Friday, October 05, 2018

The Minutia That Tears the Heart

The miniscule, off-the-cuff statement that comes unexpectedly, that pierces the heart, sometimes does the most damage.

The damage can be inexplicable, too. The pain can be for the other, for yourself, maybe even someone you've never met.

My heart is pierced with thousands upon thousands of holes. My emotions and my soul both, I imagine, look something like a bit of netting, thin strands of togetherness interwoven with space consisting of grief and agony. Here and there one would find gigantic tears, gapping places where some major event took away a large piece of that secret place inside of me.

This morning my second alarm went off - yes, I need two - and I realized I'd not yet said goodbye to my husband before he left for work.

We long ago established that I am not a morning person, while he is, and he despises a conventional breakfast anyway, preferring to eat a peanut butter sandwich or a slice of left over pizza over cereal or scrambled eggs. Everyone needs their alone time, and he has the early morning when he rises at 5 a.m. - such an ungodly hour! - and spends an hour gathering himself and preparing for his day.

After my alarm went off, I sat up quickly and grabbed my glassed for a look at the time. The lights were on in the kitchen, and I slipped from the bed and padded down the hallway. I softly called to him.

"Sweetie, are you still here?"

I heard him fold up the paper and jump up. "We actually got a newspaper this morning. I was reading it. I'm late!" He hurried past me to finish his grooming, brushing his teeth.

And with that, I felt my heart shed a tear for him. For he is 59 years old now, and if he wants to take an extra five minutes to read the paper, then he has earned that right. But he had to hurriedly kiss me goodbye and rush out the door, because he'd let time slide by a little longer than he'd anticipated.

This would be a good time to rail against the world, against this horrible economic system we've put in place, one that keeps people tied to clocks and schedules, and forces us all to bow down to corporate whips and politicians who don't give a damn if you're almost 60 and doing a younger man's job.

But I won't do that. I will only say that when I realized my beloved husband had to leave without finishing his newspaper, such a simple request, I felt a sting in my soul. Only a little rip, but a tear nevertheless.


  1. As a woman surrounded by millenials who, I suspect, disregard me as a relic, I feel for your husband.

    But you should know: I think this was beautifully written.

  2. Sadly, he and I are in the same mental state. We worry about what we feel needs to be done versus what has to be done. There is nothing short of death that can't wait for another five minutes.


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