The management wishes to apologize that you have begun to feel old.
The fact that your joints and your libido no longer stir are clearly our fault.
That you have concerns about your ability to pay on a going-forward basis,
despite your established good credit– and did we mention the fact
that we have budget-minded items, as well as spreadsheets,
if that is, in fact, a thing you wish to ruminate on?
Pardon us for mentioning so touchy and profane an issue as money.
The management also requests that you excuse all of our feelings,
so different from those you profess.
Our shocking attempt at individuating ourselves should clearly
be nipped in the bud.
The management is only here for your cooking, housekeeping, entertainment,
provisioning pleasure, here to laugh at your jokes, keep things lively and light.
No, sir, you’re entirely correct; attempting to bring to your attention
the ways in which management was aware of the ways in which it
was falling short of your and its own expectations, in words other than those
you would have used– clearly our fault, none of yours.
We can hardly say what we were thinking,
thinking for ourselves and not for you,
always for you, you and the issues we did our best to guess at
despite your refusals to participate in our survey(s),
to provide feedback on the comment cards periodically provided to you,
to anticipate your needs.
Clearly, the management was hardly thinking at all.
I was wading through my hard drive and my Google Drive the other day, looking for a zombie apocalypse piece I had started. I couldn’t find it, but I came across a lot of poems I wrote in the run-up and immediate aftermath of leaving the husband. The poem above is not one of them. The poem above, I hope, comes across as fucking furious and sarcastic as all fucking hell, with a soupcon of what the hell was I thinking?
I re-read the poems, a lot of them very raw, but a lot of them very good, some of them the same as the ones that were raw. Probably, most of them will never see the light of day, but one thing that occurred to me, slowly, after reading them all, was how much they dwelt on what I didn’t do, what I hadn’t said, what I hadn’t tried. I was very much focused on my failures, even as I was paying lip service to marriage being a two-way street.
It’s almost two years later, now, and it’s probably been eight years since I’ve had sex, had anyone touch me in an intimate way or hug me in a way that was more than a brief hug between friends, and I’m only now getting to the point where I’m getting angry. Probably not a little of it has to do with the fact that in the last three months I’ve had more people I work with and whom I’ve just met be more perceptive to my mood and offer to help than the husband ever was or ever did. My colleagues aren’t afraid to ask questions, even when they don’t know the answers. It’s been a raw time for me, trying to absorb the idea that perhaps, maybe, I deserve mere coworkers like this.
It’s not that I wasn’t angry before. But now, I’m just pissed, because you know what? Marriage is a two way street, and I wasted a year waiting for a yes or a no to the proposition of the items that follow:
I hated being a lawyer and I was never willing to try to make money like that again if being a litigation attorney required that kind of work ethic/life/outlook– he needed to really nut up and take it or leave on my being depressed some of the time and needing you to respond as a partner and helpmeet to me–he needed to start to listen and ask questions and not criticize or interrupt when I was having feelings or telling a story about a situation that he knew nothing about, so stop the fuck silencing me and telling me that my thoughts and feelings were wrong– and why the fuck should I be his housekeeper when there was no sex, no sharing the bed at the same time while we were both awake, no cuddling, no kissing, no intimacy in it for me or notice of my physicality (and sympathy for my diminishing physical weight and my anguish at that, because if 80 lbs weight loss wasn’t a metaphor for the fact that I was turning into a different person, I don’t know what a metaphor is) and all he did was freak the fuck out about money and then turn around and blow it on cocktails with friends (or insert other bauble or expense left to rot here)?
There were other items, other quibbles and quarrels, but they mostly boil down to the above.
Now, I’m just fucking pissed. It makes me awfully sad, because I never wanted to be– but I know what I did wrong (didn’t make enough noise about our problems, didn’t have enough self-awareness, was too scared to examine my feelings in order to make enough noise, didn’t insist enough when I was aware enough to be mad, and instead always caved) and while I’m mad at myself for all the things I should have managed better, I’m also mad because the promise of marriage is solemn, to love and cherish, in sickness and in health, for richer or poorer. It’s not a fair-weather thing that was contingent on my being a high-earning, non-bipolar, chirpy cheerleader lawyer who did all the cooking and managed the checkbook and did most of the cleaning (except his laundry and the bathroom, he did a great job with the bathroom) except for the dishes, a goddamned easy trade. It was a promise contingent on me, with all of my flaws, trying the best that I could.
I know now that I tried the best that I could at the time. Now, I could try somewhat better– but that’s not important, because he could have tried too, and that was never (or shouldn’t have been) contingent on me.
I don’t hate him. I hope he finds happiness somewhere– it wasn’t with me. Still, the idea of being in love with him, now– it hardly bears thinking.