Month: October 2015

inviolable

She is exhausted and he is being unkind.  It is like this most nights. Uncomfortable.  Painfully so.  Once the baby is asleep and the staff has gone home. It’s the only time they can talk. The only moment of real privacy and quiet inside their hectic lifestyle, but it falls too late in the day so it’s hardly the time for productive conversation. Everything that needs to be said falls secondary to the greater need for a good night’s sleep or a much needed shower.

She longs to table their conversation until tomorrow.  With fresh eyes everything will look different, she says.  They will feel different after a good night’s sleep, she promises. Let’s talk about it tomorrow.  When the scales are better balanced.

But he’s going away again and he hates that he has to remind her of that.  She hardly pays attention to him anymore. Whether he’s coming or going.  It breaks his heart.  But she wont accept those words from him.  He doesn’t even have a heart as far as she’s concerned.

“What do you want me to do?  Do a fucking cartwheel every time you walk through the front door?” she growls.

“How about a fucking hello?”

“You’re being ridiculous.  I say hello.”

“You don’t even look up from your laptop!”

“I’m exhausted!”

“So am I!” he sighs.

They do this all the time now.  A game of round robin that used to end with tears and kisses then making love.  But now it ends in anger or sadness.  Terminal dissatisfaction.  And he leaves quietly the next morning, knowing she was up three times through the night.  And he lay quietly in the darkness all that time knowing he should go to her.  Change a diaper.  Burp the baby.  Do something.  Contribute.  Bond.  But he doesn’t live a life like that.  He can’t eat crow.  He wont.  So he’s unhappy.  Just like he knew he’d be.  And she’s downright miserable.  Just like he knew she’d eventually be.  And they’re here.  In this familiar place. At an impasse.  And she’s too tired to fight for them.  But somebody ought to.  Maybe tomorrow.  Maybe next week.  At some point they’ll have to address the elephant in the room.  The malnourished mess that is their marriage.  And either fix it, or go their separate ways.

“I’ll be in New York until Thursday.” he says as he grabs a piece of fruit from a platter on the counter the next morning. No one is listening.  Nobody cares.

The chef has prepared a spread worthy of exclusive company for breakfast.  Fruits and muffins.  Oatmeal and fresh squeezed juices. Not just orange.  But a banana mango concoction too. Spinach omelet for the breastfeeding mother.  Fruit cup for her man. Decadent and wasteful.  Par for this course.

The baby is wide eyed and focused.  A sparkling reflection of light dancing on the wall beside her holding her attention.  New synapses firing up. Contented child. A belly full of mother’s milk. Such a lucky girl.

The baby sneezes.  Everyone, in unison, says “Bless you!”

He feels jealous of his own child.  The center of attention.  The one they all fuss about.  It’s silly and immature of him, but genuine feelings just the same.  This little creature has invaded his space.  Usurped his position and kidnapped his wife.  He smiles a little, amused by his mind’s latest tangent.  How could he think such a thing?  She’s a baby for god’s sake.  Of course she gets a lot of attention.  It has to be that way.  It should be that way.

“Be good.” he mumbles to no one in particular on his way out the door.

Nobody responds.  Nobody was listening.  Nobody cares.