Friday, March 5, 2010

A Modern Day Version of Romeo & Juliet

... or in our case, The Story of Jack and Mary.

Chapter 1

"... stony limits cannot hold love out."
William Shakespeare
Romeo & Juliet, Act II, Scene 2

Usually chapter one means starting at the beginning. Instead I'm going to start in the middle. Depending on what date we pick to celebrate our anniversary Jack, aka Sweetie, and I have been a couple for just over 6 years. A lot has happened in that time. I'm not in the mood to go back to the start of what brought us together. Suffice it to say, one day, while taking a break from Cinderella duties, I checked my account for what was to be the last time. Much to my surprise and delight I had a message from a possible prince and things progressed from there.

We still have a way to go before we say a final goodbye while, "... and they lived happily ever after" and the end credits roll at the the movie of our life.

One of my writing buddies told the group a few weeks ago that even a short piece must have conflict. Ah, conflict, I said to myself. I know conflict. I'm writing this piece sitting on the largest piece of furniture in the one room efficiency belonging to Homestead Studio Suites. The queen-sized bed dominates the room. In my younger days I might have thought this was all my partner and I would need to live. A bed, something to drink in the refrigerator, a shower and mini-sized shampoo, conditioner and soap.

I recently listened to a rather alarming rant from my son who is also staying in an efficiency which thankfully did not get swept away in a Tsunami. Johnson told a tale of finding a bug on his bed, where he left his duffel bag full of clothes. One bug or a colony, does it really make a difference? Apparently not as the hotel, the company who booked the hotel, and the service operator in India whose misfortune it was to pick up the call, all got what I easily say was mostly likely a fury that would sit right along side the wrath of God and a woman scorned.

We brought our own sheets, towels and pillowcases. Paper towels and toilet paper too. A handmade quilt covers the bed. It's not home but homey. The window air conditioner hums as it chills the room. If I were turn the frown muscles around my mouth upside down, I'd smile at the most obvious difference between Jack and I. We may be more like Felix Unger and Oscar Madison than R&J. Jack came in, emptied his suitcase neatly aligning his clothes in the makeshift closet and toiletries on the single bathroom shelf/counter. When I commented on the his neatness he grabbed up the 50 or so pairs of socks that he'd emptied out of our previous dresser and tossed them in a drawer. Maybe it was more of a wind-up pitch. No,actually it was a Micheal Jordonesque take-this-you-son-of-a-bitch slam dunk.

I, not caring where my things are or how neatly arranged they are have little piles here and there scattered amongst Jack's tidy arrangements.

We are in this clean, yet tiny, living space because last Friday at our weekly luncheon with my sister who is also Dad's accountant, the conversation took on a life of it's own. Maybe Dad had it all planned, knew the script and how to push my buttons so I would react the way I did. It could have been an accident or an act of God. Either way, when Dad told me that my living with Jack (under his roof for the last 4 years) without the benefit of HOLY matrimony was adversely affecting the whole family, I got up and left the restaurant before throwing up in what was left of my salad.

From there it got ugly. Real ugly. No more words were exchanged between my Dad and I. He sat in his car, seriously wondering what he'd said to upset me. I lay in the gutter of a nearby street crying and wailing like a banshee until two women came out of the hotel in front of me and asked me to get out of the street. I imagine it was a bothersome sight; more like something you'd see in a drama charged high school parking lot, or state hospital just before the men dressed in white start down the hall. Eventually, someone drove my dad to my sister's house, Fr/Br Georges talked me out of the gutter and I drove home to face my Sweetie.

It's hard to figure how it could, but it went downhill from there. Meetings were held. Verbal arrow zinged from one side of the table to another. I couldn't believe my father was saying the things he said. Apparently repenting of our sins and after a period of atonement, getting married was still not going to appease the beast. I stormed out of the room again. This time more in a rage than I have possibly ever been.

The word love has been bantered about quite a bit over the past week. By my father, my sisters, ME, Fr/Br Georges. The only voice I heard that got through to my heart was that of my Sweetie telling me it was going to be okay.

