Marriage Talk 1&2
It took forty minutes
for the rectangle of light
from around the bathroom door to go off.
The door opening quietly
wearing what she usually wore to bed in winter
the young woman,
as quietly as possible,
tiptoed to bed.
The young man
watched the shadow of his wife
as she approached the bed,
turning onto his side,
propping his head within the palm of his hand,
Though said softly, the simple, one syllable word
seemed to resound throughout the room.
For the young man
the word transmitted hopeful expectancy.
For the young woman
the word was perceived as a demand for sex
that she was neither in a physical
nor mental mood to comply with.
Squirming beneath the blanket,
“if you really want to screw,”
“I’ll do it.
But I do want you to know,”
“I’ve 'such' a headache!”
“You’ve a headache, huh?”
Turning onto his back,
“You really ought to talk to your doctor
‘bout all the headaches you’ve been getting.”
“You don’t believe me.”
Said without anger,
Onto his side again,
propping his head in his hand again ,
thinking before answering.
“I don’t want to argue.”
speaking without anger,
I don’t always believe you’re as sick
as you always say you are.”
“And I think you’re really looking
for an excuse not to have sex and…”
“I think you don’t love me anymore.
As a matter of fact,”
—truly believing this—
“I think you hate me.”
Turning onto her side also,
unable to see his features,
but feeling his closeness
feeling the touch of breath upon her face…
Marriage Talk 2
“No,” she said,
“I don’t hate you.
But I’d like you to,
if only once in a while,”
—equating her emotions,
a woman’s emotions and motivations to his,
a man’s emotions and motivations—
“if only once in a while
you’d let me know that you care about me!
‘Really’ care about me and ‘just’ touch me!”
“I do care about you!”
“And I always touch you!”
“You say you care about me,
you don’t really!
And the way you always touch me
is not the way I always want to be touched!
That’s not what I mean by touching me!
Whenever you touch me it’s like you’re
telling me you want to be fucked.”
Wincing at the word,
wondering why she always
referred to their lovemaking
as ‘screwing’ or ‘fucking’
never as ‘making love’!
“You ‘never’ just touch me!
You’re always grabbing my tits,
or my behind, or my crotch!”
Amazed at this.
Amazed at her perception that
that’s the way she ‘perceived’ he treated her.
“That’s not true !” he said.
Hurt and insulted she’d even
‘think’ he didn’t care about her.
Care about her?
That she’d even think I don’t love her!
That she’d say he only touched her
in ‘those places’ when he knew he didn’t
—not ‘only’ in those places—
“I don’t ‘only’ touch your tits
or your behind or your crotch!”
he said emphatically,
though still speaking softly,
That’s not how I treat her!
If I do,
then maybe it’s because I’m a man
that’s how a man’s supposed to be?
But what if she was right in her estimation
of how she was thought of, and treated by him?
And if she was,
the thought that he might ‘truly’ be that way
—even if it was the ‘manly’ way to be—
To be continued
©April 15, 2012 / Mark M. Lichterman