The evening had been.. boring. It was one of those nights where we each had different ideas of what would be fun, and so we went to bed with barely smothered resentments on his part, and frustration on mine. So I was not surprised to wake up and find Patch still mad.
Usually, I stay in bed until he leaves for work and then get up and go about my morning routine. I try to wake up just before he goes, so I can wish him a good day, but everything seems to go more smoothly when we don’t overlap much while we try to get ready for our various jobs. Usually. This morning I woke up early, probably because of the waves of resentment Patch was putting off.
In retrospect, when he noticed I was awake and asked how I was doing, I should have addressed the issues of the brewing argument. Unfortunately, I first took a snapshot assessment of my bodily condition, and only said I was feeling bruised and battered. Now, a morning of bruised and battered can mean any number of things, maybe I didn’t get enough sleep, or I’m hung over, but this morning, I had a niggling feeling that it meant I was about to have a bad morning with my lovely chronic disease. Better not to think about it, if I can maintain that floating half asleep state, I can sometimes put off the rolling jabs of pain which are all too often a part of my morning routine. Better to wait until Patch is gone and I have the bathroom to myself before I let the pain run its course. So when he asks why I’m feeling battered, I don’t make apologies for whatever infractions I made the night before, I just float, grasping whateverwisps of sleep are still hanging around, and holding them tight against the moment when he is gone.
I watch him through half shuttered eyes, and by now I’m conscious enough to come up with the right arguments to make him feel guilty about his own share of the previous evening’s dullness, but I know him well enough to know that he’ll have equally good jabs, so I don’t bother saying any of them. I need to stay still, let him finish dressing so that he will go. He’s putting on blue jeans and a silky brown shirt, both of which look amazingly good on him, but he’s too mad for me to tell him so. The colors remind me of Uncle Alex from Eight Cousins, so I briefly allow myself to wonder what Patch would be like if he suddenly had to raise a little girl on his own. I contemplate ways of engineering such a future, as an experiment, but reject all the ideas I come up with because in none of them would I get to watch and satisfy my curiosity; besides, in all of them I’d have to leave him, and I’m not ready to do that.
Eventually he leaves, and I take a little guilty satisfaction in not wishing him a good day, but that satisfaction is fleeting because as soon as the door closes, I hop up and make a mad dash for the bathroom. This is my private time, and I can whine and complain about how much it hurts, and generally revel in self-pity. I try not to whine so much in public, even the tiny public that is Patch, because I like to pretend that I am stronger than that. (I know I fail, often.)
I pass more digested food than blood, so I count myself healing again. With the usual morning cycles settling in, I finally have time to really worry about the impending fight. I turn things over in my mind and decide that it was probably just one of those unfortunate coincidences of contrary expectations, and I don’t have to wallow in guilt all day. Deciding to let go of the guilt doesn’t really take away the tension, and I have to hold myself back from making plans to pick up flowers and dinner on the way home to make amends. There needs to be a fight, and presents won’t change that.
I have to be in to work early, but I have time so I play a little Soul Caliber III. Patch and I have a play date, and he has intimated that it would be in my best interest to get some practice. He thinks I hate losing more than I do. I mean, nobody really likes losing, but I know that his sense of me is that I get tired of the game and quit when I lose. In actual fact, I always stop playing on a loss because I want to let my opponent end on an up note. Combine that with the fact that I just don’t have the attention span to play Soul Caliber for four hours straight, and the grumbling about how badly I play, and I know exactly where he gets this impression of me.
All too soon I’m making a mad rush for the door. Keys, pager, don’t need the pager, lunch, fuck lunch, I can eat out one day a week, say goodbye to the kitties.
My car always makes me smile. I climb in, turn the key, and “Be My Yoko Ono,” by Barenaked Ladies starts playing. It’s a mix that Patch made, and it loosely follows the ups and downs of a relationship. Finally the stress of the impending fight eases. We’ll make it through this one, just like all the others. I pull into work to the strains of, “The Little Things,” from Company.