Widow Of A Living Man
Occasionally I see them in his face; fleeting yet complex resentments. They never boil over into arguments anymore. It would be better if they did.
I love him, always, in ridiculous obsessive ways. The way a child loves a wild animal, naive of the dangers. Sometimes when he’s just sitting across the room I feel almost comical, like an over-zealous sonnet. Painful chest-knots make me cry and I laugh it off as ‘hormones.’ There’s no way to tell him, there’s nothing I can do. It’s not a normal affection anymore, this love. It’s a twisted monster of a thing, an ominous and unreciprocated marvel.
I go through the motions, the cooking plans, the weather. I fold socks together and iron shirts. Catching a glimpse of my greying hairs reminds me how foolish I am. I should have outgrown this childish adoration years ago. I should be more mature, wiser, less attached. I always thought I might grow out of it a little. I thought I’d get enough in my younger days, and not need it any more. I couldn’t have been more wrong.
When I reach to him he pulls back politely, kindly. It crushes me every time.
I know something now, a gradual realization, it encompasses me in soulful horror. I’ve done the one thing I promised never to do: trap him. I’ve trapped him in an empty wedlock, and trapped myself in this cage of unfulfilled emotions. If only there’d been a screaming match, a violent outburst, a medieval duel. I think I could live with that.The reality is so much worse, so silent. Every mundane moment filled with unspoken rejection.
This minimally tweaked bit of maudlinism, my first ever piece on Prose, (and the first thing I’d written in many years, in my defense) was my embarrassing response to challenge of the week # 61: “Write a piece of flash fiction about rejection.”
I sort of cheated; it wasn’t entirely fictional. I rarely ironed clothes and didn’t have any grey to boast of, so that part at least fit the prompt, but it was otherwise somewhat accurate to my internalized view of the pathetic creature I might yet permanently become if my husband continued to ignore my numerous advances and spat-invitations (as was increasingly becoming his practice.)
With the merciless benefit of hindsight, I’m coming to realize how melodramatic I secretly was... (maybe still am...)
Thank you Prose yet again, for being my unflinching outlet all these years.
“They say all marriages are made in heaven, but so are thunder and lightning.”