Inside My Head

the literary rantings of Angie Frissore

Excerpt: “Oh, mama…can this really be the end?”

I laid there in the silence, unable to sleep.  It wasn’t just the customary night-before-a-flight insomnia…I kept replaying various conversations that had taken place over the course of the past five days.  An uneasy, melancholy feeling was welling within me as I mentally took note of the many ways in which the Southern Man had failed me during my time with him.

I was promised a birthday dinner.  This was not to be just any dinner, no – he had promised my mother, no less, that I was to be ‘treated like a princess’.  I had even been instructed to pack the little black dress that I had been desperate to find an occasion for.

The dinner turned out to be burgers and milkshakes at a retro 50’s diner.  We were both wearing jeans and black shirts, as my sexy little dress sat crumpled in my carryon in his bedroom, probably acting as a nice nesting place for the cat.

Earlier in the day, the Southern Man had been fuming about the possibility of having to make a venture into work to sign some papers (that should’ve been taken care of ages ago, dammit, why doesn’t everyone else know everything like the Southern Man apparently does?).  He openly complained about having to interrupt his last day ‘with his woman’.

That evening, after greasy burgers and creepy James Dean cutouts, we spent our last evening together in the living room.  He played video games, while I sat, on the other couch, wondering why I had been unable to get his attention.

He…never…laid…a…hand…on…me.

This was not something that a woman like myself could comprehend.  Regardless of anything else, I could make any man want me physically.  That was always the easy part.  But here was this…man.  This man who was ready to have me pack up and marry him, and yet I might as well have been sharing a bed with my mother.

The disappointment eventually took over, and I tried desperately to hide the sound of my crying.  Given the total silence of the room, this was not an easy task.  I masked sniffle after sniffle, producing little fake coughs to imply I was suffering from allergies (there was the cat, after all).  Before long, a voice broke the silence.

“Are you gonna sit there and cry all night?” The Southern Man asked.

“Nope,” I replied sternly.  “I’m gonna sit in the living room and do it,”  And with that, I got up and went into the darkened living room and sat on the couch.  I was infuriated, yet at the same time, this was the sign I had been waiting for.  As if all of the dozens of times he had disappointed me clearly had not taught me anything, this was it – I had reached my pain threshold (as Samantha would say – I wished desperately I could’ve called her at that moment).

He came into the living room, feeling obligated to probe into what was bothering me.  I started to try explaining just how selfish he was and how hurt I was after making such an effort to be there.   I even brought up his lack of interest in anything I liked  – friends, music, movies.

“I don’t expect you to care about my past, because I really don’t care about yours,” he said, apparently thinking that was a tender thing to say.

“Well, now that we have that settled.  You should get to bed, you have to work.  At least I can sleep on the plane,” I said cheerfully.  All I had to do was patronize him for less than six more hours.  “I’m going to smoke a cigarette and try to wind myself down.”

I sat outside, reflecting on the things he had said.  I didn’t want to think about the future, whether it involved him or not, but I found myself asking why would I want to give up my life for this – for him.

I didn’t.  I didn’t have to.  I just needed to get on the plane, away from here; away from him.  Just get home.

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September 13, 2008 - Posted by | No Messages - Excerpts from the Draft | , , ,

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