We sit on the sofa at night, three feet apart. But it might as well be three miles or three hundred. Yet, there’s a kind of comfort in it. I’ve come to know your profile like my own skin. The strong, square jaw with a day of salt and pepper stubble. The curly brown hair that you’re so proud of. I never tell you that it’s thinning up top; we like our illusions, after all. You always wear that stupid, sleeveless t-shirt while I’m bundled up in layers. Hot and cold. So many opposites between us.
You stare straight ahead at the television. It demands nothing of you. The constant drone of voices fills the chasm that we gave up on years ago. I hear myself telling you the same mindless details of my day as a silent scream wells up inside, trying desperately to escape. “I hate you!” But it’s not really you who feels the pounding of fists and the deep cuts of rage. It’s me I hate, for allowing myself to be buried like a tulip bulb planted with the promise of Spring. Only planted too deep, and forgotten. I should have been a glorious flower, admired and prized. Instead, I could never break through to the freedom of the light.
“I’m going to bed”, you announce.
I glance at the clock….8:30. Maybe tomorrow I’ll find the courage to end this suffocating funk and know what it means to be alive.
“Ok, good night.” I go back to my tablet and the safety of my denial.