A Keening

25 Nov

Leaning against a soft warm back, my face nuzzled in a scent I’d recognize twenty paces from anywhere, I sigh and bore in closer, bathed in security and comfort, recognition and love. The body presses back, slightly, acknowledgement, a melting into the other, a moment where two really can masquerade as one, without moving beyond that moment of hands and arms and skin.

I sigh and wake up again.


I miss it.

There’s a whisper living around me, a vapour. I watch a young couple walk smiling past me, hand in hand, and the ghost of that warmth slides itself across me. It’s emotionless, but present, fading like the smell of a baby on the first blanket. It merely watches with me as the ache seizes me and the loss takes hold.

He’ll never hold me again.

But he hasn’t in a long time. We haven’t held each other in forever, in that way where strength and love and joy crosses. This loss that I mourn, the warmth in a bed, the shoulder to lean on, the electric sparks across fingers-these things disappeared months ago under the weight of recovery, children, growing up, finding ourselves.

I can still feel it there, it’s remnants, and it’s what aches. It gnaws on me inside, the has been and was. The comfort I’ll need to work towards, someday, with someone else if I’m lucky. The conversations you don’t need to have because they live your life and just get it. The joy of a body who knows another.

Of course, my grief forgets the years of fights, the storming off, the misunderstandings, the struggles, the alientation-the things done wrong between two people who just can’t find what they want in the other person. Trying to balance love with the realization that the person you want to spend your years with, the qualities you desire, they just aren’t there, and maybe, never was.

A relationship can’t be built underneath a bridge of who we think we are.

So I don’t miss the terrible parts where we wounded each other beyond recovery-where finally one of us would step back and something inside would click with that resounding thud and we’d realize that there was just no stepping away from that hurt, from that betrayal, that disappointment. Maybe I should have told him I was proud of him. Maybe he could have laughed at my jokes.

Maybe doesn’t warm the bed. Maybe doesn’t make us whole.

There’s a bigger ache inside of me, a bigger hole to be filled than he can, than he has. Once he fit comfortably inside, completing me. As I grew and changed and found the me I’d lost, as he found himself, unfettered, I think we both found that the holes we filled in each other’s sense of self were much much bigger than they once were. I clawed at it, desperate to make it conform, making him crazy in the process, then pushing him away from me as far as he could run. In a sense, I both broke him and fixed him. I wanted US to work-I wanted my family to be whole, in a way I never had. I wanted an ideal to work, instead of us, the two real people who still feel a very warm affection for each other, who can still snicker like an echo at a joke. Two people who find that 12 years is very long indeed.

I’ve known for a long time that my love wasn’t how a spouse should love. I’ve pulled at it like taffy, wanting it to be more while he knew, with almost firm certainty, that he didn’t, that his love wasn’t the love that burns. All things break in time. All things die.


His arms may still be warm, but they’re no longer mine. And I mourn that, the sheer visceral need for his body next to mine, that which initially drew me in, how my body and mind seemed to know him before I did, how he drew fire across my skin.

I cry at the loss of that heat. There’s no contentment in this dream.


15 Responses to “A Keening”

  1. Ainse November 25, 2009 at 6:43 pm #

    What a beautifully written and touching post.

  2. karrie November 25, 2009 at 6:48 pm #

    Beautifully written.

  3. flutter November 25, 2009 at 8:36 pm #

    Oh, honey.

  4. Marcy November 25, 2009 at 9:17 pm #

    The ideal vs. the real — that’s a tough one to get past, isn’t it.

  5. magpie November 26, 2009 at 9:48 am #

    I’d like to give you a hug, though it’s not the same thing, at all.

  6. Quadelle November 26, 2009 at 10:21 am #

    What a difficult situation, but beautifully written.

  7. Maggie,dammit November 26, 2009 at 11:08 pm #


  8. Nadine November 26, 2009 at 11:24 pm #

    I am aching for you friend. Your writing has never been more beautiful, but I’m sad at the cost. Everything happens for a reason. In time it will reveal itself. Hugs to you while you adjust to the new world order. I wish I could fly out to you and buy you a beer or 10. Want to come to Toronto?

  9. slouchy November 27, 2009 at 1:25 pm #

    Love you.

  10. Kelly November 27, 2009 at 5:05 pm #

    I wish this was not happening. I am so sorry. It feels wrong to say that this post is beautifully written. It is. Heartbreakingly so.

  11. thepsychobabble November 27, 2009 at 8:08 pm #

    what a beautifully written post, about a less-than-beautiful situation.

  12. Andrea November 29, 2009 at 12:24 am #

    You know what you do, girl? You pick yourself up by your bootstraps… you work on *you* (lose wt if you need to lose, gain wt if you need to gain, manicure, pedicure, get a new hairdo, buy some sexy clothes that YOU feel sexy in, etc. etc.) and then get into some new habits. Get the kids into bed at night & grab a glass or two of wine & start flirtin’ with some guys online… or find some friends who are single like you (will be) and go out on Saturday night when the kids are with their dad.

    Just because you won’t be married to this guy anymore doesn’t mean that you can’t care about him… or can’t go to bed with him (when the whole ordeal cools down & after the divorce). You can love a bazillion people in your lifetime but it doesn’t mean you have to be married to them or permanently “with” them forever. This guy was a good experience… but the good experience is over now. When it starts to be not good, then it’s time to end it… and time to find somebody else to have a good experience with.

    Don’t wallow in the good times, as if you’ll never have good times again. You will… and it might even be with the father of your kids. But it might also be with another guy or guys. Don’t limit your life… don’t limit your love… thinking that you had this one chance and now it’s over. You’ve got your whole life ahead of you… go find out what else is in store.

    Hang in there!! xoxoxo

  13. Andrea November 29, 2009 at 12:37 am #

    Thor, I just now read a bit more of your blog (you don’t like make-up, you’re bi-sexual, etc. etc.) and I fear my comment above might be offensive to you. If it is, I’m sorry. I should have read a bit more about you and what your experiences in life have been, before posting. I apologize.

    If you read something in my comment above that helps you or aids you in some way, then that’s a good thing… tuck it away for future reference. And let the rest just fly away.

    Take care! xoxoxo

  14. jeanette December 1, 2009 at 3:15 pm #

    I know you can’t possibly know how much you are speaking to my heart right now, but you are. That knowledge that someone else has the ability to articulate my heart – we’ll…it’s priceless.

    “A relationship can’t be built underneath a bridge of who we think we are.”

    This – so true, so heart-achingly true.

  15. Not Afraid To Use It December 4, 2009 at 12:52 pm #

    What a raw and true way to describe the death of a relationship. I hope the writing helped in some small way. At least for a moment.

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