Grieve, Again.


September, 2012
I don’t want to do this.
.
It’s like knowing you must throw up, in order to get rid of that awful turbulence in your stomach, a churning which cannot be ignored but must be expunged.
.
 Like an old bandaid, stuck on a wound. Leaving it there defers pain; removing it insures cleansing.
 .
When he was here, there was persistent, accelerating stress. Insanely jealous of every aspect of my life that included a male presence, his nearly two hour rehashing of “our relationship” parameters, and how I had somehow violated them, never let a day go by. Or, the fact that he’d refused to follow my single ultimatum, that of letting me acknowledge, yea, merely glance at, other men that I knew without reading me the riot act when we got home.
.
I had stopped smiling. In fact, I could feel my face sagging as I carried it around with me throughout the day. Ever the youthful one, at least in appearance, the signs of life in my face had not just ebbed away; they’d literally disappeared since the last time I remembered seeing myself. And, what about that roll of, what was it, fat?! around my waist? What was THAT?
.
He’d done it before, scores of times – packed the suitbag, the carry-on, and driven back to Ohio within minutes of baselessly ranting against me, leaving me to scream him out the door with squinting eyes and pounding blood pressure. Only to return, a day later……..as if nothing had happened.
.
But, this time, there was something new in his tone, some theme of superiority, new adjectives, the voice of……..another woman. She was imbuing and emboldening him, and he was not to be moved. He would ride me on that roller coaster, whip me around those curves, drop me off the precipice, and coast me back to the gate for the last time. Now, he could feign nonchalance, wax all syrupy, and exude a weird calm that wore the belief that, while he would be gracious this one, last time, he was permitted elsewhere this evening.
.
Break-ups, to the woman of a certain age, feel familiar but lack the old agony of hormonal surges intended to remind the body that it is about to become a weeping pretzel in the fetal position. They are meant, so say all the journals, to be liberating.
.
So, what’s the beef?
.
Fear of isolation, in an increasingly unstable world. Fear of imposed solitude. Why must this house, my most trusted lover, feel like a prison of silence now? Why do my stares, encircling the room, feel like the body language of the loneliest animal at the zoo?
.
Why can’t I just cry my eyes out and get on with it, without precipitating a massive, two and half day migraine? Why can’t I stroll into my own kitchen and whip up a hot dinner that would satisfy the soul and the body?
.
He said the words, and I to him. He was here. Every day, for nearly two years. Every hour of every day. Every minute. of every hour. of every day. My precious, inimitable Dad lived, and died, and he was still here. Now, I must grieve you, Dad – because he is finally, truly gone.
.
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© Ruth Ann Scanzillo 2012.
all rights reserved. Thanks.
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