I’ve spent the last two days writing about what’s happened, and what led up to it, and I’ve neglected to actually write down what’s happening now. I’ll have more of our story later, but this blog is also my story, and I guess it can start here.
I’m ok. I’ll look you in the eye and tell you I’m just really, really sad, but the truth is I’m fucking heartbroken. I don’t think it’s fully sunk in that he’s not coming back. I won’t hear the tires crunch on our gravel drive or his footsteps on the deck, the nightly struggle to get the front door open with its loose door knob. He’s not here, and he won’t be here again. The tears haven’t come yet, but they probably will before I finish typing up this post.
I’m not mad, just disappointed. When I was in middle school and brought home a shitty report card, my parents would always say that. We’re not mad, just disappointed. Back then it didn’t make any sense at all to me, the emotions were so similar in my 15 year-old brain that it could be That’s not yellow, it’s goldenrod. I think it would be easier if I hated him, but that’s not the case. For all his flaws, I loved him with all my heart, right up until 7 AM on Wednesday morning. In a way, I still love him, but I can admit now that it wasn’t a healthy love, but a festering one. I’m trying to be strong, and to keep a brave face and a positive outlook. Looking at the box in the kitchen that holds our wedding photos and marriage certificate and the ropes that bound our hands together in our handfasting, you’d think I had everything under control.
Hint: nothing is under control at all.
I still feel like a marble rolling through the house. I’m alone, and the house suddenly feels far too big for me and I don’t know what I should be doing. He’s everywhere. He’s in the beard comb on the arm of his side of the couch, in the beard oils and the tin of wax on the shelf over the bathroom sink. And everywhere I look, there’s reminders of all the little everythings that he did for me, like turning the heated mattress pad on while I was in the shower every night so it would be warm when we went to bed and helping plan out meals for the week so we weren’t eating the same three meals over and over again. I have reminders set for everything he’d normally do, from weekly alarms telling me to take out the trash on Tuesday nights and to fill my weekly pill box on Sundays, to nightly reminders to take my sleeping pills and brush my teeth and actually go to bed.
Sleeping is rough. I can’t sleep in the middle of the bed, even though it’s all mine now and I can play the “princess starfish” all I want. I miss the nightly routine, me brushing my teeth in front of the sink while he sat on the toilet and brushed his, getting under the covers and calling the cats. Call your babycat, he’d say, and I’d call for thebabycat and we’d give him pets and laugh about how such a small cat could feel so heavy when he threw himself at your back. I miss his bedroom sounds. I could never fall asleep until I knew that he was, and I keep listening for the sound of his deepening breaths or the soft snores that let me know he’s asleep and I’m free to sleep. We always fell asleep spooning, taking turns being the big spoon. I could cling to him like a jetpack and smell his distinct scent. Other nights, he’d wrap his warmth around me and bury his face in my neck.
The cats know something is wrong. The one we always considered “his cat” comes up to bed every night now, something he never did before, as though his human might be hiding himself upstairs. He walks across one of the pillows on the other side of the bed, meowing. He headbutts me on the couch. Before Wednesday, he’d jump into his spot on the couch as soon as it was vacated, but won’t go near it since I came home on Friday night. The little cat is must more skittish than he was, and even the slightest noise has him running out of a room.
Every part of me knows that we’re better off apart, but at the same time, I wish it could have been under different circumstance. We could have talked it out, “dropped the rope” as our wedding vows said, and probably parted as friends. He’d go his way, I’d go mine, and at some point we could look back at things and smile at the good times we had together.
Instead, we have all this mess, with him locked up, and me a sniffling mess of a girl, swaddled in his oversized bathrobe, and wondering how to use the washer and dryer tomorrow so she can have clean underwear for the week.