Monday, 22 August 2011

Midnight and Morning

Midnight, and we're screaming at each other again. He pulls inside himself, draws the covers over his head and turns away. I yank him around to face me, pummel his chest, pull his hair, bite his restraining arms; he pins me to the bed, pushes on my throat to hold me there. I gag, pull away, run to the car, but he's faster than me, pulling the handbrake on as soon as I've started the ignition. I claw at his face, and in so doing, break his glasses that we picked out together - when I relive these events the following day this, inexplicably, will be the moment that pushes fat, silent tears down my cheeks. We're Jack and Piggy; savagery and innocence. I push past him, out of the car, and run out of our driveway, down the hill to the burned-out house at the bottom. Inside, it is dark and cold and empty. Someone has gutted the house of its former contents and I rummage through the smoke-blackened pile for a blanket, but everything save for a jar of pickles has been shredded by the flames. It's too cold to sleep and in any case I'm too frightened to lie down, so I squat down in the darkness.
Later, he comes to bring me home. We talk in the car, about trust, and forgiveness, and resentment. We talk about hope and fear and disappointment.  We cry.  I feel ashamed. I think, but don't say, "I should die for this". This is one of the Things That Can't Be Said. If you say one of these things, you have to go to the doctor. At the door, you will check in your right to hold or express your own opinions. The doctor will pin the sides of your brain to a board and dissect it like a rat in a high school biology lab. She'll pull things out at random, throw some away (also apparently at random) and put others back in, probably in the wrong place. When you leave, you will not be given back the things you surrendered at entry - these will be divided up between the people who are closest to you - but you will be given a tag that reads "crazy".
We lie in the bed where we've loved and hated each other, sad and spent. On this occasion, he was more sad and I was more wrong. Sometimes the opposite is true. Each time, we grope through our gathering hopelessness and try to comfort one another. Eventually we reach an unsteady truce, then tumble into a few hours of fitful sleep.
In the morning I drop him off at the station. I watch him walk towards the train and, in my mind, run from the car to the morning traffic and sweet oblivion. My body, though, pulls the car smoothly out of the car park and we become one more colourful balloon on the road.

1 comment:

Isla Lynn said...

This is brilliant. I love your writing. I'm sorry you had to experience this... but, I'm glad you can make it better in the end. You're not crazy. If you are then, we all are. <3