There’s a quiet button for that as well

And then there are days when you’re filled with rage, rage and grief and anxiety that crawls up your arms and sobs that want to crawl out of your chest but all you do is say– “I’m getting out here,” and walk past the crawling traffic that last quarter mile to the T station, because you were trying to be nice, letting him drive you to work when really, you wanted the time to yourself on the bus in the first place and instead, the drive in to work is full of his incessant fussing and moaning and criticism and bitching and never, ever listening to one fucking thing or letting you finish one fucking story despite the fact that it’s your job, not his, never finish one thing you say because– because of the noise in his head, because you’re not what he’s projected as the resolution of his own disappointments and fuck that, fuck all that noise.

You walk to the train in the cool and the fog and if your breath is hitched and shaky and your skin crawls with rage because you’re more or less middle-aged and he still can’t pay enough attention to love you after all of this time well– fuck him.  You can at least get out of the car.  Walk on your own. Breathe the less toxic air.  Accept the things you cannot change.  Try to decide where your courage lies.

If you take a klonopin with your homemade iced coffee– the coffee left in the pot that for once he’s managed not to thoughtlessly drink all the way up and fail to replace as you walk the hill up to work– if you breath in, one two three four, out two three four as you open your door, resettle the papers, greet your own nine by five kingdom where people listen and come to you for advice and pay attention and don’t interrupt and think that you’re competent for the decisions you’ve made and not for the mistake that they’ve made instead, if you breathe in and rub your hands together to stop their shaking as you rub your hands over your face and say– here, I am competent, safe, happy, I make my own choices and people let me– it’s eight hours of safety, and you’ve a walk back to the bus, to the train, to time, reading alone, to look forward to, too.

And if he calls you, more than once, because god fucking forbid you not call before it gets dark, jesus christ, and make him some supper even though he’s the one who taught you to cook more than thirty years ago now– well. There’s a quiet button for that moment as well.

The cell phone thumbs off.  The bus trundles its way up the hill.  You inhale.  Exhale, once again.

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