one true thing



it's funny. today i was thinking that i haven't cried in 
a couple of weeks. i consider crying to be one of 
the great emotional cleansers. i am glad i live 
alone because i think other people are upset by a 
person's tears. they always want to "fix" you, dry 
your eyes and help you feel better, not understanding 
that sometimes it feels good to cry, and it's good 
for you, too. 

there have been times in my life when i understood 
that my tears were useless, that they were extraneous 
and superfluous, that they did nothing at all and were 
a waste of my time. but sometimes, no matter how 
much you intellectually understand something, you 
can't help how you feel and you can't help crying. 
i don't get angry at my tears anymore. there's nothing 
wrong with crying to release emotion. i'm just very 
happy i have the privacy i need to indulge myself. 


so i watched this movie, One True Thing, and it made 
me think about and feel many things. the scene between 
Kate and Ellie, where Kate's trying to tell Ellie all the 
things she needs to hear before she dies, things about 
being human and marriage, that got me. "You throw him 
out of your life and it's like cutting his face out of all your 
pictures, you're left with nothing but a big hole."  yes.  you 
think you can't stand something a moment longer, that 
you have to change your life and that means getting rid 
of the one thing that was the most important thing, but 
you don't know that then, you only find it out too many 
long, empty nights later. 

but then i think the reasons we got married were the 
wrong reasons. something my father said yesterday has 
been bothering me. something about how i made Bruce 
a better person just by being with him, how i was able to 
open him up to the world, and i cried about that today. i 
know i did it. i struggled and fought and forced my view of 
the world on him and was that a good thing? i know he changed 
me, too. he added depth and goodness to my life in so many 
ways. 

i think what happened was that when he started 
talking about how our lives would be once Chris graduated 
and moved out---how it would be us taking trips so he could 
hunt and fish, me waiting in the camps he made, doing 
domestic things, when i pictured that in my head, it was 
just one more battle which i didn't want to fight. it was hard 
enough convincing him that women had a larger place in 
the world than to make the lives of men more comfortable, 
than just to take care of the house and the children. sometimes 
now i still don't think i made him truly understand that 
women were true individuals even when they weren't married
and making homes for some man. he never did become really 
interested in me as a person in my own right. i was an 
extension of him, something to make him proud or embarrass him. 

and i wonder about my life now without him. it still frightens 
me sometimes to know that he won't be there for the next 
hard thing i have to face in my life, though i've managed to 
face all the hard things that have happened since i left him 
by myself. Glenn is not a stand-up guy. it's his movie and i just 
have guest role in it. i'm to be there for him, but if something 
happens to me, if it's convenient he'll be there, if not, well, 
i'm on my own. 

and sometimes i wonder if i'll ever love again the way i 
loved Bruce. because i did, you know. i loved him body 
and soul, would have died for him. i was so committed 
to making the marriage work, to making us work. 
sometimes i despair that i will ever have that again. 
a help-mate. a friend for the rest of my life who's always 
there, to care about and for, to share the rest of my 
life with. i wonder about it, but i don't really actively 
look for that kind of relationship. am i lazy or afraid? 

one true thing. i'm not lonely, i'm just alone. i'm certainly 
not desperate, but i would like someone here that i could 
trust and respect and love. i'm torn between thinking that 
if it's meant to be, love will come to me again, and the 
feeling that i have to put myself out there, seek out the 
person i want to spend the rest of my life with. because 
i'm so torn, i end up doing very little about it. for right now, 
i feel that's ok. i don't know how i'll feel later on. in three 
years i'll be 50 and then what? does it matter? i'm still 
working on myself, getting over things and learning the 
fine art of letting go and  moving on. i wonder if i'll ever 
be done with that?



denise

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