Thursday, March 31, 2011

match (day) madness part three -- dark

Note: Dark honesty is hard to read and harder still to write.
You don't have to comment. You don't have to sympathize or make excuses for us. It's an ugly post and we were ugly people.
Hell, it only gets worse from here.
I won't ask you not to judge. I won't even ask you to read it.  I just thank you for letting me write it.
Regularly scheduled ridiculosity will resume in a week.
And thank you. Sincerely. From both of us.

We put ourselves to bed and stared at the ceiling. There was nothing left. Only waiting.

We considered the outcomes over and over, talking out each city, speaking in circles. Like some twisted Pandora's box, the door cracked and the pestilences of uncertainty poured in. There was doubt. There was dread. There was worry, mistrust, wariness, harshness, cynicism, there were cracks and there were faultlines, and with every tick of the clock we became more snappish, more irritable, more defensive... until finally we weren't Nicki and Derick anymore, we weren't the young doctor and the writer, the pair of dog-loving, vinyl-collecting, dry-humored foodies and borderline alcoholics.We were circling animals, poised to attack.

I have to hand it to Derrick. Through it all, he remained honest to a fault.

Me? I lied. I lied like hell.

Derrick paced. I soothed. Derrick ranted. I listened. Derrick was a caged animal with haunted eyes. I was the silver-tongued siren. I'd cover his hand, tell him not to worry. I'd tell him that we'd make it through anything. I'd tell him that wherever he landed, we'd be fine. Shit, if he hated it that much, we'd transfer after a year. I kept one eye on Derrick. I kept one eye on the clock. I kept one hand on Derrick's shoulder...but I had one hand on the door.

And Derrick knew it.

While I soothed and supported and reassured like my life depended on it, my mind was working frantically. You said you'd never let a man rule your life, the voice hissed. You don't need him. You're independent. You're strong. Why are you attaching yourself to him? Go to Boston or Baltimore on your own. Don't follow him to hell. Go there yourself. 

Forge your own trail. Don't let him blaze it for you.

I can tell you every bump, every paint swirl on our ceiling. I can tell you exactly how many burnt matches were on my night stand (three). I can tell you how many times my dog shook his collar in the night (five). I can tell you how many different bird calls I heard as light slowly filtered in the room (twelve). I can tell you this because for three nights in a row, we didn't sleep.

We tried. We counted sheep. We tried nightcaps. We tried medication. Then we tried sleeping pill-and-alcohol cocktails. Nothing worked.

We were awake.

And we were haunted.



  1. I know we haven't been talking all that long, but I already know for sure that there is nothing ugly about you at all, Nicki. And I can't imagine that you would be with someone who was ugly either. The *emotions* that you felt may have been ugly, but not either of you as people. What you felt was a product of stress and completely understandable, love. Anyone who judges you for how you felt, well, I just hope they don't hurt themselves too badly when the day comes that they fall from their high horse.

    That and I'll cut them if they something snotty to you. *breaks the bottom of the (long empty) Tequila bottle and brandishes it*

    PS-{A really shitty attempt at humour there, I know, but if I'm ever too serious I need to immediately counter it or I'll die. For realz.}

    PPS- *makes The Face for good measure*

  2. Oh Nicki! I'm so sorry you have to endure such horrific agony! I'd go crazy!

    I'll just follow in the footsteps of others and send you a virtual hug or three. Maybe even a pint or two of Ben and Jerry's (insert your favorite flavor here) ice cream. :)

  3. I have been married for 19 years, and went from being the most notorious no-bullshit feminist in high school (I was a little uptight), to meeting a boy in May after my Junior year and marrying said boy in June of the next year. One month after graduation. Then, I waited just as long as I had to in order to FOLLOW HIM to Cuba of all places. I forgot about my plans for college, and just literally got to that boy ASAP. I kept my last name too, so I didn't forget me in the rush.

    Later in life, he followed me. We take turns. We do crazy things. We move. We waited forever to have a baby and then decided to start a family in a driveway before a dinner party. Sometimes I have been the breadwinner, sometimes he is. We support each other's dreams and try to be flexible. The goal is for both of us to get as much of what we want as we can.

    And we love each other.

    I guess I am trying to say that I think your fears are justified, but in the end you can blaze your trail and don't have to sacrifice love for it. Just go with the adventure. :-)

    The old lady speaketh.

  4. Whew. Ok, I went back and read from part 1. I've missed so much! What an incredible roller coaster. My heart pounded through every post. I need to know what happens. Like ASAP. Your writing is absolutely beautiful and captivating. I think you'll make it wherever you are.

    I lived in Boston for two years. It's a wonderful place full of inspiration....and some snobby people. But its beautiful and historical. I couldn't do NYC. Too busy for me. Same with DC.

    I hope you both get what you want. I'm a firm believer in that everything happens for a reason, so just keep an open mind and let things fall where they may. I can't wait to see what happens.

  5. The anticipation is bad enough for us, so I can't imagine how it is for you. Anyone who would judge you for being honest about your feelings is someone you don't need or want in your life anyway. I think it's safe to say most of us are here for every brutal and/or happy step.

  6. What you are going through TOTALLY SUCKS.

    But it makes a great read.

    That's something, innit?

  7. This took a sudden twist I hadn't seen coming.

    You don't have to ask me not to judge because I don't anyway. Nobody is perfect.

  8. I see nothing ugly here, kitten.

    Just honesty and reality - both of which I find infinitely more beautiful than deception and make believe.

    I'll not even attempt to impart any words of wisdom (even though, believe it or not, I followed a man across an OCEAN) (That was a LOOONG time ago). I believe the wisdom of these decisions can only be discovered well after they're made. Mine was a bad one. Yours could be brilliant.

    I have, however leaned that life's a bloody great adventure. I now can't imagine living anywhere else or anyWAY else. And I'd never have known any of it if not for that one decision.

    And no, this is not an "everything happens for a reason" bit of sunshine blowing bullshit. It could just as easily have sucked huge scrotum, as could whatever decision you made.

    I just think that life's a bloody great adventure is all, and that sometimes you just have to go with your gut.

    Whether it's telling you to follow him or to follow you.

    Looking forward to the next edition, sweetness.

    This was gorgeous.

    - B x


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