It is the lies and the distance. Or, it is the lies that come through despite the distance. It doesn’t matter. These things exist as bloodsucking, parasitical agents, that we cannot destroy. I write this with certainty, even as an attempt to do so, has never been made.
Robert is in Redding. This has been the case since his parents were involved in a motorcycle accident there, last month. They both suffered severe injuries, but his mother most of all. Until recently, she was in a coma. Although she is now awake, and interacting with her family, she continues to be in the hospital. Her doctor has said that she will never again be the woman she once was. I breathe a sigh of relief, as she was, if I am choosing to be polite, not very nice. A woman filled with rage. Now, she is a woman in body, but a child in mind. Everything there was to fear about her, was lost in the accident.
Robert’s family stays by her side, as should be expected. I have been asked by both him and his father, who was only recently released from the hospital, to drive up and stay with them in their hotel room. Like one big, happy family. Another lie. I find the very idea of sharing a room with a group of people who are virtual strangers to me, yet somehow still managed to make my life unbearable, just about as appealing as driving a knife into my foot. Having to do without my bitter lover is difficult, but I don’t have the energy to pretend. To stand in front of his family, and give a smile that takes more energy than I can afford. Thankfully, as I have refused to go to my lover, my lover has come to me. Every Friday, he makes the four hour drive to see me. The weekends are ours to have, completely.
Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we could get it right sometimes? Not the whole way through. Just for a minute. Eyes locked, hearts pounding, mouths breathing out romance, and inhaling it back in, desperately and with the gratitude of starving men handed a loaf of bread. Instead, I ruin things with clumsy and careless action, and Robert responds with screams that lash at the love I give away so foolishly.
I was supposed to look after his house, in his family’s absence. Every afternoon, I would drive there to feed the dogs. Sometimes, out of courtesy or a need to please, or many things that paint me stupid, I found myself cleaning up messes. His extended family members would turn the house upside down, when they used that home as their pit stop, on their way from where they reside, to Redding.
All was going well, and while this felt unusual, it was a much needed respite from the battles between a defensive Taurus, and an unbalanced Libra. It all got turned in on its head, as expected. Just today, as I drove around the corner into Robert’s neighborhood, his two dogs escaped through a loose wooden fence panel. There, under their paws, went the harmony in my life.
Immediately, I called Robert, who had choice words to throw at me. It was done intentionally, he says. I am a bitch, and don’t I dare cry, because he knows it would be nothing more than an attempt to manipulate him. He will be damned if that occurs. Why don’t we just get married, already, he screams. This will fix everything, he continues.
We agree to speak later. It’s better that way. When later arrives, the conversation is brief. It ends abruptly. We have been done for some time. Now, we are simply becoming undone. We pull away at each other, we peel the layers off, and remain raw. Everything is angry voicemails, and hanging onto memories of what once was. It was always a mess, but promised to get better. The potential was never developed. It remained in a cabinet, untouched. The inexperienced made no attempts to learn through new mistakes. It was all repeated actions, and familiar errors.
Robert tells everyone I am insane, and there is no more reason to be angry, when it has become the truth. I am not only insane, but a liar. If I feel his desire to stray, I tell him I will marry another. The thought of losing me cuts him, as it cuts me. We do not want to be apart, but never learned how to be together. We are caged animals, requiring a freedom sadistic love will not give.
There is nothing left to try, but we will not accept that.
When I am brave, he reminds me there is much to fear. When he prefers a life without me, I destroy all desire he has to have any kind of life at all.