I never knew that marriage would be so lonely.
When I calculated how many years there would be, I never included division in my sums. Logic has so little to do with the equation. In the early days, I was always squaring triangles.
The contrivance of any relationship – what the world reads; what you compose in your head if you are honest with yourself – is set in the narrative premonition of the conceived modality of ‘happily ever after.’ Anchored in reality, the walls of words – insurmountable, mountainous paraphrases of intangible unmentionings – become fatiguing. Brave new worlds that take vigour and courage to unravel into navigable maps, exhaust even the most pioneering spirit. So, instead, tonight we will settle in with gin and tea and tv. Onward voyages through treacherous seas can wait another day. Here be monsters.
My vows said that he was my ‘it.’ Not the scary Tim Curry’s clown of Kingian horror – cue polite laughter from congregation – but the unicorn to my griffon, cool, unworldly wise. Together we would set our roots in the deep earth and brave the coming winters. We spoke in mythic terms of love and laughter, us versus the universes. I don’t remember silence and hollowing doubts being part of unmanaged expectations. This separate togetherness.
When did looks of longing turn to concern; in which season did the belove’d male gaze close the shutters of his eyes, turning to blank appraisal?
The affairs are unforgivable. Unnatural paradigms to the suppose’d solidity of our nuptial state. My mind rewatches all the nights in bars; foreign business trips carnivalesque in their permissive rites. All pressing flesh, and then pressing flesh.
But our Sundays were sacrosanct; print in hand and filtered coffee wafts. Duty-free cigarettes and dutiful declarations of affectation. Casual updates on the fluctuations of days recent passed, and nimble discussions on the benefit of building ‘close client relationships.’ Navigating the future, working week by working week, into sterility.
These things consume you. Chunks of firm young flesh stripped from your core at bloody intervals. The malign worm inevitably consumes the slowly rotting pink lady. You’re welcome to ‘them apples.’
“I think we should try therapy.” The construct of conversation defying accusation. “I feel.” “I hear.” “I will repeat back what I think you said verbatim and acknowledge your point of view while quietly maintaining your wrongness to feel that way way you do. You’re a crock. A liar called. Feel my pain, in waves, crash around you, just as they destroy me daily.” How infinite are the oceans of sadness, and how deep. The life raft isn’t enough to sustain a pairing. There’s only so long you can bale water, before your arms tire.
The problem with being in the wrong, I feel, is that you got there through your own solipsism. A path well trodden, riddled with twists and turns. At any moment, you could turn back. Maybe take the path dappled with light and shade? Or maybe the possibility of finding the witch’s house or the enchanted castle remain too tempting. Rejecting the safe, you side with the un-necessity of risk. All for the kicks. By the time you realise the thorns have scratched out your eyes, you’re already blind.
The worse thing is that he wants to stay. He believes the fairytale. Ephemera of fine spun gold, whispered in sleepless dreams, in darkened quietude. “How much happiness was ours…” is murmured into my taut shoulder bones. Halcyon daze.
Maybe one day I will forgive him for the neglect. The de-unification of our church and state. His maintenance of the mirage of the whole; while life continued independent of the other’s existence; while dependance on the perceived presence of the being lived parasitic lives.
Maybe one day, he will forgive me for all the many, many men. Taken with impunity.
Or maybe, it’s all gingerbread and circuses. My clownish daylight nightmare. To speak the myth out-loud, would prove it’s very fiction.
Marriage is for the many. Communion, the few.