Sunday, May 16, 2010
Sitting here at dawn, remembering sixtyfive plus years lived on two continents, thousands of people met along the way, a thousand more sitting in front of me in those classrooms that were always too hot or too cold, sitting here feels as though I've been watching a movie about to end.
Many times, I didn't feel in control at all. Many times, I felt like the victim of circumstances, eager to leave Dodge, (for non-Americans, this expression means to get out of town fast!) eager for the children to grow up, the husband to finish his P.H.D., my career to stop sputtering.
Decisions I almost made haunt me to this day. No, I could have, I should have done this or that. Our lives have been intricate dances on high beams. The only important thing we had to remember was not to fall. I can list many times when I almost fell.
Yet, looking back, those tough situations are blurred in the context of the present. We want to remember the good times, reprise the most delicious experiences in the movie version of our lives.
So, there I am, a bright, beautiful thing, frozen in the picture my husband still carries in his wallet. I don't even remember that picture being taken. What I remember was the hair cut, the short boy cut I donned ever since my girl was born, a good 35 years ago. The occasion was really a crisis point in our marriage. I had wanted to stay home and be just a mommy. Two months into the routine, I was bored and resentful. So, I had decided to enroll in a graduate program in comparative literature. Since my husband was busy with his graduate work, I felt left out, crossed by negligence, discarded like the maternity dresses after the baby was born. I wanted to feel in control again, alive with ideas. Most of all I wanted adult relationships.
The picture in the wallet means different things: for him, a beautiful young thing who followed him across the country; for me, something else.