Monday, April 17, 2006

The shape of a heart

I drove past the old house today. It's the house I grew up in; the one the 'Rents sold to us shortly after we got married.

I hadn't driven past it in three years. Not through trying, but because my daily life doesn't take me to that end of town any longer.

The Erstwhile Hub and the Erstwhile Best Buddy are living there, still. Shortly after I left, and she left, she moved back in.

It was a time I can't forget
Full of sorrow and regret
And the shape of a heart
And the shape of a heart

There were two things left that I cared about, the dog that I saved that I left behind, because it was better for him, and the rose bush that had grown as tall as the second-story windows when Mom and Dad bought the place.

Why did you paint the walls?
Why did you clean the floor?
Why did you plaster over the hole I punched in the door?
This is where we used to live.

I walked around to the back fence (stalking behavior, I know; email me if you're in a chastising mood) to see if the dogs were still there; I guess they'd been taken in for the night.

The rose bush is gone. Dug up, cut down, it doesn't matter. It's gone. All ten feet of it, each way, with blooms that used to come like clockwork in April and again in June and then sometimes in December if it was warm.

these things used to be mine
I guess they still are, I want them back

Now there's nothing that ties me there. For three years or more, I'd assumed that they'd keep the rose bush at least. In some weird sense, I'm free of the two of them, of all the badness that happened unexpectedly after an amicable divorce, when it turned out that he couldn't let go and she was determined to put herself in the right.

That's twelve years of my life you're talking about. Which isn't much, given a life expectancy of 107 years, but it's a lot to me now.

You keep it up
You try so hard
To keep a life from coming apart
And never know
What breaches and faults are concealed
In the shape of a heart

More than twelve years, it's the two people who made me mostly what I am now, more than I ever made myself. I had known her from the time I was 18. She had stood by me, mostly, through the roughest parts of my life and the best. And he was the first person I'd ever met, and so far the only one, that I thought I could stay with until I died.

And I held it in my hand
For a little while
And dropped it into the wall
Let it go, heard it fall

We bought an old house on the Danforth
She loves me and her body keeps me warm
I'm happy here
But this is where we used to live


Only memories, fading memories
Blending into dull tableaux

4 comments:

FREAKOUCUZIMHERE said...

did u do that urself? o wow!

woolywoman said...

Oh. My. God. That you have survived such betrayal speaks to your power as a woman. That you can write about it so that my (currently) well fed heart lurches speaks to your power as a writer.

Kim said...

Powerful. And sad. And yet moving past..

I don't know the whole story and don't need to, you told this so well.

Perhaps the rose bush was not torn down, perhaps it succumbed to age and aphids and had to go.

(And that was not stalking behavior, by the way.)

Anonymous said...

Jesus.