- Last Record: 2012-11-18 23:33:43 -0700
- Joined: Dec 21, 2010
"We've become strangers," you say, at the breakfast table with your coffee in one hand and newspaper in the other. I'm not sure what you expect me to do but it's not nod, shrug and "What did you expect?" Because we've gotten older and time has pushed us steadily apart as time does, rude and consistent and silent.
We've had two kids, been through three jobs each and two houses. Our mortgages and bills and car notes and insurance are paid and handled and easily ignored, as easily, it seems as it is to ignore each other. You drop this bomb in front of me though and I look at the bacon in the pan and wonder what you want me to tell you.
"Mary, " you say my name slowly, enunciating each letter until I turn, halfway because I won't burn the bacon, even for this conversation, and look at you with raised eyebrows.
"That's still my name or did you forget it?" and there it is, the snap of eyebrows, the scowl and you're angry with me, your newspaper crumples and there's probably ink on your fingers and your mug shakes when you thump it on the table as you snap, "Doesn't it bother you that I might not know you anymore?"
I shrug. "No." Because it doesn't and it probably should but it just...doesn't.
"I don't know," I say slowly, poking at the bacon. "I'm not afraid to be someone you don't know because it's not important."
"I want to know you, I want to remember why we married," you say with such deep conviction that I almost believe you.
"I was pregnant," I say and flip the bacon into a paper plate lined with a paper towel that has tiny daisies and butterflies fluttering along the edge. "And you were young."
"I loved you once," you say as I set the plate in front of you, surreptitiously hiding the spill of coffee that must have escaped in your impassioned movements.
"No you didn't." I sit in front of you with my own plate, snap the napkin across my lap. "You just did the right thing."
And I eat while you stare at me, I can feel your gaze weighing heavily on my skull, practically willing me to look at you and continue this conversation that isn't much of one at all. The phone rings and in the distance, somewhere upstairs, one of our kids grabs the line and chatters away, unaware of what it is happening downstairs.
"Don't you want me?" You sound so uncertain, far from calm as you were when you decided to poke this bear in the first place. "To," you add hastily but sloppily. "Don't you want me to love you?"
I pause. "I think it's a bit late for that. Strangers don't just love each other. It takes time."
"I've got time," you say slowly and your fingers rub together nervously and I can see ink swirling in ever widening circles on your fingertips.