It was around this time last year that I began my Product of Silence series. Since the move (and a bit before), I've let this part of the blog slide a bit, but I don't plan on discontinuing the posts. It's a drastic departure from the typical writing you'll find here, but it's still mine all the same. Anyway, this is my promise to you (welcomed or not) that another (new) POS (heh) post will be coming soon enough.
Until then, Happy Anniversary to my husband. You've given me so much (including this awesome bracelet) and I love you with all my heart.
This piece was originally published July 29, 2010.
We met in a bar. A local band thrusted their pelvises, their guitars, their melodies into the sticky air. Nudging through the crowd, I would catch some glances and throw them away. My beer was in a can. As my friends cocked their heads toward men, they laughed with purpose. One adjusted her shirt, then bra strap. My beer warmed between my hands. I didn't want to be there.
I never wanted to be married. All I knew of love was a long-standing grudge. The calculated responses to triggering comments. The heavy silence that filled the house like thick, toxic smoke. I flinched at tones and hid behind corners, waiting for something to give. I saw a marriage confining the very thing it served to celebrate--love--until it paced its cage with crazed, explosive furor. And yet, I yearned for that love. This dying mirage. I dissolved many years into a sort of mourning. At night, of course, and lonely times.
I got by on 80's movies and 90's TV shows, my emotional masturbation. A generation bred for impossible, nauseating romance, we--I--silently and casually worshiped that kind of love. The boombox to the window. The quiet brooding. The fantastic impossibility of it all. It's no wonder I was so depressed.
We met on a floating bar. A docked boat. It wasn't going anywhere. Occasional waves had me grabbing for steady footing. But it never got worse than that. It's like I said; the boat wasn't going anywhere. I found an empty spot against the railing and rested my elbow upon it. It was quieter, I thought. Fewer disembodied hands jabbing for drinks. Fewer prying faces with heavy smirks. I held to the metal piping that kept the boat from bursting apart. I wasn't going anywhere.
Years before, there had been screaming. And there had been pain. I suppose there must have been some blood. Beyond this, I only remember threadbare white institutional pants. I should have felt embarrassment. I should have felt something. But I didn't.
I sat in a circle and looked at the blank stares. One face, full of wrinkles, folding over itself, trying to disappear. Another, features blurred by shadows and wispy hair--a rain puddle filling with gray and stretching its boarders across a dusty road. But yet another, smooth and pale, beckoned me from the mirror. There was something salvageable here. A place where things might grow.
He approached with a smile, his brow wet with the air, the music, and the water on which we balanced. I smiled. My friends were a circle, some competing and others wary. He fumbled his opening line. But who could blame him? He was meeting his wife for the first time. Right there. When the air was bursting with music, and voices were clamoring to be heard, while the gentle, dark water echoed the din.
I had been on this path of leisure, a whitewashed discovery. But it was overgrown and without destination. Barbed vines and thick, sinking moss. Nothing ornamental. Nothing serene. There was no love here. Even the trees dropped their pods with abandon, staking claim on that which they did not know. Yet I was here. Surely I was a pioneer. There was nothing to guide me, to contain me, to tell me to stop, other than nature. When I paused to looked down at my footing, I saw the reflective stripe on the pavement glittering through the hearty weeds. I'd been following it all along. You helped me to see this. You helped me to see.
We met at night. On a boat. It was anchored, but I could feel a strength building with each tug of the ropes. It was slowly pulling away from the safe harbor. I reached for his hand.