He shouted at me, an obscenity. My gentle, generous husband who never so much as slams his hand on the arm of our cushioned couch when his team loses a game. He was walking away, as he does, when we go at it, both of us so tired of the old habits burrowed deep into our 20-year love like tattoo ink under a scar. So I told him, fine, go, we don’t need you, even though it was a lie, a lie so obvious we could have laughed if either of us remembered where we had last left our laughter. Our son was still sick, still so in need, our marriage was parched with a thirst that comes only from years of unmet desires. I knew he was worn down, frayed at his ends, edges rubbed raw, no relief, no release, from the expectations of everything he loves that loves him back with great expectation. I knew it, but maybe I wanted him to slip, for his pressure valve to leak the same kind of hot steam that built up behind my sternum every day from sharded sleep and worry wounds. I wanted him to reveal evidence of his pain, to make it manifest and give it shape. Lonely with my sorrow, I said the worst thing; I implied that he was unnecessary. No heavier stone could be thrown at him, he who believed doing was the same as loving. I said it to him and he shouted at me: go fuck yourself, words so foreign to my ear it was as if he were speaking in tongues. But I knew it couldnt be true because he doesn’t believe in the God to whom he should have shouted it.
Published by sehaldorson
I write narrative nonfiction/lyrical memoir. I'm the mother of a special needs child and the wife of a cancer survivor, and I work in publishing. View all posts by sehaldorson