Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

4:30 a.m.

Okay, you can stop standing there, cussing out the coffee pot now. Just unclench your jaw, pick up your cup, and pour the son of a bitch.

It perks one cup then stops. So I have to turn it off, turn it back on and listen to see if the heating element is still heating up the water in the well. What a piece of shit.

I fantasize about it sitting on top of the garbage can next time the trash man comes to pick up. I fantasize that it is sitting there, in the morning sun, feeling ... embarassed. Inept. A complete failure.

Why? Why am I picking on the poor coffee pot. It's not its fault that it was poorly designed by a recent graduate of a design school who's mom probably still washes his sheets every week.

Lately, I have been obsessed with the movie, "Sleeping With the Enemy." So much so, I can't help but watch it every time it comes on cable, which has been maybe 30 to 50 times in the last few months.

I can tell, it's Hollywood, it's missing pieces. I watch and think up obvious questions that have gone unanswered (like, it took her three and a half years to get away from him? I bet the men were shaking their heads when they saw that and I bet there were even some women out there who thought to themselves that they would never stay in a relationship like that, no matter what, they would give that man the back of their hand or what for or a heavy chair over the back of the head when they weren't looking or a gun to the crotch while they were sleeping ... ) and then I think: I wonder if it came from a book? I bet it did! I bet it came from a book, written by a female author, maybe one who has gone through this, either first person or third.

So it's Hollywood and melodramatic and overdone and all that ... but the nugget of the story is still true.

There isn't one or two big, dramatic, epic battle scenes, storyboarded on the wall that defines when one will stay or leave, there is not one defining moment that lets anyone know, they've had enough.

It's the thousands of tiny cuts over ten or twelve years that start to add up to an almost imperceptable bleeding out.

The soul, shaved off in microscopic slivers ... until there is only an empty shell left.

It's so slow, this taking away of a person's identity under abuse, that there isn't an actual crime one can point to, or even a point to give one an object at which to stare.

A thousand tiny cuts. As many days as it took to create a personality, that's almost as many as it takes to deconstruct one.

The thing is ... it's not the hit or the next hit or the next rape or the next drunken blacked out sodomizing ... it's the promise that the situation will get better, that it can't possibly be this bad, nobody is that bad.

A kind of insulating shock surrounds us, after. A warm, fuzzy blanket of endorphins perhaps, Nature's sedative, to save us, to protect us from the reality of the brutality.

For me, it was my grandma's arms, holding me, rocking me, invisible, I could swear, sometimes I even smelled her lavender perfume, a whiff, a lifejacket.

And every smile, every kindness, like making a pot of coffee for the little woman when he didn't even drink coffee himself, ... well, ... that just reinforced that hopeless, helpless, hopefullness -- that everything was going to be okay, now.

And those son of a bitches -- they know it.

They know it's those little kindnesses, like making a pot of coffee to wake up the wife in a surreal honeymoon Hollywood, Doll's House Dollywood way, with the little bluebirds coming in and singing like in the fairy tale, gently opening up the drapes on the sunshine of the day, to bathe the sleeping princess in her giant, gilded bed, the smell of coffee, made with love by the same hands that banged my head against the refrigerator or the floor or which broke my fingers, crunch, crunch, when I tried to get the hands off my throat, the same hands that held mine, warm, shaking with blushing nervousness, during the wedding ceremony, those hands, those long, graceful fingers that could have created beauty playing piano or painting a canvas, they were in the kitchen making me coffee.

But, you know, he's been dead for almost four years now.

So you can stop bitching out the coffee pot.

Just breathe ....

Breathe in freedom ... breathe in the aroma of fresh-brewed coffee ... just fucking breathe.


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