Saturday 5th December 2009
Gestation: 10 weeks, 1 day
One year ago.
Following our argument, there is an uneasy truce. We spend the morning together, on tenterhooks, strung up like woollen cloth, each aware of the other’s feelings – as they were all aired yesterday afternoon. It’s like we’re both in possession of a new vehicle; one we know might not have overheated in the last couple of days, but certainly hasn’t had a service any time recently. This isn’t the time to put the foot to the floor. Now is not the time to test its limits.
This continues on for the entire morning. Unspoken, yet present, it’s the pink blow-up elephant in the corner.
The true remedy is physical bonding. After lunch, we reconnect. We spend time with each other. Physically. Einstein once said that men are simple. That we have needs, and they concentrate in the corpus callosum.
I may have just made that up, but all the same, I think it’s true.
And I know myself.
I know my needs, and they are simple. And I know that if I don’t tend to them, I am at risk of becoming an unreasonable human being. I don’t expect Suse to be excited into an overwhelming state of desire every time this happens. But at the ripe old age of thirty-four, it still remains a physiological requirement.
I remember when, as a thirteen-year old boy, I approached my father for some advice following a particularly rigorous episode of tending to my most basic needs.
“Dad, can I talk to you?” I said, a testicle dropping from my throat.
“You know, how when you’re… you know… at night,” I said, “how it can be really hard – I mean, ummm… I mean, really… you know, difficult…”
“Yes, Mark. Well, no, Mark. Go on.”
He could see me squirming. He could sense this was destined to be one of those father-son moments.
So he waited patiently, while his middle son stumbled over his words.
“Well, it’s really annoying when you have a wet dream,” I blurted out suddenly, “so I’ve been making sure that didn’t happen again. But I think I hurt myself.”
My Dad smiled, trying not to laugh.
* * * * *
I remember being utterly mortified, showing him my Don Johnson, awaiting the verdict as to whether the doctor would need to surgically remove it from me – as I’d clearly proven I wasn’t capable of looking after it on my own.
This was just the beginning.
It’s a physiological requirement, like eating and shitting. If I don’t eat, I get crabby. If I don’t shit, I get crabby. And if I don’t…
…Well, I think you get the picture.
Refer to Day 37 for a version of crabby.
Call me crass, call me uncouth, call me primitive. Suse has called me all of these things; it has spiced things up considerably. We humans need to tend to our basest instincts to survive; or to live an enjoyable life, at least. I do anyway. And Suse is the same.
It makes us happier, and it keeps us connected. Coming is way better than going.
And we’ve been going, anywhere but here, properly here, totally connectingly here, for the last forty-two days.
* * * * *
The rest of the weekend is wonderful. We watch a shitty movie, another shitty movie, and one after that. Three shitty movies on the same day, separated by connection. Actually, joined by connection.
And we are in love again.
I know it sounds soft, or naff or something else. And I don’t know how we do it, exactly. But somehow, we both let our guards down, and we choose to re-love again.
If every divorcing couple would just let down their guard, embrace their vulnerability and make the choice to love again, there wouldn’t be nearly as many overly rich lawyers. Let’s credit that one to Einstein too.
It’s only after we’ve constructed our walls of defence, and our moat with its crocodiles, and its bloody great vat of boiling oil, and its cannons, and its forty thousand soldiers ready to fight to the death, that we even consider what it is we set out to defend in the first place.
And by then, the enemy has up and moved in with someone else.
But, by God we have a fucking great fortress.
Today, Suse and I manage to deconstruct our fortresses. We choose to be vulnerable to each other, and give over to the possibility of reconnecting. And somehow, through bit of will, and love, and a touch of timing and luck, we find ourselves reconnected.
We manage it, after an entire month of tense difficulties and shitty circumstances.
And with it, I remember this: that there is no one I love more.
And I wonder how I ever forgot.
* * * * *