Monday, October 31, 2016

Dazed and Confused Part III

We spend a great deal of our "quality" time together driving around in the car...when we're sitting two feet apart with no distractions, we can't avoid interacting.  So we will be motoring down the highway, feeling amiable and content, almost married...and the issue I've tried to bury will bubble to the surface. I can't help it.

"So you really don't want to go to Klamath with me?" 

From his side of the front seat, there will be silence, or a hesitant, "Not really..."  And my eyes well up, and I have to turn and look out the window for five or ten minutes, willing myself to drag my thoughts out of that sinkhole and scramble back to the congenial but shallow equilibrium we shared before I opened my stupid mouth.

During one of these ill-advised forays through waters into which I should know better than to wade, I tried to calmly nudge the conversation forward, beyond his honest but soul-killing response to my question.  Something in the back of my mind suggested that perhaps he was maintaining this bland negativity because he was hurt that I would plan to go without him, even though he didn't want to go.  I knew chances of that being the case were slim to non-existent; but I couldn't help throwing him a bone, in case it would make a difference.

”You know, when it comes to doing the stuff I want to do, I can do it by myself.  It's kind of lonely and it's not as much fun, but it's better than not going at all." Silence from the other seat.  I had no idea if or how the information affected him.  So.  Back to looking out the window for ten minutes, sucking back the tears back and re-establishing the more comfortable mood. 

At the very least, I think I've established that I will do the things I love to do without him, if he doesn't love those same things.  I want him to get that the decision is not an easy one for me, but I can't stop living because he won't live with me.  Especially since I have so much free time on my hands in the winter.  I have to do SOMETHING.  

And...I really want to believe it myself.  I want to talk myself into being strong and brave and decisive and adventurous.  I want to pretend so hard that it is no big deal for me to make arrangements to go off and do fun and interesting things on my own, that it makes it true.  That it erases the fact that I'm really so timid and frightened and unsure of myself that when I DO go off on my own, I spend a great deal of the time I should be enjoying, wrestling my own relentless demons.

Would that my solitary adventures were solitary; Exhaustion and Exhilaration, competing for attention, are my faithful companions every time I strike out alone.  And then there's Loneliness...always bringing up the rear, but always present.  Always eager to show me that there are limits to solitary enjoyment...always keen to demonstrate exactly how much, or how little, a single cup will hold.  Always insistent upon whining in my ear, "Why is a person, joined for life to another person, doing things all by herself?" 

I have to kick those guys in the ass every time I venture out alone. 

Sometimes it works. 

Sometimes it doesn't. 

And letting the husband get any hint of what I go through to live without him...just isn't an option.

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