Wednesday, June 15, 2005

moving on

She called to say that she'd found someone else. Well, I guess that's not entirely accurate. She didn't call me. I had to make the effort. Send an e-mail or two, a message on her voicemail, a call finally made it through while I was washing dishes one evening. And while I watched the soap bubbles dance and carress so many dirty knives, forks, and spoons, she finally picked up her phone and we started to talk. And she tried to dance and carress the cold dirty truth that she was leaving. That she wanted out. That somehow the relationship would be improved and enhanced if we just didn't hang out as much anymore.

So I listened, as it was already clear that she was past persuasion. And I tried -- oh, I tried -- to have a kind voice and do what a friend needs to do to let his friend off the hook even when that hook represents so much time, energy, and emotional investment. I just listened, adding an "Mm-hm" every now and then to make it seem like I was understanding and compassionate. But this fa├žade masked anger and feelings of betrayal. As she droned on and on in her syruppy-sweet sad song -- pretending like this was wise, rational, the best for everyone -- and I just kept thinking how much this was all such a joke...

I was glad to be washing dishes again after the call ended. It was a channel for my frustrations. Blasting hot water over so much crud and muck, letting everything melt down the drain, leaving pure white plates and shiny silver utensils gleaming in the drying rack. Using a thin white tea towel to wipe up everything that didn't quite evaporate. Restoring everything to cleanliness, wholeness, order. It's sanctification. Holiness. A new start. I felt much better by the time I hung up my towel.

My dinner guests was on their way over. We had stories to share and lives to celebrate. The dishes were back in the cupboard. I was ready to go.


At 7:39 AM, Blogger Eric Asp said...

AUTHOR'S DISCLAIMER - This story is primarily intended as a "mood piece" and not as a complete recollection of a real-life event. While the story certainly contains some elements of real memories and experience -- and is indubitably informed by true and vivid emotions -- it is written as a composite and as a metaphor. All that to say: any resemblences to individual situations are more coincidental than intentional, and don't worry about my real-life relationship with Marci (which actually stands daily as the antithesis of this piece). I guess it's silly to try and offer so much explanation for "art" -- but I thought the distinction was valuable and necessary in this case...


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