Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Bed's Too Big With or Without You

No more bags. How the fuck am I going to pack the rest of this stuff. I am disgusted with detritus, he thought, and debris. Aw fuck, toss the crap in a pillowcase and be done with it. It’s just bedstuffs anyway. I’d leave it here if I didn’t need it.

He pulled a pillowcase out of the stack of linens. A striped yellow and pink pillowcase, standard size. Hers. From before they even lived together. Staring at it, its stripes worn and faded, he sighed. Standard size pillowcase from back when they shared a double bed, before they upgraded to a king. A king size bed, so much more room to watch TV, read the papers, have breakfast, make love, be creative. So much more room to be creative while making love. Life was good. And when life was not good, not kind? So much more room to hug the ends of the bed and avoid ‘accidentally’ touching each other. In a double bed, you’re always bumping into each other. Can’t go to sleep angry in a double bed. You touch every time you turn over. Which means you better make up or you better make up. In a king, the hurts can lay there right in the middle of the bed. The hurts send out suckers all night long, grow new branches and push the root systems deeper. Never again, he muttered to himself, stuffing towels into the pillowcase. No more king bed. Maybe a queen, but a king? No. Not in this lifetime. No.

How many piles of sheets and blankets on the floor? What next? Splitting a household is much tougher than merging. Merging was gradual, CD’s, books, clothes here, special pots and pans there. Over time, things come together. But picking apart who got what, determining whose it was originally? They did not have the luxury of time for that, each eager to have a new life. Well, one of us was anyway, he thought, shoving sheets into the other yellow and pink pillowcase. One of us has a new life, and the other? What do I have? I have some striped yellow and pink pillowcases. And no bed to put them on.

What happened? When did it happen? When did I realize that it was all a pack of lies I’d been fed? And lies about inanities. Lies that could be found out in a second. So why do it? Was it all just pathology? Or because she told so many lies she didn’t even know what the truth was any longer? Little lies as a front for big lies? Was the point to have the lies discovered, confronted? Had it all been a learning exercise to test the honesty of the pupil and not the teacher? He looked up at the light fixture. No answers there. He’d never know, did not want to know. Because that would mean admitting he’d checked. That he had suspected enough to look.

And then he found out the inanities were a cover. That there were more lies underneath. Serious lies. Threatening lies. Lies that went beyond simple facts into the realm of thought, action and emotion. And she had lied about all of them, lied in her thinking, her deeds and in her feelings. It was beyond any whiter shade of pale he could accept.

Blatant and stupid as the lies were, was it worse to admit the initial distrust on his part in even checking or worse admitting the discovery of the lie? He knew he’d been looked into, the ubiquitous google and zaba and zillow, but that was to be expected. To check on her? The audacity on his part, the niggling doubts. And then...

If she lied this much now, what kind of lies would she tell later?

Why? It had only served to tear them apart. His knowledge of her lies, her knowing he knew and both of them silent. The longer it went on, the harder it was to admit. Even to say, hey, I wanted to see if I could do this and look what I found. For her to say, you knew how to verify this, good job. Or, you SOB, you’ve been checking up on me. What was the name of the elephant in the north east corner of the bedroom? The green elephant, not the purple one. That big green elephant, my jealousy is as big as that elephant. Not going to be an issue soon. How she chose to squander her time would be her prerogative. And whatever webs she cast? Who cares? Not him, not anymore.

He looked at the pillowcases, her pillowcases filled with the sheets and towels he was taking. His new life wrapped in a bit of her old life. If I put those pillowcases on my bed, when I finally get a bed, it’ll be like sleeping with her. He shivered. Lust? Grief? Whatever. I’ll figure it out later. I wonder if she’ll notice they’re gone, that I took them. If she realizes I took them, maybe... He pushed his hair back and picked up the pillowcases. The rejected sheets and towels lay in heaps on the floor. He kicked them, then walked through the piles, scattering them down the hallway.

Got to finish in the kitchen. Not leaving her my good saute pans or my celphalon pots. Let the bitch buy her own. Pupil passes teacher. Pupil does not want to pass teacher. Pupil still loves teacher. Sometimes. Just sometimes. But sometimes...

Love is not enough.

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