No rigid rules, labels or dogmas.... just REAL food, for your body, mind & soul!
(We are at my favorite live food restaurant. I don't go there very often because it is a little pricey and frankly, the service is terrible. But the food makes up for it. He has been unusually quiet all evening. I chalk it up to a hard day at work. Sometimes he doesn't feel like talking, and I don't mind at all. We got a late snow fall and lately the public garden we like looks like a fairy land, with just the lightest dusting making everything look sparkling and clean. We just hold hands and walk around the lake and look at the blue herons and the duck families. It is kind of nice, not feeling like I always have to be "on" or think of things to say. But tonight is different. Something is definitely off.)
"Is everything ok?"
"Huh? Oh yeah. It's fine. Just a lot on my mind."
"Do you want to talk about it?"
"No." (pause) "Yes."
"C'mon now, what's up?"
"Julia called me."
"Julia, your ex-wife?"
(He nods. Sighs.) "She's not actually my ex-wife. Not yet."
(blink. blink blink. Slowly comprehending.) "She's not your--"
"She has a drinking problem, Heather. She's had it for years. I was done. I filed the papers, I moved. Closed my practice. Everything."
"But it's not final?"
"No. Not yet."
"And she called? What did she say?"
"She said... she still loves me. She said she's been sober for the last 4 months and going to meetings every day. She gave me the number to her sponsor."
"And what did you say?"
"I...I said I love her too. Twenty-six years Heather. We have kids together. I feel like I owe it to them..." (his kids are in their 20's) "There's no easy way to say this. We've been talking for a while. She's coming here. We're going to try a fresh start. I'm so sorry."
"I see." (why can I never keep from crying in public? I have no control over tears. I never have had. Dang it just once, just once, I would like to have a poker face. I swipe furiously at my eyes and will my nose not to run.)
"I'm so sorry. I thought it was over."
"But it's not." (I can't look at him. My nose is running anyway and I'm trying to remember if the mascara I put on today is waterproof. I really, really want out of here. I remember that we came in his car and a new sob chokes in my throat. He puts his hand on mine. I want to curl up in a ball under the table. Instead I escape to the bathroom. Wipe my eyes. And my nose. And my nose again. I splash water on my face. Now my eyes are bloodshot, my make up smeared, my nose quickly on it's way to rivaling Rudolph's for reddest nose of the year. I fix what I can and catch my breath. Compose myself and go back to the table.)
"Can we go, please?"
"Don't you want to wait for the food?"
"I don't feel much like eating."
"Ok sure. Let me tell the waitress."
(Driving home.) "I'm sorry. I'm really, really sorry."
(We don't say anything else. Why did you have to take me to that restaurant to tell me? Now I'm always going to associate it with feeling like a truck ran over me. Or wishing one would. I sigh. We're finally home from what has become the longest car ride ever.)
"Goodbye Elliot. Good luck with...everything. I mean that." (And I do. He is a good guy. Her good guy. Of course. And again. Someone for everyone and nobody for me I think. Nobody for me.)
"Can I call you?"
"I'd rather you didn't, ok? I need a fresh start too."
(The snow is melted and the magic is melted away too, leaving mud and puddles and gray skies, and me. And it's ok, really. I am ok with alone. Alone is an old friend. I curl up on my bed, with both cats, my goofy little dog, and my laptop. My fingers begin to type...)