Marriage Talk 8
“You want me to tell you?” she asked.
—he didn’t, really—
“Okay! How’s about that night
when we were ‘parked’ at Montrose beach
and that damned cop took you away
and you left me alone?”
“What could I do?
He was a cop and he ‘caught us’
and he had a club and a gun.
What was I supposed to do?”
You should have done something!
when he left you with his partner
and you knew he was coming back to me…”
“I was locked in a squad car!
There was no way for me to get out!”
Having discussed the incident,
knowing what he said was true
but not giving up,
she said dubiously,
“if you say so!
But I still think you’d run away
rather than stay to protect me
if there was ever a problem.”
I still don’t understand!
Why would you think that?”
“Why do I think you’d run away?
You’d run away for two reasons: One,
because you are a coward!
you’d do it because you don’t really care about me!”
The words coming from the mouth of his wife
were so unreal
that to be sure this was
not a bad dream,
turning to his other side,
he turned the light on.
blinking his eyes in the unaccustomed light.
“My God,” he said, “it’s not true !
I can’t believe you’d really think that about me!
You don’t have any reason to say that to me!”
“Oh, but I do!
If you loved me…
If you weren’t such a coward
you’d stand up to them and defend me to your parents!”
Fighting to keep his voice and temper down,
That’s what this is about, huh,
Marriage Talk 9
“No, that’s just part of it.
But it’s true ,
you never defend me!
I’m your wife and you never tell them that maybe,
I’m right and they’re wrong!”
Knowing his wife was right about this,
however, if she was allowed to say
whatever she felt to hurt him,
why shouldn’t he?
“I’m sorry,” he said,
“but most of the time I think you ‘are’ wrong,
and that some of the things you do I can’t logically defend.”
The degree of disgust showing in the tone of her voice:
“You are so wrong!
I am your wife!
Nobody should be allowed to say anything bad about me!
And if you let them
—for any reason—
it tells me you’re a coward and
don’t care enough to defend me!”
ticking her complaints off on his fingers,
“so I can’t provide a decent living!
I’m a lousy lover!
I hate you and I’m a fuckin’ coward!
Tell you what,”
his anger apparent,
“next time someone looks at you cross-eyed,
to prove I love you I’ll kick the shit out of them,
or die trying!
“I don’t want you to kick the shit out of anyone,
—although she’d love to see physical proof of his love,
and if it called for him to get into a fight,
even if he did get hurt, well—
“And,” the young woman continued,
“I certainly don’t want to you to die trying!
I just want you to defend me!
“And, yeah, there ‘is’ something else…”
In case you hadn’t noticed,
we don’t have any!”
Another one from way out in left field.
“Friends?” he said,
We’ve got friends!”
“Oh, yeah, sure!
Rose and Harry,
and my cousin
and maybe her husband.
But before we were married
I had dozens of friends!
How come I don’t see any of them now?”
Thinking somehow this was going to be his fault, too,
“I don’t know,” he said tiredly.
“So tell me,
‘How come you don’t see any of them now’?”
To be continued
©April 26, 2012 / Mark M. Lichterman