if I don’t laugh I’ll cry
Last night I opened the door to a dark Sett. TA was lying on the bed under the wedding blanket. He’d had a tough day – full of silent sound and mute fury – and was exhausted by himself. My day had been full of, well what my days are full of: office machinations, slacking, stress, busyness, meetings, work, gossip, worry…
I had got up in the morning and – much like this morning – done as many chores as I could fit into an hour; made coffee for us both; eaten a banana; got dressed; packed my lunch; let TA know that there were leftovers if he wanted them for his lunch; and walked to work.
Returning to a dark house and rumpled bed, I girded my loins and set to. I hung up my coat, took off my shoes, hugged TA and stroked his hair, then turned on the kitchen light, put on my apron (a Christmas gift from TA that makes me think of lavender-filled French meadows) and – about to ferret in the fridge for inspiration – turned on the radio.
Nigel effing Rees. Again!
There was nothing for it, I gritted my teeth, iced the leftover coffee and made dinner while the inanities burbled. (Braised leeks, spinach and red peppers with mustard, green beans and steak pie [TA]/Mexican bean burger [me], since you ask – nothing fancy, but then, seriously, I didn’t have fancy in me last night.) Eventually the torture ended and the Archers salved my wounds.
I wish there was something I could do to salve TA’s wounds. He says I don’t understand the pain he is in and he’s right – how could I? – but I can see that he’s suffering. I can see that he’s lost in pain, pain that comes from all directions: a labyrinth of pain. I find it very difficult to talk without metaphor. Often I think the metaphor says more than plain speak ever could. So it is that I speak of storms, polishing the decks and feeling seasick.
Here’s my metaphor of the day. I think that there is a red cord that ties me to him – I think it unravels from my heart and that wherever TA goes the cord goes too. So there’s one tiny red thread that might lead him from the maze of pain and back to our home. But TA – lost, frightened and hurting – sees this thread as the one thing that’s tying him down. And he so wants to break free of the daily struggle – he wants to breathe clean air and feel strength in his limbs. It’s a tiny thread and it looks like it will snap – we both stare at it, seeing different things.
I think perhaps that it is stronger than it looks and, though my heart strings can be tugged and pulled, that cord won’t snap today.
And so the days pass, each one following the same routine. On the bright side, there simply must be something different on Radio 4 at 6.30pm tonight; there might even be something good.