Friday Fictioneers

Fine Renee, I’ll play along with Friday Fictioneers.

I’ve done music prompts (somewhat easy) and word prompts (not so easy), so why not try a photo prompt (damned hard!) as well?

Here’s my first entry into the world of Friday Fictioneers – please let me know what you think:

copyright-claire-fuller

Two in one.

Where do I end, where do you begin?

When I end, how will you carry on?

I am ending, you know. It was foretold that I would.

You will end as well, but not for years until after I.

What will you do with that time of solitude?

Will you reinvent yourself? Become someone new?

Or will you instead stagnate, languishing while you wait for Mr. Death to come back ‘round for you?

My spirit hopes it’s the first of the two, my jealous love, the second.

Two in one. When I end, how will you begin?

•••

Secret Lives

C and I keep secrets from each other. Well, they’re not really “secrets” so much as they are simply things that are never expressed. I know it’s confusing, so let me explain.

A secret is something that you do in private, afterwards covering up any evidence that the deed was ever done. With C and me, what is done in private is never covered up per say, but never exposed either. It just sort of lays there. Noticed if looked for, unnoticed if not. How do I know? Well, I look for it, of course! Yes, I have the “wonderful” attribute of not being able to trust anyone fully at any time. A family trait I place firmly upon the shoulders of one – and only one – relative (thanks mom!). True, I am a child no longer, and responsible now for my own hang-ups, hiccups and snafu’s, but still I wanted to at least acknowledge the fact that my issue is much more imported than homegrown. Much more nurtured than natured.

I’m not sure where C gets her “issue” from. But for her part, she has this drive – this undeniable and unrelenting force – to be her own woman. Her own person. No matter how close she will ever be to anyone, that anyone will do well to understand that there will always need to be at least a small little mental room that is all her own. Sort of like an attic with a hidden door, and a window for only her to look out of – and in through. I know that as her husband, I should be that anyone, and I should heed my own advice. But the little old paranoid Polish woman takes over my mental steering wheel far too often and drives me – us – smack dab into yet another wall of marital suffering and strife. I’m working on it, but it quite often feels like C’s patience (not to mention my own) is wearing thin on this bit, and I can almost see the suitcases being prepped for the packing of a one way trip out.

“So what types of ‘secrets’ are we talking about here then?”, questions the therapist who may happen to be reading this, while stroking their chin in a majestic, yet intelligent fashion. Well, take for instance this very blog. C knows of it, and has even been “invited” to peruse if she’d like. But she’s never actually been given the web address. No, she’d have to access it through my phone app, I suppose, in order to actually read the damned thing. And similarly, C too has various social medias that she makes use of. I only know that because of my tendency to “look”. Which equates to my sneaking about and digging through any number of apps and histories for some sort of sign. One that proves that the one who I love the most is most assuredly getting ready to high-tail it outta here. Or to begin carrying on with another. One who is richer, better looking, nicer, better with gardening… you get the point. So, while she never told me about these creative outlets, I “found” them. And when she found out that I had done so, the cat was out of the bag – and not-so nicely slammed up against yet another wall – little old paranoid Polish woman-style. As a result, much like my offer to her, she made it clear that I am free to sift through any of the rooms in her online world, but I can only enter through the front door that her phone provides as well. And while it’s most likely obvious, it should be noted still, both of our invitations to each other were presented in a spirit very similar to that of how a five year old would normally “apologize” when they realize that desert will not be forthcoming without first a mention of regret. With very much a “here’s your hat, what’s your hurry” flavor to boot.

“Now, hold on just a flip t, what gives with C not being able to have secrets, but you’re being able to?” I’m glad you asked. Because that was the very question that gave birth to this post. Why IS that? Why are my secrets-that-aren’t-secret totally harmless, but her secrets-that-aren’t-secret surely to be the cause of our demise? Why are the things I do but don’t make mention of quite fine and/or dandy while her activities must be called into question and monitored ceaselessly? I suppose if I had to answer that, I would first look downward and shuffle my feet while sheepishly making some sort of excuse about how my actions (which are no different from hers) were somehow inconsequential because they were only first and foremost in reaction to hers. And besides, I don’t mean any harm by them. I would then inch slowly backwards and hope to get clear out of the room before your dropped jaw worked again, and you rebutted with the obvious fact that her actions most likely don’t mean any harm either.

