The Dresser

A friend help me realize something yesterday.

I’m living in a tomb.  The whole house, to some extent, but….

Specifically, my bedroom is a tomb.

I didn’t realize this was contributing to my sadness, until my friend told me, in no uncertain terms, that my bedroom dresser, my ex’s since childhood, has to go.  I’ve filled up his drawer, so it’s not like I keep pulling open a rectangular chasm, a clothes less pit. Yet there it sits, prominent in my bedroom, a testimony to his childhood and the fact that I, we, let it into an adult bedroom.  For years we also slept in his double bed from high school. For years.  Don’t misunderstand me, the furniture, while not valuable in and of itself, was good solid wood.   They had belonged to his grandparents.  But we spent money on other things. It’s interesting that we ignored the bedroom.

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I wonder if my rising sadness about a miserable sex life had me go out and pick a king size bed about eight or nine years ago.  That  high school bed was about staying in high school.  Now that might mean sneaky, fun sex, or it could mean…this is where I read my books and avoided dating the girls my mom suggested.  I somehow think it was the latter.  To me it meant crowded, which was fun when the girls were little, but got more and more annoying.  I finally broke down and bought a nice big bed.

I kept the dresser.

I can’t really afford new furniture. I really can’t.  But that bedroom has the same color paint on the walls, the same dresser, the same ugly as sin oak wooden bookshelf (that was just a mistake of the nineties, I should have thought more about it). There’s a store here in my city that virtually gives away furniture, and I’m going to check out both locations. My friend has offered to help me paint the walls. I can list the bookshelf and the dresser, or my ex can come and get them.  He probably won’t , so I’ll sell them.

How I neglected my needs for intimacy! I’m astounded, and sad.   I honestly thought I was keeping up…but my heart says “no, you weren’t”.  And I have to remember, oh please don’t let me forget, that it wasn’t all up to me, all my fault.  Those thoughts lead to the despair I experience each day, my fruitless search for all my sins that leave me here alone.

Again, I am in tears.

Retrospect, retrospect.  The reconstruction of reality.  I realize I never saw much affection between my parents; was surprised one day to find them holding hands.  Two other friends tell funny stories of their parents “taking naps” which they knew, after a time, were not really naps.  Was I taught that sex dies in marriage?  Implicitly?

My heart was yearning, and I cuddled my girls. He would hold out his hand, formally, in an imitation of his parents as they drove in the car. He tried that with me, and I was repelled.  He was reaching out, but it wasn’t him, it was “this is what parents do when they drive their car”…oh I don’t know, maybe that wasn’t at all what he meant.   Maybe he just wanted to hold my hand.

What happens between two people?  What is it?

That is the road to nowhere.  My perceptive friend is right.. The dresser goes. I’ll find some recycled paint for the walls.  If I am to stay here, (and I’m yet undecided), the tomb must disappear and life must be restored, even if it’s only ever for me.  My dues have been paid, please universe forgive me:

For what I’ve done to myself.

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