Thursday, October 15, 2009

The Argument

Some couples say they never argue as if that one fact encapsulates the truth of their relationship.

We argue.

There is silence and anger and heaviness around the eyes.

“All I’m asking is that you snap it along the lines!” I say too harshly.

“Just because you’re a perfectionist doesn’t mean you do things perfectly,” she retorts.

A barb well thrown, insightful and direct, the kind of statement only someone who loves you could know would hurt you.

My chin lowers, my eyes flash and I am not who I think I am.

I feel my blood pressure rising and I need to take care. My voice could take control of me; speak without inhibition. My soft voice, my sometimes feeble voice, could rise up on a wave. My sometimes shaky voice could pour forth a fire and a fury.

My anger knows no consequence. There is new life in my voice, the breath of life in my sinuses. If I hadn’t spent so much time in this skin I would let this flame flare up inside me – let destruction go where destruction will go.

But experience has shown me the cost.

So I stop myself and stand, flaring and glaring, waiting until my heart relaxes and my soft voice returns.

“You’d think after 50 years we would’ve found better things to argue about.” I say.

She hands me the chocolate – a peace-offering.

“85 percent,” she says with a sad smile.

“Bitter aftertaste,” I say.

“Broken along the lines,” she says.
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