But there is another little twist as well, and it might serve to at least salvage a bit of the reputation that I pretty much just cut off at the kneecaps with this post. Part of me doesn’t trust. Anyone. It’s true. It’s ugly. It’s the second biggest thing I hate it about me, and I would wish anything in the world to be able to be rid of it, if I could (and I just might be able to, some day). But another part of me is jealous. Jealous of that attic. That attic that needs to be there for C, for her well being and her mental health. That attic that I need to respect and acknowledge, but never access. That damned attic that will go to the grave holding a piece of C that I will never be able to know about. To experience. To touch. To love.

I’m pretty sure I might have a similar room myself. But I suppose I see mine as more of a basement than an attic. More littered with trash than adorned with treasure. And I suppose maybe that is the REAL problem in all this. Maybe it’s not just C’s attic I’m jealous of, maybe it’s C herself, for having her attic. For having her self. And maybe if I want to stop slamming us (not to mention innocent cats) up against walls of marital suffering and strife, I need to recognize that. I need to let C be free to have her secret life. Just as she allows me to have mine.

my 100th post

We met at my brothers wedding, in part because he was marrying her sister. i was already married at the time we were introduced, but was to find myself quite suddenly not so by the September that followed.

i was pretty torn up about the whole thing, and based on the friendship that we had grown since then, upon receiving the news of my return to a single life it was her shoulder i decided first to lean upon – simply because i knew that of all the shoulders that were available to me, hers would be the strongest, the most honest and the least judgmental. i was right, and in short order found myself longing to be with her shoulder (and the rest of her as well, obviously) in a much more exclusive fashion.

Six months later we found ourselves living together, working together on the same 3 – 11 shift at the same nursing home and in general, enjoying life together as a “not so much young enough to be truly punk anymore, but old enough to not be too terribly upset by the whole thing” couple. One which owned an army of cats and one stupid, yet singularly beautiful, dog. We also found ourselves in an odd predicament on April 2nd of that year in that we both had the same day off. A rare, if not nonexistent, phenomenon. Upon finally waking (these being the days when we still knew how to sleep in), the conversation went a little something like this:

C: “So, we finally have a day off together – what did you want to do?”

me: “Don’t know. Did you maybe want to get married?”

C: “Sure.”

And with that, we were showered, brushed and on our way to City Hall.

Where we found that after submitting for a marriage license, the state requires that you wait 24 hours before actually being allowed to become wed. Which meant we had to go back the next day to actually do so. And the next day we both had work. So, we woke, got dressed in our finest retro dandys and skipped off to City Hall for the second day in a row.

We were married in what turned out to be a much nicer ceremony than either of us were expecting, and we then returned home. Each of us took a couple of quick pics of the other holding our new certificate, her with our stupid yet beautiful dog. Me, standing next to an oversized wooden cutout of a police officer we had in our living room, lovingly named “Officer Krumpke”  (poor old Krumpke has long since been relegated to our basement – a turn of events i’m still none to pleased about). We then removed our dandy’s, put on our uniforms – and just never you mind if anything happened in between those two tasks – and shuffled our way off to work.

And, when asked casually by coworkers what it was that we had done with our day up until that point, we made an effort to be equally as casual in letting them know that we two were now one.

It wasn’t until Easter that we told our families, but there was a reason for that.

Primarily, we wanted to get married in our own way and for us alone. And with both her family and mine, the only way to accomplish that was to keep them in the dark about the whole thing, until it was far too late for them to do anything about screwing it up. And we chose Easter simply because there’s not a Roman Catholic alive who would dare be upset about being kept in the dark about something, if told about it on the day of Christ’s resurrection. Well, none besides one of C’s aunts and my mom – both of which were upset that we didn’t get married in a church (apparently, years back there must have been some sort of scuffle between Jesus and the security at City Hall and as a result, he is no longer allowed in, thus leaving civil unions unblessed). Regardless, their “upsettedness” blew over relatively quickly, and life – while beginning anew – returned to normal.

Now, i know that almost everyone who has ever gotten married has a wonderful tale to tell, and while this might not be the best you ever hear, it is C’s and mine, and i love telling it. So much so, that i decided to use it as my 100th post. To those of you who have read up to this point in the post, i hope that you enjoyed reading it as much as i enjoyed sharing it. And to those of you who have been reading up to this point the Lil Blog i’ve started, my sincere thanks for your doing so =)