Normally my writing feels timeless – I can write on a Monday, post a little later, barely poetic license. But somehow the where and when weighs on me tonight: it is Sunday of the holiday weekend, 9:30 at night, a quiet bedroom tucked away in the Berkshires. I am visiting family, my family, traveling with my little ones but not with Carrie. The young ones, exhausted from the fresh air and the outdoor activities are tucked in, my sister and brother-in-law are in their room reading and surely reviewing the day and I am quietly pecking away, alone in my room. alone with my thoughts.
By any measure it has been a good weekend, love of children and love of family abound, activity and quiet moments in equal measure. But today as we played games, music in the background, I realized my sister had “raided” my iPod – I am the family music man. One of the playlists caught her attention, one named Nate. She loved it and complimented me but I had to demur; Carrie had made the mix, made the mix as a gift to me and it contained the songs of our year, beautiful songs, but bittersweet songs.
And as I sit here tonight I am overcome with the reality of it all, the reality that what I had, what I cherished, will at best never be the same and at worse will lie in tatters at my feet. Yet I feel unable to change the direction, unsure that I would even want to. When I have moments of self doubt, of wanting to undo, I am accused of fear, fear of being alone, fear of the monetary toll, fear of facing myself. There is truth to elements of these, but I do not see these fears as driving the bus as I once did.
Last night I started a post, but was interrupted and stopped. The working title was dance card, a tale of a dance card unexpectedly full. Somehow that post feels empty today, but I mention it because I do not labor under an immediate fear of loneliness – my problem is varying relationships and opportunities with a number of men. So it is not the fear that brings on the melancholy. It is the impossibility of balancing it all.
I do not sit here, laptop warming me, thinking of the men in my life. My thoughts turn to Carrie. But there is a disingenuous element in it all: I will as the night goes on, enveloped in the darkness, find myself thinking of men. I will go home tomorrow and have my e-mail back. Sam is away until Friday, no need to e-mail him. Another friend from my group has e-mailed me – getting together to talk is in my court, he is respectful of my confusion: I will make time - willingly and happily - for a drink and conversation. And yes, the man whose phone number I brazenly asked for in a bar a week back – we are having dinner on Wednesday, I suppose my first real date of this new world.
Yes, disingenuous indeed: thoughts of my love for Carrie being crowded out by my social calendar. I spoke with my brother in law last night, a quiet personal moment. I told him that I thought my marriage could still, even at this late date, be resurrected if I would just pull back from the precipice. He listened and then cut to the chase, asked the question, the one that is always there. He said “What do I want?” And as painful as the answer is, I am enjoying my new life, the attention, the flirting, the brushes and the kisses. It is easy to overanalyze: Freudian interpretations of looking for male power, or simple imagery of the dam finally bursting, or just plain sexual greed.
But one can strip away the explanations, the presumed motivations, the doubling back and missing of Carrie. At the end of the day, I want to continue going forward down this road. The pull may not be easily explained in all its aspects but the pull can surely not be denied. It is the reality of my life.