This is a love letter to a snake from a snake.
This is a love letter to an angel from a fallen one.
As anyone who has ever been married more than a measly five years can attest to, marriage –at least those that are partnerships, wax and wane. There are times when one looks over to the other side of the king size bed and thinks thank god you can stick pillows in the middle and make a fort out of this thing so we don’t have to see each other. There are weeks when you pass in the night like ships and there are months when you start dreaming up what your life will look like beyond marriage a la Kate Chopin’s Story of an Hour.
On most days at least I remember that my husband and I are friends. Buddies in the highest sense. As a former fag hag, I’d say at the very least he’s my favorite gay boyfriend (except that at least in the sexual aspect of it, he’s not gay). He’s almost always been able to finish my sentences and he gets nearly all of my jokes. Do you know how valuable it is to live with someone who gets all of your jokes? Worth its weight in gold, I’d say.
But you know, just how attracted are people in long term relationships? Oh baby, baby I just love your bald spot it gets me so hot. Oh sweetie can I touch your stretch marks? Yeah, not so much. That part takes work. But that’s superficial of course. Most of the time when I get turned on it’s because of something whacky. My husband loves weird flaws, strong women, and creatives. I like survivor stories and hard luck tales. I get bored when I find out a lover has had it too easy.
I once realized that a major reason I fell in love with my husband in the first place is that he held back mystery for himself. Like a snake, he hides in the grass, wants to be unbothered. Will not strike unless provoked. Like a snake, he has no problem shedding his skin. Going naked before the world. He was into the visual arts. He could take or leave me . He wasn’t overly cuddly and he certainly would never suffocate me with love. That wasn’t his way or mine. How can one not fall in love with someone who accepts someone else for who they are and doesn’t try to even remotely change him or her?
I am steadfastly loyal. No, I mean it. Even if I’m mad at someone, I’m still loyal. Even if I’m treacherous, I’m loyal. Even if my eye roams, I’m still loyal. I’m the one who will sit with you in the courtroom when they find out you’re a serial killer. Why? Because I bothered to be friends with you in the first place. And anyone who disses you? Well they are dissed by me too. Not too many people understand that. He’s like that too. It’s our quality of mutual respect.
Case in point. I was at a friend’s house the other day and they’d invited someone who’d done me wrong. I didn’t make a big deal out of it. But me? In reverse? I’d never had done it. I’d have written that person off as dirt even if they’d never done anything to me. Maybe it’s the Garcia in me. We hold long grudges and forgiveness is a word at the end of our vocabulary.
Also? Peri-Meno. I come home crying nearly every day for mostly no reason at all. I’m in pain. I’m bleeding like a stuck pig. I haven’t felt this unattractive since the day before my son was born and I’d swollen up preclampsia style to three times my normal size. Check this out: this couldn’t possibly be fun to live with. Who in their right minds would co-habitate with peri-meno women? It boggles the mind. It’s not safe. I mean no one ever knows when I’ll look over at something or someone and say fuck that’s it. I hate you. I hate life. I see all your faults and through you and hate you. I hate you for who you are. Certainly, that cannot be a pleasant existence.
Since going peri-meno sometime mid-summer I’ve quit my job and quit anything that didn’t hold any meaning for me. I’ve signed on to difficult things that meant a good deal but were harder emotionally. I’m not afraid to cry anymore. I’m not afraid to live. I’m not afraid to be me.
Which of course, can be alienating. You can see everyone move away from you on the bench. If I’m guessing correctly, I’ve lost a couple of people in the last few months who cannot tolerate the confrontation of this kind of mirror. It makes me a slight bit sad and no doubt it will make me cry at some point but on the other hand —gleaning matches the psyche of the peri-meno mind. Shedding of falsehood. Shedding of blood. Shedding like snake skin. This snake latches on to its end and holds stead fast and all else sheds away.
All this to say that the husband is still here. All this to say –I have a new found appreciation of the man, who , without so much as asking or whispering has remained constant, stalwart, steady. He’s okay living with snakes. All this to say when he kisses me, I feel on fire. Like our venom doesn’t poison us , but makes us stronger. Rejuvenates. Like he’s some strange angel sent to me and refuses to go away. He is here through the blood, and the gore, and the guts of living. He’s here through the snares of other people. Other jobs. Other temptations. He’s here. He’s constant. He’s infinity.
Like he’s going to see me through the madness of writing books, of parenting children, of crossing into the other side of middle life. Fuck. That’s a hard ass job. And he takes it without so much as a word of complaint. He is stronger than I am. He left early this morning on a business trip. My heart left with him. A little part of it. And I miss him with a miss I haven’t felt in a long time.
In choosing life partners, I chose infinity. I chose well. I don’t know how I did that, but I did. Mi amor? Gracias.