Saturday, August 29, 2009

While I'm Falling

For some time, maybe minutes, maybe hours, I lay awake, eyes open, staring up into the darkness. Just two nights earlier, I'd ignored her calls. I was aware of everything shifting, new regret a sharp pain in my throat. The hurt felt real, and truly physical, and also, strangely, like something necessary and right. When I was young, lying in bed at night, the backs of my calves would hurt so much that I would sometimes cry out. Growing pains, my parents said. They were a myth, the doctor countered. But night after night, my legs hurt; until one night, they stopped hurting, and I was taller.

"Do you think I'm interesting?" She switched the bag of groceries to her other arm. She focused n keeping her voice neutral, no judgment at all. She focused on keeping her voice neutral, no judgment at all. She wasn't trying to pick a fight. She really just wanted to know. "Also, when you think of me, when you picture me in your head, do you see me as a separate entity? Or do you only see me in relation to you?"
He took of his glasses and rubbed the bridge of his nose. And he said absolutely nothing. It was, in twenty-six years of marriage, the only time she'd caught him speechless, too stumped even to nod or shake his head.
"I'll get the rest of the groceries," he said, as if that were the question she'd asked. "Don't let the dog follow me out."


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