Clean, Blank Space For Rent

 

my life feels empty, though i know it's not.
it's just that the things in it now don't feel
like the things i need. but then, i'm a great
one for thinking the things i have are not
the things i need. i carelessly throw them
away and then realize, too late, that they
were the things that gave meaning and
value to my life.

a major character flaw?
last night i wrote a letter to my ex-husband.
"tell me you're better off without me," i wrote
him. "tell me your life is good and peaceful
now without me dragging you down, making
you unhappy, causing you stress. tell me
these things even if they are not true."

i left him for me, but i left him for him, too.
we were an odd pair, an unlikely match,
unevenly yoked. he was strong, as am
i, and he wanted always to be in front of
me. he didn't want me to be his equal.
he wanted to make all the decisions, to
be the "smart one," to be the one to run
the marriage. and if you know me at all,
you must know that i would never tolerate
that well.

i wanted him to be able to spend the last
half of his life with someone small and sweet
and in need of his strength. there are many
women still like that. i've never been like that.
i have survived too much, been given my head
too much to think that any man is going to lead
my life for me.

"if my eyes glaze over and i don't respond to the
things you say, glenn, if i appear not to be paying
attention, it's because there are things about you
that i don't like, that i can't agree with. it doesn't
mean that i don't love you, it just means that i need
not to hear those things because i can't change your
mind about them, nor is it my place to do so. when
the times comes that i can't overlook any longer the
things you say, the way you feel about certain things,
i won't be here any more. i will leave. there is only
the one thing that i feel i need to have you change
in order for us to be together and that is your inability
to control your rage. and i feel it needs changing
because i sit here and see the effects it has on your
mother and your daughter and i feel the effects inside
of me. that is the thing that i can't overlook, can't
tune out."

and he says to me, "i concur. and there is one thing
about you that i cannot overlook, cannot glaze over,
and that is your desire to die as quickly as possible
because you feel there is nothing left to live for. we
can both get great jobs and make a lot of money
and do the things we want and buy the things we want.
you have many reasons to live." and he doesn't understand
that i am past the need for "things" now. "things" won't
give me meaning and value.

so i keep wandering and wondering, what is left for me?
where am i supposed to be going? supposed to be
doing? is there anything left to experience? seems
i've felt great joy and great pain. i want the middle of
the road now, that's all.

i just can't find it cause i'm too far on one side or the other.

denise

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