Ben and Seth's flight arrives at noon. And no, Ben hasn't called. He reads (maybe), he does not call. I left near-constant messages, voicemails. He doesn't even understand that he left in the middle of a meltdown because he was too busy having his own. Travesties abound. And I believe sometimes words are wasted. No one sees or hears them any better than I do.
Well, one person does, as our routine was observed carefully last evening.
I was watched, always. I threw in a load of laundry so the children would have clean pajamas, and then began to cook, making a chicken casserole, throwing in pasta and asparagus and then baking some rolls alongside it. Enough for four, because even the devil needs to eat. I don't like to cook, but I can and I do because I've been hungry. I put a premium on a warm belly.
After the meal the children were doing a puzzle by the window. I sat on the couch and watched them while he watched me, cognac in hand, tie loosened, jacket off. Arm stretched out across the back of the couch almost touching me but not quite. A hint of a smile as he finally took his eyes off me long enough to see the progress his niece and nephew had made. He shifted closer to me, making contact with my ear. Stroking it, for lack of a better description.
This is close to the best evening, days even, I've ever spent, Bridget.
My brain lurched in two different directions (ohmyGoddon'ttouchmyheadpleasedon'tdothat) and I picked one. I leaned forward, the hair on my neck standing on end.
Hey, kids? Get your things. It's time for us to go.
I can't play these games anymore and I am supposed to be there in fifteen minutes to begin work but I haven't even made a move to get ready yet. I feel paralyzed but by what I don't even know.
Monday night I knew exactly what I wanted (still searching for regrets and absolution from myself as the monster that I am) and today I don't seem to have the first clue.