Turning and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
W. B. Yeats, poem
As usual, I’m clueless about what, if anything can be done to salvage the relationship with “E.” She’s totally withdrawn. I’m in the spare bedroom (says she can’t sleep with me in the same bed). Won’t talk (“nothing to talk about”). Goes off on her own for hours (“I need to be alone.”). She’s drinking enough that I’m worried about her driving. (“It’s the only pain-killer that works”). The laws here in Oz are draconian. It only takes one offense of blowing in the high range and you can be walking forever. Attempts to discuss that gets snarls of, “mind your own business.” I suspect that the prescription meds don’t get along with the alcohol and only make things worse.
This morning, our mutual friend “I” dropped in for a visit. At one point, the three of us were sitting in the computer room and “E” commented about an email I’d gotten about my lost computer.
When I said I hadn’t seen one she became agitated and said I was calling her a liar. I said, “I have none from Fujitsu.” and I showed her there was none in my email. She so angry she could not speak, only sputter, with little flecks of foam at the corner of her mouth. I thought she would have a seizure.
Instead, she grabbed her keys and stormed out of the house. I heard the car roar out the driveway a few moments later while “I” and I sat there in stunned silence. (I learned later that a voice mail message had been left for me on her phone and she had forgotten to tell me about it.)
Left alone, “I” and I talked about what was going on. I’m close enough with “I” and her husband that I can speak candidly and get honest responses. She and I agreed that her medications and drinking and job problems were overwhelming her. My continued presence is only making things worse.
Hours later, when “E” returned, I sat her down and said, “I can’t help you because you don’t want help from me. That makes me part of the problem, not the solution. I’m leaving right now to a guest house a few blocks away. I’ll be back in the morning for the clothing I’ll need for the rest of the month here.”
Tears, tears and more tears on both sides. But not a word asking me to stay. I would have, had I been asked.
The only request she made was that I not tell my son John about the break – ” . . . but if you do, it’s OK to blame me because I know this is all my fault. But please don’t tell him.” I agreed, although I did not see the point of that silly deception.
So, I left, feeling a great sense of relief but also seriously guilty, thinking that if I had tried just a little bit harder, I might have helped her change things.
I recognized that thought as bullshit.
I’ve moved into a guest house. I can see the surf about 100 yards away from my new bedroom window. When I awoke during the first night I could hear it. In the mights that followed, I became as accustomed to that sound as I am back home in Jersey City to the fire and ambulance sirens as they pass under my window. You can get used to anything if you just stop thinking about it.
The section of beach near me now is the home and practice venue to the Australian Women’s National Beach Volleyball Team. The lycra suits they wear must be expensive because they are so thin and small.
Thus doth economics make voyeurs of us all.
You were expecting some juicy photos of them, weren’t you? Shame on you.