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Crash. Into Me.

August 10, 2007 | Category: In My Life

You've got your ball,
You've got your chain
Tied to me tight, tie me up again.
Who's got their claws
In you my friend?
Into your heart I'll beat again
Sweet like candy to my soul
Sweet you rock,
And sweet you roll
Lost for you, I'm so lost for you
Oh, and you come crash
into me*

It seems inevitable now, looking around me at all I have not done and wished I had and all I thought I could but never did.

Inevitable that so much wouldn't get done. That the race-fast years of having to be it all and do it all would give way to a quieter, slower, less-productive phase.

I am a failed SuperWoman. Failed.

Terrifying, to look around and see what needs to be done...stupefying. My energy sluices to my feet and the clock races with my heartbeats. Time, literally, flown.

Look back.

Listen to the song start. The up and down and strum of it. Sip iced coffee that drips into my lap. Shiver in the heat.

Remembering. In November, 2004, we hit bottom. The lawyer on retainer; divorce imminent. The life we'd built in tatters around us.

How we crawled back from that, I am still not sure. Slowly, painfully.

Who thought after all those times he rocked between failure and nothingness, wrapped up like blankets over his mind... that I would spend this summer failing him?

But I have.

I've been so lost for trying.

And then the stretchy skipped-along day curves into a soft afternoon. Bathing suit dripping in the shower. New freckles on our noses.

Then. Then, he comes in the door. Long and lean and his bag over one shoulder. Sunglasses reflecting the late summer sun, his strong jaw and the pressed neatness of his shirt.

Then he walks in and my heart leaps and then, I can.

For you, I can.

He crashes into me. And another slips between. And another. Lips and arms tangling. Fingers seeking. Giggling and kissing and that puppy's nose is....

"Daddy!" Rough shadow scraping our cheeks.

And he piles dog and boy in front of transforming television superheroes before coming back for me.

With those eyes naked to me now.

For you, I can.

I don't know how to even get there. To where we need to be. How to to get from here to there. And I have just about fallen apart in the past months, with fear of the unknown. Even though it was me that insisted we steer this ship in that direction.

Touch your lips just so I know
In your eyes, love, it glows so
I'm bare-boned and crazy... for you.
Oh, and you come crash into me*

What's next? I beg him, pulling into myself on the couch. Crumbling, shaking. At the end. Giddy with it, full of hope and loathing.

I don't know, he says.

Where's next?

I don't know.

I'm afraid.

Me, too.

I gave up on you once.

No, you didn't.

I gave up on us. How did I do that? God... I...

No, you didn't. I'm here. You're here. We're a family. Still. Again. We're a family. And it's going to be all right.

It's not. We're going to have so little left. Because I failed you. I failed....


I'm so sorry....

No. Don't be.

I'm so sorry. I was so sure, and I made these decisions. And I said... and then, it was me, me who failed you. The spackling, and the laundry, and I was supposed to paint, and God....


Look around! See what a wreck I've made of our....

Shhh. Don't look there. That's just stuff. That's just money. Listen.

I am so...

Shhh. Listen. Are we together? Are we a family?


Are we?


Will we be together?


And do you forgive me? For back then?

Yes. Oh, yes. And do you....

Yes. So we pack. We spackle. We ask for help. And we get as much done as we can. And we sell. And whatever is left over, we finish starting. Only, this time with some closet space - OK?

What if we have to rent?

So, we rent.

What if I have to go back to work?

So, you work.

What if....?

Shh. It's going to be all right.


It's going to be all right.

Then he wipes away my tears and opens his arms to me. I nod. And a little, I believe. And a little bit, I can breathe. The lines at the corners of my lips are from the thousands of smiles we have shared. And from the thousands of times I have frozen, trying not to cry.

It's going to be all right, he promises.

We have had a lifetime, now, together. And I want another. And another. I hike up my skirt and give him a watery smile.

Everything is going to be all right, he repeats.

Long fingers catch my tears. I know he's as afraid as I am, but right now you can't see it. Right now, he speaks to me and everything that matters is in that faith.

I want to hide myself. For being weak, for being frozen, for all the days I have let us down. I want to say I'm sorry some more, as if it would matter.

And his face is forgiveness. And his skin is home. And his arms are still open, waiting.

And I crash. Into him.

*(Dave Matthews Band)

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Wow. Just wow. I'm breathless...

Posted by: sue on August 13, 2007 09:50 AM

Elizabeth, this is beautiful. And so brave to share...

The trials, like this, make it all the sweeter years down the road when you realize you both have made it.

Keep walking. Keep breathing. Together. Keep crashing into each other.

Posted by: Janie on August 11, 2007 09:37 PM

Incredible, Elizabeth. Thank you for opening up your soul for us, and in such beautiful words!

Posted by: Tammy on August 10, 2007 07:13 PM