny, nasal voice? When did his criticisms cross the line of being constructive into destructive?

How I cried in my pillow like a lost child. There was a time in those long conversations that I felt I had found a home. In that lengthy, lean body and in the strength of those exquisite hands, I found safety. He said when we last saw each other that he gave me his heart. Yet, he doesn’t seem to realize that when I held it most carefully in the palms of my hands, when I cherished it and relished in it, he ripped it from me. No, you’re too old, he said. Then, of course, he left me standing there to go skating with another woman, a younger woman. There’s no home to be found in that action. So now I’m lost, flustered in my confusion. Wasn’t I once perfect? Wasn’t I patient and kind? Wasn’t I amazing and strong? Wasn’t I beautiful and talented? Home, home was wherever he was and now I don’t know where he is but in India, perhaps with another young woman, the world his oyster and the sea full of fish. And I feeling lost of house and key, with no home to call my own.

 

 

 

9/11

911 DustWe were watching the documentary on my laptop. I don’t know why we didn’t hook the laptop to the TV, but this allowed more intimacy, our chairs side by side. He leaned into me intensely, directly beside but somehow feeling as though he was behind me as well, hovering. I stared at the screen and tried to keep calm. Was it Loose Change? Or 9/11: Explosive Evidence? I don’t remember. But I was learning.

He leaned in and snarled: “How can you be so naïve? How can you not recognize that the US government would do this to their own people?” I wasn’t sure where to begin. I tried to argue that the conspiracy theorists could say anything; I asked who were these people to begin with? Nothing I said mattered. I was too stupid to see the truth with my own eyes and the architects who said and agreed that there was something suspicious to the way the buildings came down were all right. I was tired and beginning to feel strained by the interrogation I was receiving. I didn’t understand where this anger was coming from. I didn’t know why he was so angry and so disgusted. Maybe he was right for different reasons…maybe I was stupid, because I sat there…I let him badger me…degrade my ideas and feelings… and I tried to argue my viewpoint as best I could with what I knew and what I surmised based on my own intelligence.

None of it was good enough. I was unbelievable in my ignorance. He snarled and glared and I felt I was meeting someone I had never known before. Don’t let me be my father. Stop me if I’m ever my father. Was this him? I looked at the screen and tried to keep my head up. So many rules to remember. Be submissive. Be complacent. Be quiet in the staff room…your voice is so loud, you don’t know how loud your voice is. Why did you say that at the table in front of everyone, don’t you know people could hear your every word? Sugar is the white death, how can you eat so much of it after all I’ve tried to teach you? Take off some of that make-up, it makes you look old. Your clothes, why do you always wear so much black and white, it makes you look SO old. Don’t you know how to chew, you should chew like this! And I felt something inside of me crashing down into the center; the center that could not hold like stacks of floors falling down one upon the other. He saw tears in my eyes and for a moment it seemed he might back off; he wavered and then stood straight–I was ignorant and naïve. So disgusting to behold. And then the documentary was over and in my distress I fumbled, wanting to return money  that I owed and I offered it all wrong and he left that night. Refused to stay any longer if I was going to be that way.

And the center couldn’t hold as I laid in my bed alone after he’d gone; crashed down in so many pieces..tiptoeing through glass that would shatter ever more if I didn’t step carefully around it. I had no answers left for his questions, his insistence. I was dust billowing up to the sky, darkening out the sun.

Our personal 9/11

My Angel of Light

 

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Winter Camping

I never had to worry about my bike tires, or little things that needed fixing. He took care of it all. He was good like that. He fixed and re-arranged and made sure things worked properly. And the last time I was sick…he took care of me so well. He cooked, he cleaned. He baby-ied me the way you hope someone will do when you are ill. “Baby, can I get you some water? Baby, are you warm enough?” A long difference from the year before when he pushed me for coughing near him, telling me it was ‘disgusting’.

Yet, it was the other things. The constant reminder that he wanted to marry someone younger. The twisting of words to make me feel belittled and stupid. He kicked his father once in front of my son. What should that tell me about how he treats the people who love him most? He smothered me the one time with a pillow when we were play fighting, and for a moment I was shocked and scared he was going to hurt me. He told me it was my fault. He said, “I told you to stop tickling me.” And this is symptomatic of our relationship. It was my fault that we didn’t travel to India and “You better not go to work and tell everyone I didn’t want to take you. I tried, but you chose to buy your ticket to go home.” After his constant questioning about why I didn’t go home??? The sick feeling in the pit of my stomach when I saw his history on his laptop and knew that he was messaging a girl named N—- in New Dehli. What a beauty and how interesting she seemed from her profile. She was the right age.  So maybe it wasn’t his ultra-conservative, Christian friend he didn’t want me to meet.

My angel of light…who walked with me up the mountain to winter camp. Who carried my bag so I wouldn’t have to do it. Who gave me his coat in the middle of the night because I was so cold. Who pulled off his wool socks and said, ‘Here, wear these too.” Who hurt me to the core of my being telling me at my age I was probably infertile and would only have deformed babies if I could have a baby at all. Who I suppose can imagine and believe that N—- of New Delhi and her womb would produce only healthy, non-deformed children.

His light is blinding as it is cutting. My angel of light. How did God survive the heartache of misplacing his love for his angel of light? How do I do the same?

