::Two Way Mirror::


These days we’re like a two way mirror.

Or through a glass, darkly.

At the grade school on Grandparents’ Day, if he shows up he is brittle and distant. He wears a starched smile, the kind that never reaches the eyes. When he looks at me, he doesn’t. Perhaps he can’t bear the reflection of himself that he sees there. Or perhaps I’m making too much of it, and he’s forgotten who I am. Like that time at the Film Festival when I saw him and called out to him. He looked at me, quizzically, then moved toward me, head shaking slowly, hand extended, with the words,

“I’m sorry, you’re going to have to help me.”

I did not take his hand. I looked at him in disbelief, and said,

“Cece.” He was embarrassed that he didn’t know who I was that day. But I realize now that he never really did.

Looking back at the years we were together, I recognize the holes he crawled through to go from our life together into his other life. I couldn’t see it at the time. The camouflage of home and family clouded my vision. But distance brings clarity. And friends who were there then have come to me from time to time since; as an act of confession? To clear their conscience as accomplices? I can’t honestly say.

While I don’t know every detail about what was going on then, I know more than I ever wanted to. Sometimes information serves no good purpose. Except, you know … it helps me realize that I was in a completely different relationship than he was. And it’s confirmed for me that he had no clue of the goodness that was present and waiting for him there. Loving him there. Knowing this is a different kind of heartbreak all by itself.

When someone becomes addicted to dancing with the dark, the light is just an irritation.

5 thoughts on “::Two Way Mirror::

Add yours

  1. Wow. This is really gut wrenching to read and, I’m sure, worse to live. The amazing thing is that I get it because I lived it, too, and stayed with a man who hid away from me (and his kids) for decades. He didn’t take advantage of the love that was freely offered by us. He is alone now and likes it, I think. An inscrutable man who likes it best when he doesn’t have to rub up against any one else’s feelings. Thanks for having the courage to identify him (as much as that is possible.)

    1. Thank you so much, for your comments and for your willingness to be courageous. It does take courage to give ourselves the truth, and courage to make a different choice. I count you among the heroes.

  2. Thank you for your vulnerability in sharing. I felt that in my gut. I can’t imagine how it felt to write that, or how you might be feeling now. I hope you have the support you need to continue processing. Peace be unto you.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Blog at WordPress.com.

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: