Thursday, June 17, 2010

Finding Forty, Day 22; 180

My sister and her crew are off on their vacation. I'm officially alone in the country with 5 little boys. Okay, I'm not totally alone. We have 3 dogs, 18 chickens, a rooster, and God knows how many fucking snakes to keep us company while we're here. Oh, yeah, and we have F protecting us at night. He's the 18 year old kid who's lived with my sister for 2 years now but wasn't able to go on the trip. I like being alone during the day, but am thankful he'll be here at night.

So, last night, while trying to get everyone packed, I started observing the dynamics between my sister and her husband. They are loud, sarcastic, biting, playful. At first glance, it sounds horrible, but the more you are in their presence, the more you realize how great it works for them. And it broke my heart. It was very much the way S and I communicated and the exact opposite of how A and I talk.

Wistfully, perhaps stupidly, I made a comment about it to my sister.

"It's really ironic isn't it? The way you two talk seems like you wouldn't work, but in fact, you do. Meanwhile, A and I never talk this way. We are polite and cordial and respectful (on the surface) and look at all our problems," I pondered out loud.

"Yeah, that is funny," she distractedly answered.

"You know, this is very much how S and I talked with one another. The same energy, the same passion was there." I pointed out, with I'm suspecting, a bit too much sadness and longing in my voice.

At those words, she wheeled around on her heels and looked at me, the anger flashing in her eyes. With contempt in her voice, she said, "And yes, K, all of that was a fucking lie!"

I felt like the wind had been knocked out of my sails or someone had punched me in the throat. Holding back tears, I explained, "No, it WASN'T lies. It was real. Whatever happened with us, I know when we talked it was real."

My voice cracked as I pleaded my case. The track playing in my head went something like this..."I'm not crazy, I'm not crazy. I know he meant what he said, I know I saw the truth in his eyes, heard it in his voice, in the roll of his laugther. I know I'm not crazy."

"Well," she continued, "If he wasn't lying to you, he was fucking lying to his wife."

Ever the peacemaker, I clarified, "Yes, I agree, he lied. To me, to her, to himself even. But I know that the way we talked was real and felt different than what I've known before. I was just trying to make a point about how people talk to each other," I said with defeat lacing my words.

Then, she softened and her eyes teared up as well. "Kate, I'm sorry. You have to know the anger in my voice is my defensiveness for you. He just makes me so mad," she explained. She went on, "But I've listened to you since you've been here and you need to just get divorced. Get divorced, Kate. You are in love with another man and that is not fair to A. Just get divorced and move on. I hope you are able to find happiness with someone who makes you feel the way S makes you feel, just not him." she stated. "Stop letting your fear of being alone keep you in something unhealthy."

I didn't know what to say next. I wanted the Earth to just open up so that I could fall into a hole and float, mindlessly for a bit through a stretch of blissful nothingness. Instead, I mumbled a weak "yeah".

Her stance on what she thought I should do with my life had taken a 180 degree turn since this all exploded last summer. It all came into focus for her when she saw A and I interacting at Christmas. The unhappiness permeated the air. She never saw S and I together, but I know she'd have seen something that would have won her over to him. Of that I'm certain.

180, that number haunts me. Apparently, it's the distance between where S lives and where I live. One hundred and eighty fucking miles. My love was so strong, I would have walked it, nude, in a pair of smoking hot, Louboutin pumps. S wasn't even willing to try driving it a weekend or two a month for a while until we figured out something better. Asshole.

I kept hoping S would do a 180 degree turn on his actions, not his feelings. I'm convinced his feelings don't put his back to me, but his fear and his life keep him turned. I feel him slipping out of my grasp and I will mourn losing him, most likely, forever.

But my sister's words make sense and have been resonating below my surface for some time now. My fear of being alone cannot keep me in a relationship that doesn't do anyone any favors. It's not fair to A, it's not fair to my kids, to me. Luckily, I have a few days of solitude here to continue to think on this, although, admittedly, I've been thinking on this for almost 2 years now. I hate being so scared, angry, sad, worried.

Spinning and turning,


  1. One day a long time ago, two lonely people caught each other's eyes and without a word, knew they must, and would, have each other.

    They spent a morning together, not as the strangers they were, but as lovers who had belonged together always. As the afternoon began, I left to catch my plane home.

    The feelings were real when they were felt - for a few hours we were truly in love, and nothing will ever diminish that memory. Just as real was that we both knew when we parted that that brief time was all we would ever have of each other, all that it was ever meant to be.

  2. I hurt too. Funny Legs that your comment falls on my 10 year wedding anniversary. I am sad...for you Kate and for myself. So much the same but different.