Mystic Writer

Peeking out to see if there is a real world out there...

Wednesday, January 19, 2005


The tape machine clicked a couple of times, then Elsa's voice "I don't know what I can do, but I really want to try to make this work. Please MW, just call me. I'll understand if you just want to say goodbye". She started to cry. "Please. Jeffy misses you. I miss you... I love you". The answering machine clicked, then started the next message "Hi MW, It's Pat...". I paused the machine again.

Jeffy and Elsa. Damn. Images of the summer swirled in my head. Wrestling with Jeffy in the grass. Carrying him on my shoulders. Reading him stories and then Elsa and I kissing him goodnight. Elsa and I undressing and getting into bed. I felt like his Dad. I felt like the two of us were parenting together. It felt so good but it always went so bad.

Every couple of weeks something I did would bother her and she would explode in anger. Was it me? Did I love her? Had I ever loved anyone? Maybe the problem was me. The wind rattled the house and I remembered the broken window and soaked floor. My temples pulsed. I needed to talk to someone. I knew I'd never sleep. I dialed Elsa before I could think any more about it.

"Hi Elsa".

"MW? I'm so glad to hear from you. I didn't think you would call...".

"Elsa, I don't know what I'm doing. My car was broken into, my carpet is soaked, and I don't think you and I are good for each other. I miss you and Jeff but I need you to stop calling me" I blurted without thinking.

"What? I miss you too. What about your car?".

I told her about my car and my day and I calmed down a little. She finally ventured "I have an idea for us...".

"What." I replied stonily.

"Maybe we could see a relationship counselor. Maybe we can work through our problems".

All the sudden my head hurt again "Can you hold - I need to think". I set the phone down and started pacing. 'Our problems'... Maybe it was me. Maybe a counselor could help me.

I got back on the phone. "OK, but if that doesn't help or if the counselor thinks we aren't good together I don't want to keep trying. This is too painful Elsa, I can't keep doing this".

"Do you want to come over and we can talk?"

Someone drove a spike into my temple "Elsa, no. I don't want to see you until we meet at the counselors office. Do you have someone in mind?". She said she did. "Why don't you make an appointment and let me know the time" I continued "and I'll see you there. I don't think it's a good idea for us to talk till we've had our appointment".


"Elsa, I like the idea and I have a little hope, but not much. This has been really hard on me. I'm sorry. I need to get going". I trailed off lamely.

"I'm sorry too MW." She replied, and I could tell she was crying again. "I don't want to hurt you. I'll call about the appointment. Bye... I love you...".

"Bye Elsa." I gently hung up the phone. My hands were shaking. Love? Dependency is more like it. Broken people looking for someone to prop them up. I jumped up and paced to my bedroom. I've never loved anyone. No one has ever loved me. Susy? Susy wanted anyone to like her. Jean just wanted to lose her virginity. I was just a body. ...and I just wanted someone to convince me I was good. Damn! I paced back out of the bedroom and glanced at the calendar on the wall. My feet locked and I swayed. I couldn't move and I felt scared. The pressure in my head was unbearable. Love. No one. The calendar. What was it about the calendar? I could feel my brain starting to veer and this time I was able to stop it.

Karen. I waited for the screaming to start, but it didn't. It felt like a long missing tooth, empty and broken, but not painful. Karen. It was Karen's birthday.

My feet walked me back to the phone. I pulled out the phone book. Fred's last name popped into my head and I looked it up. There he was. In fact, they didn't live all that far from me.

Slowly my hand picked up the phone and dialed.


  • At 7:36 AM, Blogger Jexebel said…

    Ugh, relationships are so painfully complicated.

  • At 10:55 AM, Blogger Faye said…

    I totally agree!!!

  • At 6:46 PM, Blogger suki said…

    Sometimes the other person doesn't get the point, but if you are willing to work on it, then all the better.. especially if there were good memories, somewhere mixed in there.

  • At 7:16 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    just reading this, i feel the hurt that must've been overwhelming. i don't know what i would've done in your shoes.


  • At 2:02 PM, Blogger mw said…

    Jexebel and Faye -

    Painful and totally befuddling. I wonder if anyone has a clue on how to run a relationship well. They're probably already taken... :)

    Hi Suki - the story I'm relating her is about 9 years old. The good memories were pretty minimal...

    Hey Alice - It was overwhelming! Good word for it. In a strange way, I believe that I was put in that (mental) place at that time because I had painted myself into a corner - I was comfortable but stagnant. A friend whom I trust completely tells me that growth doesn't have to be painful, but so far in my case it seems that pain is an essential element to motivate me to change.

    Thank you all so much for reading and commenting!



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