He Bought me a Winter Coat

My beautiful winter coat that he bought me last year. Deep, dark blue with paisleys swirling about. I wish it reminded me of his slate/blue eyes, but it doesn’t. He didn’t like my winter coat last year. It was light blue and simple and actually for a child of 10 or 12. The sleeves barely met my wrists and the coat just made it to below my waist, and he hated it. So he took me shopping and watched me glory and spin in the blue, waist-cinched, expensive coat with its matching hood and blue-dyed fur about my face. I glanced at the price and was certain I could outwait the price until a sale. The next day, was it? He snuck out of the flat with some excuse and upon returning briefly met me in the foyer and tricked me into thinking he hadn’t bought it after all (I had suspected all along). Later, he suggested I go to the foyer for something and that’s where I found it. Perhaps he sent me to lock the door. I just don’t remember now. I think I squealed with delight upon finding it hanging with our other winter clothing. He loved me then. I loved him, too. I would give you anything you wanted my love said to him. He wouldn’t give anything to me but a year or two. How my heartaches! A friend promised I wouldn’t always feel this way. May good promises always hold and never end up broken.

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Spinning Top

His love is like a spinning top. Set loose it whirls at the speed of light. Spins across the floor graceful as a ballerina. A strength in its movement. Then gravity begins to pull and the top wobbles, no longer strong in its velocity. Baby, baby, baby, come closer he calls to me. Hold my arm. Let me guide you along the way. He carries a cluelessness about him.

Let’s travel together. Of course, baby. Let’s go here, let’s go there. Let’s spend 5 or 6 or 7 days. It will be amazing to see some place with you. It will be amazing to spend this time with you. We will see new things, baby. We will go to new places, baby. Just me and you, baby, he says. But no, he begins to reason. You need to go home. Your family needs you. This place is in the opposite direction. That place is too dangerous. What about your stomach? You’ll get sick and you’ll still have to travel home. What about your finances? You need to think about your money. I’m just thinking of you baby. I’m always thinking of you baby. Wait, baby, let’s go ski with friends. Let’s have fun with them. Wait, I say, I thought we were going to travel together. Together as in you and me and we would not make three. Why do you want to add a three? Oh, you’re right, baby. This should be just us. You’re so lovely. You’re so beautiful. I don’t deserve you. Look at your eyes. Look at your face. But, oh, wait, maybe we can travel here, or travel there. But, you know, you need to go home. You need to see your family. You should be thinking of taking care of things back there. Shouldn’t you? I sigh. I will book my own ticket. I will go home while you wobble, this top about to topple over. So I will wait. I will ask a day or two later for the truth. You never really wanted to travel with beautiful me, lovely me, me with my eyes, my face. You don’t want that one friend to know that you have a girlfriend my age. You don’t want to explain that we live together. You don’t want to share about me with him because, what? It’s a disgrace. I’m so tired. My love is full of ache. I do deserve better. I can’t get a hold of you and make this top spin faster, fuller, farther, longer. You will travel alone? With some couch surfer? With Kamilla? I see your Couchsurfing page. I see the name. What is couch surfing for, but to find people to travel with, baby? He snaps, his tongue razor sharp. But we are breaking apart. You are taking me winter camping because you know I want to go and we go. The white winter mountains and the cold winter air mix into a bright serenity that my eyes (those lovely eyes) cannot get enough of. And later we will travel for a day to another city to see their giant old growth tree and Chinese architecture, but somehow you don’t understand. It’s not the same. It’s not 5 or 6 or 7 days of you and me and making two. It’s little treats thrown to a dog. Little treats thrown to a dog that keeps chasing a top, a top that can’t keep spinning, that gravity will pull down.

But, oh, what a lovely top when you look in my eyes and seem startled to remember for a moment the beauty you find there.

Ironing Shirts

I taught him to iron his shirts. He didn’t do a very good job and later I went back and ironed them again, but he knows more or less now how to do it. Is this a mom thing? a girlfriend thing? I told him today that a good woman always looks after her man…it has nothing to do with being a mom or just a girlfriend. He said I was like a mom. He has started to turn this all into a mother thing. He wants out, but he isn’t mature enough to figure out how to do it.

 

Later we stretched for a bit seeing as we didn’t make it to the gym. He took a cup of water and held it over my face while I laid on the yoga mat, tipping it ever so slightly. I had the insane thought, “he won’t let it drip on my face if he really loves me.” Then I waited until the water splashed down. Haven’t I told myself for months that he doesn’t really love me? What a silly immature game to play.

Wax and Wane

What is it with this push and pull? The waxing and waning? Why can’t we keep apart? What is the pull that keeps us deciding to be together? When, of course, his mind is made up and we will not always be together.

He doesn’t believe that I understand. I do. But even with the understanding, I can’t find any solace. It hurts. It hurts to know all that is beautiful and good about him, all that is lovely and strong, all that I want to hold in my hands and keep safe; he wants to take and give away to another.

I wish I were the moon. Cold and distant. Far from Earth. Moving and revolving into something different with each day, but still the same and timeless. Perhaps then I would find some solace in this ache of mine.

Deepest of Breaths

trainI have a vision of him sitting across the way. I lying still on the bunk. The sun shining in through the window lighting up his golden brown hair with a blonde shimmering halo. What was he thinking? I couldn’t possibly know. We had already broken up and used our train tickets out of town anyway. Traveling across miles together, but not as two, just one and one. My heart was breaking to see him so young and so beautiful, so lost in thought, holding my gown to his face, taking the deepest of breaths.

I tried to tell him that sometimes you don’t want to share everything. He didn’t believe me. He wanted us to stay together until the end of our year long contracts because I was too old to marry and too old to start a family with. So, of course, it had to end at some point and why not the one he’d chosen? I told him I would do anything to give him what he wanted. Start another family? Why not? Unfortunately, I can’t make myself younger. I couldn’t give him that. But did he have to tell me over and over? Perhaps we’d still be together now, because it hurts to be apart. It hurts to be told the truth.