I'm not sure how or when. Like a delicate glass mirror in a hurricane I feel like I have broken into a million little pieces. My arms cry out for one or two cuts that might somehow relieve the emotional pain. I feel tired enough to sleep for a week yet find myself awake at 3:15 am after dreaming about Orca-sized sharks circling around me. I feel paralyzed with fear yet not moving is not an option.
Sweetie, who is taking the brunt of undeserved venom continues to hold his head high. Good Lord, he's got to be scared too.

And Dad? What's he feeling? He looks like hell. He didn't shave for days, his shoulders slump, he has a dazed look in his eye like some of the homeless Vietnam Vets you see on the streets. I feel so sorry for him. I can't quite conjure up enough anger to let him stew in his own juices. I'm moving out to live with my friend, lover, confidant, and partner for life. But I've agreed to "work" for dad as a daytime caregiver so he can stay in his home until he dies. What else could I do?

Walk away and not look back. No that's not Merry ME's style. Call me crazy. Call my hysterical. Call me flat out stupid. I've got to see this through to the end.

Too be continued ....


QnDani said...

surrounding you in love.....

terri st. cloud said...

jack is worth leaving for.
more importantly, YOU are worth leaving for.

keep reminding yourself that, okay?

AkasaWolfSong said...

Oh Mary...I cry for you! You are so honorable in all of doing the right thing...

Don't let anyone else take away your power...ever! You are worth it as Terri has stated as is your Sweetie.

I will light a candle and say a prayer for you and I too surround you in Love and Much Light!

Pamela Jones said...

Oh, Mary. (Heavy sigh) My Dad is 88, and I've had to learn to respect the great things he's doing for my mom while at the same time forgiving the antiquated and judgmental attitudes that have rooted deeply in him as a result of seeds planted two eras ago. That said, I don't face him daily, except by phone. How heartbreaking to be you and do the kind and loving things and be met with wrath and venom. I'm sorry your own sister (the accountant) -- I have one of those, too -- apparently left you to twist in the wind. Your generosity in agreeing to continue to care for your Dad speaks volumes about your decision to love him in spite of his actions. I hope you can find that center in yourself which IS the love and realize that the rest really doesn't matter. It hurts, but it's all just "stuff" thrown around in ignorance by someone who thinks he knows you better than you know yourself. I highly doubt that. When I am old and crotchety and unreasonable and judgmental, I hope I will have a daughter like you who will love me just because I need to be loved. {{{HUGS}}}
Thank you for sharing your story.

Anonymous said...

Well our garage sale was a success. Never would have done it except for being unceremoniously evicted. Gotta look for a lining somewhere. -:) Even though we sold off a lot of stuff, the garage remains 1/2 full of stuff that nobody wanted. Still some work to do to move it and get rid of it. Today, Sunday we are off to find a place to live. First though we have to get through Mary's panic attack. Mary is hardest "hit & hurt" by all this nonsense. she is managing everything better than she gives herself credit for. I'm really proud of her. You all, Mary's blogging buddies have been so loving and free with your well wishes. She cries when reading the comments and the e-mails received.Don't stop! They are spirit boosters. I am very tempted to respond/comment on this crazy situation, yet I know that to do so will serve no real purpose or healing. Everything is perfect in it's own way, and we are having to look to the future much earlier than we had planned. Thanks to you, the peacemakers who have sent Love & Light, good feelings & prayers. Your kind words mean so much.

Fire Byrd said...

Good grief, there is no fool like......
I've come to this a little late and the world may have moved on a bit since you wrote this.
You only have one life Merry, live it your way. No-one has the right to judge you. That is between you and your God.
You have given more than your life blood to your father in recent times, but he doesn't have a right to dictate how you should be.
If he can't doesn't want to see that then frankly it is his loss.
You have given it your best shot.
Look after yourself and cherish your love that you and Jack share, cause that's what needs holding onto more than anything else, whatever your Dad thinks.