I stand in the driveway, casting my pole again and again out into the road, and in the direction of a bucket. To the left of the bucket, to the right of the bucket, over shooting the bucket, thunk, oh yeah, I hit the bucket. He all cranky and annoyed when my line gets tangled, as I relearn the task from childhood. As I learn new how to use this kind of reel. I go and sit on the concrete wall, he winding new line on his reel, we both sipping at our beers, he continues packing his truck for his overnight camping trip. He asks me if I am writing about him and I smile and say not exactly, just writing. He thinks I am saying bad things about him, I laugh and read to him something I wrote months ago, something that speaks of how clear my love for him is, and yet how tremendously complicated. How special he is to me and how the course of my life has brought me here, in a place I never would have expected 10 years ago, or 20, how thankful I am for everything that has happened because it brought me straight to him. After I read it I look up and as I do I see his eyes looking at me clear, he laughs a little and looks away, but I saw something in that look, something wide open and something deep. Thunk, I hit the bucket.
I call her a vile name as I pass her, she cannot seem to leave me alone; why, I ask my girlfriends does she do this, what is wrong with her? She is insecure, they say. I am just angry still, more that she won’t go away than anything else. She responds with some nasal sing song that I don’t understand, it sounds like la di dada. I mull it over, was that Spanish, later I realize she said, I have ata. As I realize it, I burst out a bark of a laugh aloud. My daughter says later, “you mean she has a grouchy judgmental jobless miserable cheating asshole. Good for her.” I tell him about the encounter, he says I thought you didn’t like him anymore. I don’t I say, I am just really sick of seeing her in public, 4 or 5 times a year is just beyond an accident and spreads into the annoying, into stalking, and I don’t know what to do about it. I am tired of seeing her. One of the girlfriends says you see her more than him. I say, I see him zero but her 5 times a year, but now it is no longer just cruel, now she just seems pathetic.
I wrap my arms around him and I kiss him he pushes me away and pulls me back again, pretending he hates it, but I tell him, I know you love it. The annoying platitude is that when God closes a door he opens a window. When he closed the dank and mildewy stinking cellar window, he threw open the double doors and I emerged from the dungeon of servitude and oppressive judgment, free. At first I stumbled, fell, sobbed and could not carry myself. Then I took my first tentative steps, then more and more, walking miles, and then, I emerged nearly healed and all the way happy, I discovered there was someone so like me that it makes me laugh. He grumbles, grunts and curses as he assembles his gear, and I am doing the same noises the same curses as I miss my mark again and again with the pole. Do you know how like me you are, I ask. No he says, and he doesn’t, I hid it for so long it only comes out mostly when I am alone. But here it is, how clear and yet so complicated it is.
Niña. It is time you left me. Go your own way now, and leave me alone. I don’t want your boyfriend, not even if he knocked on my door and on his knees begged me to let him back in, which is bloody damned unlikely.
He wraps his arms around me, his eyes on me, smiling, his lips on my shoulder. I am going to be bored without you, he says. Have fun, I say. You too, he says.
The day is brilliant sunshine and bright blue skies.
I am happy. I am very much in love.