"... stony limits cannot hold love out."
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 Match.com 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 ....