Monday, August 20, 2012

Tour de France

You know that saying “man of few words?”  Well, I’m a woman of many words. Words, communication, conversation, writing...all of it comes easy to me. I tend to over-communicate with my fiancé, my friends, my family, even my boss. I find there are far fewer regrets with those you love; almost no “I wish I had said it when” moments when you just come out with it and move on. But when things are really heavy, when I should be able to talk more than ever, when I need to talk more than ever, I can’t seem to find the words. I can’t even find a train of thought to sort through. It’s as if the emotions come so fast that they slam into each other from behind and underneath and every fathomable angle. The feeling reminds me of those Tour de France cyclists that would end up tangled and twisted into an impenetrable wreck after some idiot press car nipped one rider with his side view mirror on a sharp turn.

My parents have been married for over 35 years. When it’s all done, maybe 36. I found out a year ago. I still feel like I've been nipped on a sharp turn.It still seems as if one day they were holding hands and the next day they were oceans away from each other. They didn’t come out and say it was over. I had to ask. And when I did, my mother simply said their love was then, and this – this separate life - is now.

I didn’t cry. I just hung up the phone, walked into my office building, sat down and started working. I didn’t think about it for days. I just went about my business in a little bit of a daze. Then I realized I should tell B. So I told him and turned around and left the room to start dinner. He came into the kitchen after me, waiting for the words to start pouring out of me like they always did. He looked at me, waited. The words didn't come. So he asked if I was OK and I cried in his arms and then I finished cooking dinner.I got mascara all over his white t-shirt. I didn’t say much for the rest of the night. It took me another week to say it out loud. When I did, I was a woman of very few words. I think it was sometime in that 2nd or 3rd week that I Googled “adult child of divorced parents.” I thought there might be something wrong with me because I couldn’t find any words when I thought of their faces or their life together or our family the way it used to be. I actually Googled it.

I never thought this would happen. Never. There were things I knew, things I didn’t; sides of stories I heard; sides I never will. As a child, a teenager, a woman, there were certainly signs that this might happen someday. I never saw them. I never saw them.

Now I’m stuck with this big, dense, thick brick of stuff I have no idea how to sort through. I just keep thinking of the Tour de France and all those sharp turns and tangled cyclists and I hope I’m blessed with better eyesight in the future than I was in the past.

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