Photo credit : © Borjairas | Dreamstime.com – Coca Cola Cans, Coke Photo
She knew I was broken when she met me. Broken, but functioning.
The simplest choices had become agonizing. What to wear in the morning. What to say to someone. What to buy from a vending machine.
She knew all of this about me, but she liked me anyway. In fact, she said she loved me.
I hadn’t heard those words in a long time.
It was like a song you might have heard long ago; the tune seems familiar, now, but you just can’t remember where you heard it, or even, if you liked it. You think maybe you did. I thought maybe I did. Like being loved.
She became my first wife, and part of the choice I made to be with her involved, first, choosing to be, period.
The choice to be. We make it every day.
She, too was broken, by the way: broken into pieces so expertly put back together that only close inspection would show how thorough the shattering had been. But her breaking was, in many ways, more thorough than mine. She thought she was rescuing me by loving me, but she was only building up pressure within herself that eventually gave way, and we gave way with it.
She loved me, she told me at the end, so she thought she could live a straight life. But she was gay, and she was in love with someone else.
So, six years after we each said “I do”, we didn’t.
You won’t read a stream of negative words from me about my ex. She tried her hardest when we were together, and she’s tried hard since then. She already had a son when we met, and we had one together. Both of them are broken, too, in their different ways — particularly the one we had together. Broken but functioning. Moving forward. Choosing to be.
Ours was a tempestuous marriage; our personality types were very similar, both being what might charitably be described as “prone to wide mood swings”. Temperamental. Feisty. Confrontational.
You stand in front of life’s vending machine, and you see all the pretty colors and flavors, and your money goes in, and you push a button.
You make a choice. I made a choice – we made a choice.
We chose to be together. We chose to have a child. We chose to be apart.
We chose to be.
For Nano Poblano this year, I’m trying a prose post a day instead of my usual work in poetry. Thanks for reading. – S.B.