Thursday, September 29, 2016

Everything was going so well, and then it wasn't

Everything was going so well, and then it wasn't.

We put on our coats and drove to dinner. We ordered iced tea instead of liquor and made nice conversation. The manager took a liking to us and we got two burgers for the price of one.

Afterward we returned to the apartment and I watered the mums on the front steps. Then, as often happens, I felt something.

As usual, this is where the trouble began.

I wanted him to understand but he did not.

I thought, please stop telling me how to feel. And then, please stop yelling. And then, can't you see that I am hurting and I need you to understand? I am scared. I need you to be tender toward me.

He is not a mind reader.

I, apparently, have a tendency to lash out when I'm upset.

I was not trying to lash out. I was just upset. 

There is a difference but I cannot make you see it.

At first I think, use your words, June.

But he is not interested in my words. He pounds the bed and demands I pay attention. I have hurt him and this will not stand. If he tells me I shouldn't worry, then why haven't I stopped worrying. To continue feeling when he has told me not to is an affront to his own comfort. I need to feel better because he has feelings that need tending. I have hurt him.

I put my hand over my eyes because I am trying to get away from this place where I am not understood and he doesn't want to.

Of course, this makes him madder. He is talking at my body, and I can hear him, but I am only two centimeters tall and I am quietly sneaking away through the contours of my mind. If I tread softly enough, and with my hand over my eyes, he won't even notice that I'm gone. Or he will--and he does--and this makes him angry. I slip out of my shoes and hold them by the laces with my fingers and I continue tip-toeing. He knows that I am gone but he does not know where. He does not know how small I am, how I am able to slip soft-footed through the contours of my brain, losing myself in a maze that he cannot see and he cannot follow. I know exactly where I am going. This path is well traveled, but I leave no marks behind. No telltale birdseed or beating hearts. I will come back, later, and I will say that everything is fine.


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