June 2011

Cast Away

Ancient. Broken. Mended. She is all of these things depending on the arc of the sun, pull of the moon, what the talking head on the television says, or how he looks at her with thoughts loud in his head like a wave crashing into her.

Sad. Frustrating. Different. Lost. These are the words he uses to describe her on the bad days. His words are less resolute on days when she is someone else, on days when he doesn’t regret asking for her hand. Doesn’t regret anything and everything, on those most rare of days that used to fill calendar pages.

Depressed. Alone. Underwater. Aching. This is how she feels most minutes of the day – when they leave the doctor, on the car ride home as she watches the other cars coast by, as they lay next to one another at night not touching, as he lays there faking sleep biding the time until her breathing grows heavy like his heart.

Changed. Quiet. Distant. This is how she thinks of him now. She can’t help it and when she falls asleep at night, she prays that he can’t either. She hurts inside and out, she hurts in ways he can’t understand, in ways she wishes he could. If only he could sink with her, into the murk at the bottom of it all.

Avoid. Ignore. Hide. Bury. These are the things they do together and to each other. At the park or the market, when the conversation turns to his sister and the twins and the shower. Isolated in their apartment, cut off from the rest of the world and one another, nothing to shelter them from the once and future storm.

Happiness. Relief. Answers. This is what they yearn for, each one privately when they’re by themselves. They wish it for each other, hungry for what they once had, their optimism fragile and their hands unsteady as they struggle to right themselves and chart out a map to find it all once again.