Constance's Denial

October 15, 2010
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May 19, 2010

Hello, love. How have you been lately? I’m sure you’re wonderful, as usual. I’m doing fine myself. With you having been gone, it seems I don’t have much to do these days. Our house is the cleanest it has been in a long time, with every corner and crease in the walls and furniture standing without a speck of dust to tarnish its shine. I’ve been seemingly officious toward my friends, and while this has spurred their curiosity, they don’t ask many questions. It seems to be a fear of theirs—asking me questions. It’s almost as if by raising a question, they’ll be unearthing some malicious toxicity lying in wait, temporarily dormant, under the soil of my fragile self-control and patience. So they politely tell me that they are lacking nothing, but assure me that if a need should arise, they will call me. We both know they won’t. I like it this way, though. I have no important things to do than answer their questions. I’m getting along just fine on my own. You know I’ve taken up pottery-making? It’s true, and I enjoy it. It allows me to be completely in control, channeling all of my power and control into forming a perfect piece of pottery. I can make something beautiful. I can make something useful. You would be proud of me. I laugh to think of your amused expression should you suddenly walk in one day and see a piece of pottery alighting every shelf and table of the house. You would ask where the pieces came from, and I would tell you I crafted them with my own hands. Your eyebrows would rise, and so would the corners of your mouth, and your face would soften into that beautiful surprised smile of yours, and my heart would become as malleable as the clay.

So there the pieces of pottery will sit ‘til you walk through our door. But enough about what I’ve made. Just to let you know, love, your saw horses are still propped up in the garage right where you left them. That way, when you come home, you can begin working on our office bookshelves again. I know they’ll be beautiful when you finish. The pencil marks are still circled onto our wall to mark into where the nails will be hammered. Oh, and the wood stain is in the top left cabinet next to your spackle. I never got to tell you that I bought it before you left. I won’t let anyone touch it until you return. I know one morning I’ll wake up to the sound of your power saw tearing through the fibers of the wood, spitting sawdust into the air around you like a cloud of smoke. So until then, I still wake up, wrap myself in my bathrobe and pad my way down the driveway to collect the newspaper and put it at our kitchen table where you like to read it.

James came by the other day. He offered a bouquet of flowers and a kiss on the cheek, both of which I accepted, and I promptly filled one of the vases I’ve made with water. With our new flowers brightening up our bay window, I sighed and placed my hands on my hips and asked him how he was. He told me he was doing alright—still adjusting, but more importantly, how am I doing? I told him I’ve been taking pottery classes. He seemed vaguely interested in my newest hobby, simply uttering a “That’s good.” He then probed deeper, unafraid of what the touch-sensitive bomb inside of me might do. I was very friendly, though, continuously commenting about the lovely weather we’ve been having (it honestly has been marvelous, and I know you’d be let down to know what you’re missing) and how beautiful the flowers I planted last season are beginning to look. After a while, he gave up, and sensing a purposelessness to his presence in our house, he told me how beautiful my pottery was and how be best be going—Danielle would be coming home with dinner soon. I opened the front door and swung it open for him to leave, but he paused a moment. He started dead straight into the soul of my eyes, and I paused. He searched until he found the tiniest display of sorrow, grief, and mourning. With a hug and another kiss on the cheek, he assured me that he was here if I needed anything, and that I shouldn’t hesitate if I needed to talk to someone. I thanked him and told him that I appreciate it, and with a kind and polite smile, I shut the door behind him. James is still loyal to you, love. As we knew he would be. He and Danielle are such good friends to us. He’s not like the obnoxious women at the country club who futilely attempt to hush their whispers about accidents with their hands bridging the gap from their mouths to another’s ear. Their stares are the worst, though. I can feel them boring holes into the back of my skull when I turn the corner. I can’t wait for the tennis league to end. I’m tired of their stupidity. You were never a fan of them anyway. They drive away in their prestigious cars, tires spinning like their heads do at the thought of a real world existing beyond their manicured lawns and rod-iron fences. If only they knew just how real the world is, where one minute you have something in your hands and the next you discover that it has gone, having slipped from your fingers. You find yourself unable retrieve it, asking yourself why you hadn’t gripped it tighter.

But I should be going. I don’t want to keep you. I’m sure you’re busy, accomplishing amazing things and brightening everyone’s day. Get back to me when you can. I’ll be waiting for you.

With all of my heart,

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