Saturday, April 26, 2008
Psychic FartsRemember my co-conspirator? The man in my life with whom I have started to breathe in tandem?
We have hit the danger zone. The point in all new relationships -- usually occurring about the 2 - 3 months mark, in my experience -- where suddenly the transparency starts to wear off.
You know what I'm talking about. It's that feeling you get when you first fall in love and every thought just flows completely seamlessly between the two of you. "I and my beloved are one." It's such a lovely feeling. You both marvel at the juiciness of the strawberries. You see the same shooting stars. You know, without a doubt, what the other is thinking at every moment of the day. And the blissfully transcendent part of that is... is that you're right. You DO know what the other is thinking. Your souls ARE commingled. It's heady, druggy, surreal and marvelously real stuff.
And then there's that moment. It's that moment when you look at the other person and you have no clue... NO clue... who he is, what he's he's thinking, what he's doing, or how he even got there in the first place. It's like a bad science fiction shot where suddenly the protagonist is wearing some hideously disfiguring mask and the heroine looks at him and scrapes at her face in screaming horror. Oh NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!! It cannot BEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!
The transparency has been replaced by profound confusion and obscurity. Nothing makes sense anymore. You start to order iced tea for him -- because that's what he ALWAYS drinks and that's what you've ALWAYS done -- and he looks at you with disdain and orders lemonade. Or you order lemonade -- because he ALWAYS like to change things up and last time he ordered iced tea -- and he looks at you with disdain and orders iced tea. The rules are upside down, insane. And you feel like you've been slipped crazy pills and stuck in the wrong story with the wrong man. And you have a horrible feeling that it's going to have the wrong ending as well.
We found that spot last week. It was at Islands with the kids. I came out of the rest room and saw him looking out the window idly. And I could plainly see a huge thought bubble coming out of his head. A thought bubble that said "Is that all there is?" I fast forwarded, on his behalf, through the next forty years of our mutual lives together and could hear him screaming inside. It was going to be decades of this Islands, these teenagers, this tired old woman, this endless grinding choice between iced tea and lemonade.
The Precipitating Incident happened within the next hour. He said something that hurt my feelings. I mentioned it later. He got mad. Suddenly we're in uncharted territory: Our First Fight.
I'll spare you the details. It included the usual pieces on my part: lots of words, not enough words, and a migraine. I don't know his usual pieces, yet, but both of us processed a lot. And to our credit we delved in, did the analysis and soul searching and apparently have come out the other side intact.
And this is what I wrote him this morning: It kind of doesn't matter where that "is that all there is" aroma came from the other night. He could've been feeling trapped first, or I could have. When two people are dancing so closely together, it's hard to tell who originates and who projects. Whatever it is, and whoever the psychic fart emanates from, it becomes collectively apparent fairly immediately. On some level it really doesn't matter who starts up the music... because we're both going to start swaying in time to it in relatively short order.
It's a rite of passage, this ability to be more fully human. Thankfully (I say this with all sincerity) we're working on the psychic and not physical level yet, in terms of holding and releasing our inner gases... but it's a big step. There's stuff inside that needs to come out at times.
I have no good solutions as to how to best navigate this dark ugly stuff. But I do know it has to come out at some point, otherwise everyone's uncomfortable and it gets out anyway. To totally belabor this ridiculously gross metaphor (and then I'll stop, I promise), I think the key here is honesty and breathing room. And compassion for everyone's humanity. We all have our secret thoughts. We all have our moments of wanting an escape, even from things that we love. We (sorry, really, this is the last one) all gorge on the pleasures of life and sometimes we eat too fast. Sometimes we don't give ourselves time to digest. And sometimes we just are victims of our own unconscious reflexes.
Breathing room and honesty. And a sense of humor, that helps too. If I figure out where to find some psychic Bean-o, I'll let you know. I promise.
# posted by Katherine Doughtie Nolan @ 8:30 AM 3 comments