Tuesday, 24 October 2006

Painted penitence.

One of Jacob's many talents lies in his ability to be very upset with someone and still coexist in a slightly-removed, invisibly perfunctory manner with that person. He did it with Cole for most of their friendship. He's been doing it with me for four days now. I know I upset him, insulted him. I know he's disappointed in me, I know I twisted his screws and for maybe the third time ever in my life with him I hit bone. Being as laid back as he is, he's very hard to rattle with mere words. You have to be very certain of whatever verbal pain you're about to inflict, for mostly it will miss the mark, until you sharpen the point just a little more and dip it in poison. Then, when you're very determined, it's going to go all the way in.

The worst thing? He'll leave that arrow in. Because the pain is new. And because he wants you to have a visual reminder that you might possibly have mortally wounded the Nicest Guy On Earth.

In reality? It's a flesh wound. He knows I lash out when I'm frustrated. He's done it himself.

He made me pay for it with silence. And waiting. And wearing his arrow all over the place. I stood in the doorway of the den last night for almost two hours minutes staring at him (which is very very fucking hard. Almost like spoon torture.) and he pretended he was busy. I gave up and went to bed. He followed, to sleep holding me in his arms, his favorite spoon, but not speaking of the arrows I had hurled at him.

It serves me totally right. I was so ready to congratulate him for winning the silent treatment contest this morning over breakfast. I go crazy over that stuff. I will chew my own leg off before I give in. And I'm just plain horrid to be around when he doesn't respond to me.

He poured my coffee and brought it out to the table just like he always does. I thanked him like he was a stranger and then tasted it. Ack. It was from yesterday. It was ice-cold. I decided I would drink it. Because it helped to illustrate the entire old, stale, miserable off-tasting argument that we were indulging in. That coffee signified the bitterness that had seeped into our proverbial life's cup. It was awful. But dammit, I drank it because it's what I deserved.

He was trying not to laugh. I was halfway through silently naming him every swear word that I had in my arsenal (which is pretty immense, varied and wonderful colorful) while I sipped from my mug and made faces at it. Then I noticed his shoulders were shaking and he was biting his tongue.

Princess, I can't let you drink any more of that.

No, it's fine, thank you.

Stop it. Put your petulance away and come and hug me like you mean it. Then I'll get you a real cup of coffee and we can talk about how we're going to make this work. We haven't come this far to fuck it all up now, have we?

I shook my head and the bitter taste left my mouth. I watched his genuine smile emerge, and with that action he pulled out the imaginary poisoned arrow and we spent the rest of the morning together, with very good fresh coffee, painting the floor in the porch and talking about how we weren't going to fly off any more handles. That was for me, because Jacob threatened to tape me to the floor if I did.

And I apologized profusely for my hurtful comments. Being a gracious man, Jacob merely pointed out that I might be right. When there was no commitment, no pressure and no way for him to cross those boundary lines from friend to lover, life was easier between us because his hands were tied. He also pointed out that I am doing something he didn't expect. I'm running from him. When things get bad I push him away and I fight him and I look everywhere but at him to help. Which is what I had to do with Cole, and it's so ingrained now it's an automatic reflex. Here I've been asking Jacob to fix everything and then not letting him do anything.

The revelations are so huge, and they just keep coming. Something's working. Either way I don't feel insane today, and that's something. Huge. Revolutionary in my tiny kingdom.

The porch sure looks pretty, too.