THIS THING BETWEEN US
WHO AM I?
It is this thing between us. Something we wrestle with all the time. This thing between us is something about me, about what I used to be. It’s my fault. We don’t talk about it. We use polite words, small words. I get tired just trying to carry it, but I’m afraid that if I let go it will sink into forgetfulness and won’t ever go away. It can’t. Your father sees it. He said, “You brought him home. You promised him. You deal with him.” And your mouth gets grim. We go to bed but we don’t touch. I try to please you but feel I have let you down somehow. I can’t be good enough. Do I have to atone for something that I used to be? I don’t know. This thing between us, this silent thing, is turning into something else. I can see it gaining energy in your violent indifference.
WHY AM I HERE?
We had an agreement and I gave you your heart’s desire. And now I’m here and we are alone together. Now I just can’t look up. I bear it all. I stuff it. I zip it. I watch your up-tilted nose and grim mouth. I am a sponge for your continual disdain. I have become cold blooded to adjust to the chill that is always between us. I have a collection of moments that should have been tender and warm but weren’t. How can we hold hands if yours are clenched fists? You don’t suffer in silence. You’ve built a wall between us brick by brick with put downs and shut downs.
WHAT DO I WANT?
You play the perfect princess and that means the ugly thing between us is me, the frog in the fairy tale. This story is about to turn violent, very violent. So be it. I prefer hot violence to cold. You will throw me with all your might against the wall of your cold-hearted indifference, hoping that I will shatter and be transformed into a handsome prince. I can only hope the act of violence that releases me will soften your heart and you will be able to love me. No... No! This thing between us has been an illusion! Oh, God! Help me become dis-illusioned.
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