Saturday, February 27, 2010

Everywhere I go, there he is

My family recently took a group vacation to Mexico; my folks and I shared a condo, and one night E and my dad were discussing the upcoming World Cup.  I don't care a thing for soccer, but it rang in my mind for a moment, and I tried to figure out why.  The World Cup had been going on around the time that A died, I thought; was that right?  And then I did the math:  4 years ago.  Yep, it was right.  It's going to be 4 years this summer, and I'm trying not to think about it, which means, of course, that I think about it all the time.

The next morning, E and I were out to brunch, discussing this and that.  I mentioned A, and the conversation got around to E asking me how A came to be found, and how I found out he'd died.  It seems he didn't realize I was instrumental in that, and I wasn't sure why.  I know I told him.  Had he forgotten?  Had I been so out of it that day that I never did tell him?  Was that time, with his wife in crisis, a blur for him as much as it was for me? 

I told him the story in a calm voice, but inside, my guts were churning.  They do that whenever I think of that day, so I try not to.  It was hard to tell him, but I was also glad he asked; or rather, that he cared to know, that one of the hardest things I've ever done (putting the wheels in motion to find A) was being noted and recorded somehow.

We don't talk about it much; not directly like that, anyway.  Me, because E lived through the worst of it with me, and it seems unfair somehow to foist more of it upon him too often; him because...I don't know--I'm afraid to ask.  Maybe because it doesn't occur to him.  Maybe because he thinks he's protecting me by not bringing it up.  Maybe because he's lived through the worst of it with me, and doesn't want to go there any more than strictly "necessary."   He always listens quietly, too quietly, maybe.  I have no idea what he's thinking, but my paranoid heart worries that it's "Christ, this again?"

But my deepest heart knows it isn't; my deepest heart knows it's "Christ, this still." 

Sometimes I wonder if I don't give him enough credit; it's a hell of a thing for a marriage to go through, and we are here, still standing.  He's generally a sphinx on the subject, and I'm a coward; I don't ask questions I might not like the answers to.  I guess we give each other the benefit of the doubt; can't really ask for much more, can we?

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