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Like salve on a wound

Lately when I sit down to write I don’t know what to write about.  But if I’m sitting down to write at all that’s a big deal, because lately I can barely even get myself into my writing chair.  It took me two days to write the last post.  Two. Days.

It’s agonizing.  Last month I was an addict, shooting up every chance I could.  Everything else slipped away while I showered my thoughts on the keys.  My fingernails on the keyboard sounded like machine gun fire in a tiny miniature war.  This month my fingers ache.  They hover uncertainly above the keys, each word typed tentatively, second-guessed.

Mike’s in his cave.  Did you ever read Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus?  I read it when I was sixteen.  I’ve always been interested in relationship how-to stuff.  How to make your relationship stronger.  How to communicate better with your partner.  That kind of thing.  According to that book when men are under stress, or if they’re upset about something, they need to be left alone, to sit in their proverbial cave and sort things out, uninterrupted.  I understand that.  I’m giving him space.  But women need to talk it out, women need attention, women are from Venus.  I feel shut out and alone.

We tiptoe around, offering help.  He walks the dogs and I do the dishes, he takes out the trash, I empty the litter box.  We’re overly polite.  We apologize for being in the way, for forgetting the mail, for talking.  We send little text messages throughout the day, checking in.  Making sure.  It’s as if we’re waiting for a bomb to drop, disaster, chaos.  We handle each other like sticks of dynamite.  Keep the fuse far from flame.

But at the end of the day, shaking rain from our coats, we pause.  Eye to eye.  He opens his arms and I press my face into the curve of his neck, I breathe.  He smells like home.  I press my ear to his chest and listen to his heartbeat.  Neither of us talk.  We stay like that, his hands in my hair, head to heart, hip to hip, toe to toe, until our arms ache from the embrace.  It’s the best part of the day.