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Tilly: I don’t understand you anymore! You love yourself you hate yourself, you’re enthralled by your own voice then you loathe speaking. Only Chaos Theory can explain you. I married a Rubix Cube with the emotional stability of a dithering Freudian!

[She haughtily stares him down. He clenches his fist until they are white]

Rob: Well why did you marry me in the first place! Did I keep my ways a secret? Did I shy away from my ever-present moodiness? No, I laid it all out on the line for you and you walked along it very well all those years, with high heels and a swagger to go with it. You knew who I was and I wasn’t going to change for anything in the world because I am alive Tilly! More alive than you, with all your clubs and sycophantic parties you traipse through. You despise your social circles yet you cling to them so greedily. What would you be without those contemptible curs waving jewelry and fanning money in each others faces?

[His head cocks an at angle. Her hips sway to the left, her right hand on her hip]

Tilly: I’d be better off with those bores than spending my life with a penniless loser. A battery has more copper than you do in that shabby pocket of yours. At least with them I don’t have to walk on eggshells and worry about damaging their fragile centres. Yes, I may have to stroke a few egos but at least I’m doing it in style, not encased by drab walls and a shitty little condo twenty floors up. I deserve better than this. I deserve better than you and this life I have to lie about to my friends. I have to grit my teeth and say how well we’re doing and how your publishers adore you. “We’re moving to a bigger house next spring.” Isn’t my life so immaculate? I left my father’s money for a a tick on the scruff of the world.

[His voice rises, his hands swing towards the door]

Rob: Then why don’t you leave then. You think I get anything out of this anymore, that I long for your icy stares and false encouragement, your tepid sexuality and cold body. I get nothing from you, I ask for nothing these days because you are incapable of offering anything to anyone who isn’t you. You have no care for what’s outside of yourself, your emotional range is an old, busted Chevy.

[Warm tears linger and limp down her face]

Tilly: Is that how it is? I would be warmer if I actually cared anymore for you, but a it stands there is just nothing there, nothing to hold on to. Every time I touch you I feel you’re a million miles away. Don’t you think I need some attention too, some kindness to keep me going? You think you’re the only one in this with baggage, I have feelings I just don’t parade it around twenty-four-seven looking for sympathy. What kind of man can’t go beyond himself and comfort his wife without her having to ask for it? [Her voice quivers with her last pronouncement]

[His arms go out at the sides and his mouth slightly opens]

Rob: Well… you never show or told me anything was wrong before this. We don’t argue we just silently move through life with blinders on. I’m no prize-winning horse but I still care, I still want you to be here. For all our flaws I still want you, I just want you to want me the same way and I don’t get the sense that you do. I look into your eyes and it’s a stranger looking back more each day. I remember we used to make each other happy, when did that change? When did you give up on me?

[Her body went limp and her head bent down, she spoke through sobs]

Tilly: I didn’t give up I just got so tired of it all. I feel like I’m doing everything alone, like I’m racing and my partner left me. You did leave me, at some point, and you never came back. You were so wrapped up in your world you disappeared from mine. Ho can I not feel abandoned?

[His eyes teared up as she squeaked out her last words]

Rob: I…you’re right… I did move away from you. I lost myself and I didn’t come to you to bring me back from the brink. You didn’t try to reach me either, we both gave up on what we had…have. We need to mend this, we shouldn’t be at each others throats. I don’t want to be bitter anymore, no more battles, please. I’m still me inside. I’ll let you in, open myself up for you.

[She furrows her brows and stares out the window]

Tilly: I just don’t know what to do. I want to try yet I want to run away. I don’t know what to do with you, with myself, I don’t know, I don’t know, I don’t know. Just sit with me and don’t say anymore, just sit with me.

Rob: Okay.

[They sat close together on the sofa, deafening silence filled the room.]

They sat there stiff and upright on the limp cream sofa not uttering a word, watching the clock run its course ever and again. Watched as the hand lingered and lurched forward when the revolution had taken place. Minutes going one after the other in this torturous silence that had been taking place a mere five feet away. The hour struck, no fowl was to arrive, the carved little beast was savagely ripped from it’s holding place. The ornery husband did not like the cuckoo and it’s wailing ways and idiotic manner. The only one he liked of this kind was from his childhood; two little Dutch figures would come out and bonk each other on the head, playful yet effective. The coiled spring receded to it’s hiding hole distancing itself from the bizarre waiting game taking place. The couple were sitting in that deafening silence waiting for the other to start, no baton passers here, only stifling air permeating moist skin. They were thoroughly overdressed for such a silly tête-à-tête, the hands wanted to remove these suffocating articles but no limb was stirred, it was to pass that they suffered moreso. Little peeps came from Tilly who’s nervousness and tic tac manner was well established in all her circles. She bubbled up with squealing calls and tickled throat and was able to utter an audible worm to bait her beau. “What now?” she finally squirmed out. It decided to hang in the air, a simpering echo in the opulent baroque living room atmosphere, with the sofa set emitting rumples and creaks while the arm chairs swimming in nouveau riche style sat silently judging the masters.

“We’ve come to an impasse and the results are unforeseeable to me” he said with abandon and nothing of emotion in his voice or manner. This pedantic, old man waxing philosophic in front of a class style of speaking angered Tilly whenever her husband happened to drab himself in it and strut around as the bombastic cock that he was. She bit her lip slightly to hold back her annoyance at his ever-repeating pomposity, she suffocated in that air he put on as if it was the most sensuous musk cologne. “I think we better talk about what we both want outta this before we jump the gun and shoot ourselves in the foot” he continued. “We had a good marriage, comfortable but there was still fun had don’t you think?” “Yes…” peeped Tilly, “there was nothing wrong with us, the spark is just gone now. We’ve both been so busy with our own trivialities that they have become us and we no longer feel any passion for each other like we did in the early days, when we lived in the village. This high falutin lifestyle has deformed us in some way, we’re wayward driftwood in a sea of posh niceties.” She had to heave a sigh as what was bothering her for the past few years eventually came out of her, even if in polite terms. She began to slouch in her seat and her body and muscles went limp with the revelation she uttered finding it’s comfort zone, haunting the sensibilities of the pair.

Rob has a tinge of mired aggravation, he liked the life they lived and the surroundings they had accumulated through so much of his effort, they earned this life, this house, this ‘thisness’ that was them, had to be them. This is what growing is, the pains of casting off your former self and foolish notions of romanticism and happy endings. They had traded some of themselves in acquiring this new mode of existence but that is to be expected, even encouraged. What to be a child hampering away at maturation; the refinement of taste and style. His new formed existence was nothing to be scoffed at, why did she dislike it so much, why was she attacking his character and personhood in this murky, indelicate manner. Damned harpy is what he thought of her at that moment, the bitter bile was tempting to burst forth from his clenched lips, bright red from pressing so firmly together, fleshy tectonic plates shattering into each other.

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