The Twenty-Year Anniversary

Who is this man, and why does he look at you this way?

Who is this man, and why does he look at you this way?

What happens when you know somebody for over half your life? You can’t imagine the world without him. His face is more familiar to you than your own because you spend more time studying his prominent nose, his intensely blue eyes than you spend trying to make out your own disappearing image. It’s a fact that you’ve, at times, faced all the mirrors in the house toward the walls they were set on so as to keep up the farce that you’re not actually a physical person with a face. He’s the physical force that brings you to warmth when he touches you. You are the one made of stone. You really believe this. At times, you’ve felt you were merely a concept, or a mind drifting in the cosmos.

When he serves you wine, the fluidity of the mystical shocks you into belief. You are real. You eat a rare steak, dripping with juices, and potatoes that dissolve into butter. You drink more wine. He takes you for a walk over the dark, wet grass, leading you through rows of wickedly dark trees. Just as you wonder if he’ll rescue you from the groaning geese, he leads you over a bridge and to the other side, where the grass rolls down a hill into the night.

You ask him, “So, after twenty years, what do you think?”

He doesn’t have much of an answer, except an offhand comment about how the two of you must be old folks. He thinks, perhaps, he could be a psychologist. After all these years, you agree with him, but am thankful that he no longer tries to diagnose your madness. He gets it now. Or so he pretends. You begin on your old favorite subject, the one that used to have an edge of panic to it, the one having to do with your lack of success. Then you remember a Daria cartoon you watched when you were young, when Daria fantasizes about her future life, and it’s just as dark and nihilistic as the one she’s currently living. This reminds you that, in your twenties, your fantasies of success were fraught with the drama of having all publishing doors slammed in your face. You couldn’t imagine a pleasant fantasy world if you tried, even though you did try. Success could mean more than your imaginings and, yet, your mind was and is like a needle caught in the groove of a record that only plays one absurdist song.

He says, “Well, there you go. You fulfilled your fantasies, after all.”

I did, indeed.

Once home, the progeny of your youth are lounging with their long legs draping across the living room furniture. You begin dancing because you’ve always been a little retarded like that, and you mention the comic actors who take retarded dancing to an art form, as though that makes it all okay. When your disdainful daughter tells you that Bean, for example, can’t dance in an awesome way, and you just can’t dance, you aren’t stymied at all. Of course, you tell her you’re going to post your dancing display on You Tube because he has decided to video you. You’ll call yourself E****’s Mom because you’re shameless. She can watch your posted You Tube videos for proof; in fact, she knows very well you didn’t even upload the worst of the videos. Heck, she filmed those videos!

Then the fatigue washes over you, as you realize all the business and writing and last-minute OCD housecleaning you performed before going out for rare steak. Although the progeny of one’s youth had played your dancing music, this man you’ve known for more than half your laugh takes over the song choices. Soon, for inexplicable reasons, he’s playing Genesis, and you find yourself listening to there’s too many men, too many people making too many problems and not much love to go around. How profound, you think. How pro…
…found!

This being a real person, doing real things, living a real life is too exhausting. You threaten to go to bed! He doesn’t seem too concerned by this announcement.

When you wake the following morning and check your inbox, you read your daily personality advice: Today, take the time to open up to love. Cynicism and feeling that you are smarter than anyone else will block your ability to feel and express love. Being aware of this when your buttons are pushed will help you to let go of this behavior. EnneaThought&#8480

How pro…
…found!

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3 comments

  1. “in your twenties, your fantasies of success were fraught with the drama of having all publishing doors slammed in your face. You couldn’t imagine a pleasant fantasy world if you tried, even though you did try.”

    Oh, the resonance… yes, this half-life of a female isotope looks rather similar, here in the northern realm. This year is my half-lifetime with Dave also. I still don’t quite believe in it. If I dare to, it might turn out to be as unreal as other stories I’ve invested my heart in.

    Either way, dancing: Yes.

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