This long wait like this long winter, seems interminable, each day is spent watching, inside myself as though I am an egg with a cut glass shell, sitting upon the mantle. Every moment, I reflect on my own strength, and my character, I reflect on how it must have felt for the ex as he drew his way out of our lives, and his absence of real character, his weakness. I do not allow myself such indulgences.
I watch as the dog plays with happy abandon, I toss a ball he bought her down the hall it bounces to my room, to the kitchen, into the bathroom, back to me, she runs gets it and I throw it again; he rounds the kitchen and she comes to lay halfway between him and I and waits for him to close the door, and then she bounces up to me ready to go again, but wary because he is nearby. What does it say that she who lays her body against mine in the darkest hours of the night, hides her light under a bushel basket when he nears?
I watch as he berates someone else for lost envelopes and extra work, someone else’s carelessness, someone else who sits back and allows such a tremendous disaster to have taken place. I watch as he sits down and pulls the envelope from his own hiding place. Was it me you laid waste to?
I wait for my new home to become available, I pack all the stupid things I brought with me to make this my own home. I slowly put back his shitty mismatched dishes, I eye his huge collection of dusty steins, paperboard coasters, decades stained old lady linens, torn and tattered towels, and the room that is nearly unused on the main floor of the house, and think this is more important, than I am to him.
His mother wonders whether this can be saved, how can I be convinced to stay, though she had her foot on my ass the last time he was in the hospital, be nice to my little boy or leave. Perhaps he should spend some time being nice to me I tell her. Last time he came home he called me unlovable. Do you realize that? Oh stop arguing, she tells me, he didn’t mean it. Later, she tells her husband to shut up, calls him an idiot, and puts her shrinking powder on him. I watch her. She then tells me, perhaps you should go with my husband, when I defend him as a caretaker to his aging parents. I am not a whore, Frau.
I watch as he acts pouty and put out, packing his car to trudge about in the woods, the dog safely locked in her cage. I prefer not to cage her, I prefer her to be free. I prefer to feed her growth. You could have joined me long ago. How many times did you say no? How many times have you refused affection? How many times have you laid waste to my character? How many times have you poked the hornet’s nest? How many times have you shattered my ego? How many times have you berated the innocent? How many times have you spit on the ground at my feet? How many times have you tried to buy favor with dollar store presents? Is it too late my friends ask me? I do not know. How do you find an opening in armor so viciously defended? How do you love someone who is so comfortable in throwing shrinking powder on one he purports to love.
His aunt points out the dirtiness of my cast iron, he scrubs the coating off, ruining a patina of years worth of good home cooking, I dutifully bake it back on, seasoning it to a hard smooth coat in the hot oven. Not out of the frying pan and into the fire, but tempered, and tempered again.
You are so strong, someone tells me, stronger than I.
No, this observation egg is not made of crystal, it is made of iron. And I am a nebulous eye observing.