Wednesday, July 29, 2009

When The Magic Ends

You are infatuated. You are in love with love. You see romance even in the mundane flapping of an open shutter in the wind. You are happy to see him when he stumbles out of bed looking only partly awake. His unshaven chin is endearing, you rub it on your bare shoulder just to feel his difference from you: he is hard and prickly against your soft smoothness. You complement each other. You miss him when he reads in the bathroom for five minutes while he sits on the toilet. You plan the day of outings, the trip to the flea market, the sandwich shop in the old farmhouse, the buying of a nightie that the two of you discussed. Then you change your mind and want to stay in. You want to put on a CD to hear its music in the background while you lounge in panties only, and watch his reaction as he walks in to see you. You grab him and pull him to you. Your kiss, returned by him, lingers until both of you must change position as kissing fatigue sets in. You share strong coffee and talk of trivia. Then you do it again.

The morning is there, but you want another hour of sleep. You hear the shower. He is up already, getting ready to go to work. You think of his hard body under the water shedding its soapy sheen. You remember the last words from him the night before: “leave me alone”. You fought over expenses. His spending on yet another electronic gadget, and your spending on still more shoes and clothes. The card is maxed. Your job is about to expire. He spends many evenings surfing the net while you watch TV in the bedroom alone. You barely see each other any more. You think of the wild sex you used to have. In reality, the last time you did anything meaningful was months ago.

He has a business trip to attend, and will be gone for several days. You look forward to his being away so that you can relax and not have to deal with his sullen looks and his accusations of your being cold. You get a peck on the cheek as he leaves for his car carrying his suitcase. Not even a goodbye. Well fine! You will be just great alone for a change not having to dread his coldness.

He does not call. You get together with your girlfriend and have lunch and see a movie. You feel good for once, like you used to. Then you go home and want to call him and tell him that you want your best friend back. But you think that would be capitulating, so you dismiss that thought. Besides, he should be the one calling. But he does not call. You go to bed early after two glasses of wine. You cry. Then you weep. Then you feel devastated for having wasted your love on a useless piece of male. You sleep but have bad dreams.

You are up early because you are tired of trying to rest. You get on your treadmill and walk miles while listening to blues. Afterward you spend half an hour in the shower to remove your sweat, your body hair, and your pains. You feel better, and have a good breakfast. You cry for not having what you used to have: a friend, a lover, a soul mate who thinks that you cannot do wrong. After you recover you want to call him, but you know that he is at work, and he would resent the intrusion. You decide to write him a letter. You type on your computer,


I miss the early days when we couldn’t do wrong, those days when all was magical and full of purpose and hope. What have we done wrong? Why have we lost that confidence we shared? Is our love gone, or are we just overwhelmed with worries of everyday problems?

I want us to renew our pledge that we believed in. We are still strong. We can mend our broken promises.

Please be willing to do so with me.


After thinking about it you kill the file. It would be like giving in, like admitting that you are at fault. You put on makeup, dress, and go out to do some shopping. The mall is lively, but you feel alone. The fun you used to have looking at and trying on clothes does nothing for you now. You sit at a table of an atrium café. You see a seedy and bored housewife with toddlers in tow and a baby in carriage trying to get through. An old couple is walking by with the woman bitching to the man for lagging behind, while the man is trying to navigate around the chairs with his cane. A couple of teenagers are goofing around with leftover foods on some tables. A four-year old is running away from his mother who is trying to keep her composure as she chases him. You see purpose in the lives of these people. You even wish to be one of them for a moment.

You leave. Instead of going home you take a drive without a destination. After an hour or so you feel stupid, and turn back. At home you turn on loud music, and open a bottle of wine. You wake in the dark. The phone is ringing…

You knock over some items as you stumble for the receiver. It is he: “Honey, I’m not feeling good about a lot of things. I left you without a hug. I hope you aren’t angry.”

You weren’t angry, really, until now. You try to compose yourself when you say, “I don’t trust myself to talk now. Maybe tomorrow.” You hang up the phone, which rings again almost immediately. You ignore it.

A few days later he returns. He keeps his distance assuming that you are still angry. You wish that he would come to you, yet you are not sure how you would handle it. He says, “Honey, do you want me to sleep in the other bedroom …?” He waits for an answer that is not coming. He takes his suitcase into the other bedroom, showers, and comes out dressed in casuals. You pass him in the hall on the way to your bedroom.

In the morning you lie awake. You wait to be sure that he is gone when you leave the room. You don't want a confrontation that you are not prepared to handle. You don’t know what you want.

Later the phone rings. You know it is he, so you don’t answer. You cry silently. You feel as if a part of you had just left you forever. You think of the song you heard yesterday, “Can’t We Try?” You decide that you should try, but don’t know what you want.

What destroyed what you had at the beginning?

Was it sex, or the lack of it?

Was it incompatibility?

Should you have not gotten together with him given what you have now?

Have you learned anything?

Does he no longer hold a value for you?

Does years of your life merit redemption?

Is it time to part?

Where will you go, and what will you do?

Will you repeat the experience? Is this the rest of your life?


subservient-husband said...

you have developed the art of capturing attention and holding it. Well done. Is this chapter #1 of a work in progress?

Susan's Pet said...

No my friend, this is not a work in progress. It is a stylized summary of what I have observed in several instances among couples.

In the words of Brothers Four from the song "Greenfields", these are the lovers who "Let their dreams depart".

doll said...

It just about makes me cry. It is exactly what occurred in my marriage. I could have written it in my diary. But that last time, when a business trip was more important than me at a time of great need, sealed the end of the relationship as it was. Now we are simply good friends that look out for each other as long as we remain 8000 km apart.