I Wonder if she’ll read this one. What follows is a bit written directly to Arwyn along with some other content.
93 days of involuntary celibacy. I know I never specifically asked for this. I never dreamed that when I got married I would be presented with this scenario. I remember you promising that you would never cut me off. Maybe I should have read the fine print. Somewhere in the marriage vows there was a pledge to love honor and cherish as long as we both shall live. I know that I have had lapses. Some of them more serious than others. But I have tried to correct them.
When I asked you when the last time was that you did something selfless for me, you had to reach back an entire month to think of one thing. My birthday cake. Was that something you did because you cared enough about me? Or was it another duty and obligation? I don’t buy you candy out of duty or obligation.
I do it from love in my heart
Do you really need a Mountain Dew or Coconut Carmels? Do I have to give you these things? Would you hold it against me if I didn’t?
I do them because you enjoy them. If there is something that brings you joy, why wouldn’t I do it? I’m not holding these over your head or lording them over you. I’m just using these things as small examples of how I express my love and caring for you. I try to touch you affectionately with no expectations other than some smallish acknowledgement. But instead, I am called selfish. I am accused of only thinking about sex.
Yes, I think about sex. But I spend much, much, more time thinking about real intimacy. I think that if I ever found myself in the arms of a woman who would hold me as I long to hold and be held, I would cry. Deep, mournful, runny-nosed sobs that would shake my whole body. I am entering a deep sadness that defies words and goes to the roots of my soul.
I remember being in the army, standing at attention having to be straight rigid and stoic. Some clown behind me murmured something funny and I began laughing, nearly doubling over and holding my sides, desperately trying to hold it together. A situation only made worse by the snickering of my comrades. Every time I would almost regain composure, one of them would begin snickering, and it would all start again, me trying to stop laughing with embarrassing futility. Until a thought rescued me from my involuntary mirth.
When Ellen (See Dead Ringer) abandoned me 15 years ago, it was the single most painful and agonizing thing in my life. My soul was ripped out by its roots. With a thought of that experience, I instantly regained my stoic, nonmirthful composure. That one memory could instantly extinguish any laughter and any joy that I would ever experience if I allowed it in. It worked that day in the Army like a switch. It was the most painful and traumatic bit of abandonment I would ever emotionally experience.
Until now. Time has faded Ellen’s memory and the hurts associated with it. While it was a soul-ripping experience, it was relatively quick. The scar lingers, as do the effects.
Today I have begun the realization of a new abandonment. Instead of taking a few weeks this has persisted for years. I am just beginning to feel the terrible effects as they have penetrated walls and emotional levees built to protect against those sorts of floods.
It is the prophetic nightmare of this anguish that haunts our children in the middle of the night, disturbing their sleep. Moans of deep anguish escape my own lips while I sleep. The ghostly pall of the bitter bile of resentment permeates the entire house like a poisonous fog.
How long will this noxious stench infect us and the lives of our children? How long must they inhale the ghastly fumes of a marriage decaying like a rotting corps? Has our house turned into an emotional tomb?