(unedited) I never ever questioned our relationship. never considered a world without my partner. She is a constant. When things fell apart I knew she’d be there. This place and all the obstacles have been with her. I am seeing it all differently now and I can say I am truly terrified at the prospects. As we finished night check on friday at almost 11PM she said she was going to the supermarket. hmmm. Odd hour for that. I asked why. “I’m baking cookies for Maggie’s birthday”. I had to pause a minute and actually hear what she had just said. It was late and I was pretty tired. What?
“I’m going to the city Sunday for her birthday and I want to bring her something”
My mind was trying to take in this new information but all I was getting was alarm bells.
“You’ve never in our 15+ years together baked for me”
She looked at me and I returned her look. A moment passed.
“It’s nothing. I just want to give her something”.
I turned and walked toward the house, “Whatever”.
It was an argument I wasn’t going to win. Her defensive posture and tone told me.
Saturday night rolled around and she started baking. this coming from a person who does not bake. I have searched the annuls of my memories from life with her and never once has she baked. I stood in the kitchen watching her. I couldn’t stay silent in my worry.
“You have never once baked for me.”
She wouldn’t meet my eye and continued following the recipe.
“I just wanted to try in, that’s all” she said with far too much enthusiasm.
“Seriously, I don’t get this”
“It’s nothing, I just saw the recipe online”. This time with a tone and repeated with anger.
I leaned against the microwave and watched as she defended herself.
“Why are you do defensive?” to this she paused. We caught each others eyes.
“I’m not defensive, I don’t understand what your problem is. It’s NOTHING.”
This continued for a short while before I decided I wasn’t going to get anywhere and she was just ramping up in defensiveness. I walked out of the kitchen. I had nothing more to say and clearly it was going nowhere productive. But my gut told me this was amiss. Something wasn’t right. Why wasn’t she answering me directly? why was she so evasive and defensive? why was her response so out of place with a simple statement of You’ve never baked me cookies.
Sunday arrived and I headed out the door to polo. I was late. the clocks changing fucked my sense of time completely. On the way to polo I called her and asked when she was leaving, and when she’d be home. “We’re having lunch and then going to a show”. She said she’d be back for night check when I pushed a little. I hung up and couldn’t help but worry a bit.
By 8pm I was settled and watching TV. I looked at the clock and started calculating the hours. It had now been almost 11 hours since we spoke. I texted her. nothing. I called her. nothing. so I texted again. this time she answered that she’d call in a bit. obviously she was still in the city. I was a bit angry at this point. It was closing in on 9. and she wasn’t going to be back for night check. This in and of itself isn’t much of a problem, but telling me she’d be home and not being was an issue. Finally the phone rang.
“Where are you?”
“In the city going to the train”
“The truck broke down”/
“WHAT the fuck.”
“I don’t know it just died”.
“For fuck’s sake. We don’t have the fucking money.”
“What the fuck are we going to do now. It has to be towed. fixed. brought home”
“yes, I know.”
“Why the fuck did you have to go to the city with the truck, you know it hasn’t been working right”.
“The guy said it was just an injector”
“CLEARLY NOT”. and yeah at this point I was cursing and yelling.
It didn’t get much better and she hung up on me. That did not improve matters since how I was ready to break something. I dialed her cell.
“Where the fuck are we coming up with this $?:”
“Don’t worry. it doesn’t involve you. I’ll ask my mom”.
“What? Are you serious?”
“Yes. I will ask her”
“In all the fucking years we have fought and struggled to manage every crisis here you have always said there is no $, and you can’t go there for help.What changed now?
“What the fuck, you think I have been lying all this time and there actually is $. What is wrong with you??”
“No. that is not what I am saying, I am just wondering why it suddenly changed”
“I’m hanging up. I don’t need this shit. You are not helping matters at all. It is bad enough.”
“YEah you’re right it is bad. How the fuck are you getting home from the train? The dually is hitched to the trailer.”
“I’ll take a cab”
“If you show up here in a cab I will kill you. Do you hear me? I will fucking kill you. As if it isn’t bad enough, don’t fucking add that expense. I will come get you.
“No. don’t fucking come get me. I don’t fucking need you.”
“Fine. Fucking call someone. You always go running the rescue. Nice if anyone would actually return the favor for a change.”
“Whatever. I’m get home”
Whatever. My anger was still white hot though I realized this was going nowhere. I hung up.
I watched more TV and tried not to ruminate on all the possible outcomes and everything else that was at issue.
It was closing on 11PM and I had no idea where she was. I picked up the phone. At this point not in anger but in concern. No answer. Now I was pissed again. It is an ongoing problem with her. She never has her ringer on and never answers her phone. It makes be absolutely batshit. I have asked her to just leave the fucking phone on to no avail so here I was again getting voice mail. I redialed. this time she picked up. “why the fuck don’t you answer your phone?”
“It didn’t ring.”
“yeah, ok. whatever. where are you?”
Turns out she was about 2 minutes from home and our neighbor had given her a ride. In the next hour we said nothing to each other. I didn’t trust myself to open my mouth. I had seriously considered not being home when she returned since I was just that angry. In the end it was alright and I went to bed.
This is where I started my day. I said no more than two words to her as I headed out the door to Beatrice. Session was a recap of these events coupled with Beatrice’s questions and thoughts. I tried to stay present and listen though I was pretty much done as our session ended. I drove away trying to make sense of it all while trying to ward off the premonition that my world was ending. Everything just seemed to be coming undone at the seams. All the issues facing the farm and my life grew in magnitude as I let myself envision a life without her in it. I won’t lie. It was dark and bleak as the hopelessness slouched in the corners. I couldn’t get myself back. I couldn’t go home. I could not predict what I might do or say. Instead I ran stupid errand while my mind was lost. A couple hours elapsed and exhaustion was tugging hard at me. I had to go home. I don’t want to. Nothing has changed here. No words spoken. She left and came back with a hard look and a sigh of frustration as she always does when she thinks I am being a problem. yeah, this is all my fault. whatever. I don’t much know what to do as everything seems so fucking pointless. I’m sad and lost. I don’t know how to fix this, whatever this is. Th really sad thing is it might be nothing. But nothing doesn’t explain the evasiveness and the defensive reactions. Nothing does not explain the secrecy. It sure doesn’t explain the trip overnight to VA. I didn’t remember till today that is where Maggie lives. In the final analysis it isn’t the cookies, or the city, or the concerts. It isn’t even Maggie. The problem is I’m not sure I can trust her anymore. Attempts at rational conversation and questions implodes as the finger is pointed back at me. I’m the one who is behaving wrong. I’m the one that is making something out of nothing. I am the problem here. Sadly, it is so easy for me to shoulder that and accept it. I just throw it on with everything else that weighs so heavily on me these days. The feeling of betrayal still exists and this burden feels far worse than all the others combined. I don’t think I deserve this. Not now, not ever. but it has become my burden and I know I am buckling under the weight of this.