You know what I’d like to be able to do? I’d like to be able to tell you now what it was like living with David through that winter. Because I know we fought all the time. All the time.
I want to be able to write with such agility that you feel the tension. That you sense the pressure. That you find the strain palpable.
But I can’t remember.
That’s right. We argued so much and so often – usually at my instigation – that the fighting has become part of the Routine I can’t distinguish in my memory. Not a single argument stands out.
I bet you can fill in the blanks, though.
Consider the recipe:
Take two people living in the same house, day after day, through a cold and ugly winter. To him, add being freaked out about not having a job; give him solace only in the staid safety of the home he’s established with his wife and in the promise of starting a family. Her ingredients include general freaking out about her mother’s ailing health; hormonal upswings; and trying desperately to figure out what she wants the rest of her life to look like because she’s bored out of her skull. Combine with no excess money for spending on going places or doing things unless or until he finds a job.
I can’t remember how it was that I spent night after night in tearful agony. I know now it was a grander unhappiness than I was aware of then. Then, it was just day after day of little things being wrong.
But God, the tension was mounting and something had to give.
Perfectly enough, it was the ceiling.