23 Jan 2012

Sleeping with the frenemy

When it finally happened, it was a bit of an anti-climax. It wasn't brought on by one of us walking in on the other in the shower with a stranger, or the sudden discovery of a criminal alter-ego. No love-child hidden away under the basement, no re-kindling of flames past. What brought the cards tumbling down was the gentle (or not-so-gentle, if you want her opinion) sound of my contented sleep. And all I wanted was a passionate, fiery, dramatic break-up.

I looked it up: the love-doctors can’t even converge on a collective, all-encompassing medical term for it. It doesn’t even have a name! You'd think after three years of spending every waking moment together (if not physically, then at least emotionally- on skype, facebook, g-talk!)  I could come up with something more poignant than snoring to cause a loved one sleepless nights. That's a treacherous blow to your self-worth. You stood strong; you were her rock, her pillar, while everybody around you seemingly plumbed new depths of moral depravity. You stayed up nights to help her prepare for bar exams in a language you don't speak, you feigned weekly relish after meals of badly boiled cabbage and poorly pastry. After all that, surely the least she could have done was cop off with your best friend?

I wonder if we all go through relationships in the hope of a spectacular severance. Do you nourish and nurture your relationship like an unreasonable plant that blooms only once? Do you fantasize daily of the grand finale - do you wonder every day what will set it off? Do you plan furtively to ensure it's everything you hope for? Do you sow seeds of jealousy, sprinkle opportunities for self-doubt in your partner to ensure it’s must-see TV? Do you rush through the main-meal in a tearing hurry to get to the dessert, the piece de resistance?

I invested three years in that woman - she had it all, everything your philosophy and your literature will tell you guarantees just that. I had a novel riding on that woman - my 'Love In The Time Of Cholera', my homage to the great romances. And what does she do? She throws it away on something as mundane and un-spectacular as sleep pattern. See, the average German woman sleeps 7.1 hours a day. Leni approximates that my snoring wakes her up once every fifty-five minutes. It takes her between twelve and sixteen minutes -to roll me over, wake me up and roll me over, or scream into my ear and leave the room - each time. Considering we spend roughly seven to eight hours between “good night “ and “good morning”, that doth not a very productive day make for a working woman. So what does she do? She dumps me. But let’s start at the beginning.

*Prologue to Exes and Sevens. More excerpts here.


goatman said...

Tis a bitch, but hardly a deal breaker.
I say good riddance!

red dirt girl said...

I don't know, goatman ... it really does seem like the most inane issue ends up being the one that breaks the camel's back. I think about my own marriage: all those resentments tangling up with each other, gathering speed as the years go by, until one day, it's all sitting there on the edge of the precipice of stay or go ... so what tilts the ball over the edge? snoring ....? or in my case the "weekly budget meeting" ....

I remember sitting there, seething, as I had done every week for years, and it snapped into place for me: I had had enough. So I told him. And he laughed. He really thought I was being DRAMATIC... Until he discovered the lawyer's fee on his charge card.

THEN the great fireworks started.


red dirt girl said...

Icy !

Add Kay Ryan to your must read poets list:

Chinese Foot Chart

Every part of us
alerts another part.
Press a spot in
the tender arch and
feel the scalp
twitch. We are no
match for ourselves
but our own release.
Each touch
uncatches some
remote lock. Look,
boats of mercy
embark from
our heart at the
oddest knock.

~ from The Best of It


Sanjana said...

Is this fiction, or did this really happen to you?! (my first time here, sorry if I'm being ignorant, I'll look around in a bit and see if I can find out more!)

Whether it's fact or fiction, it's rather well written! :)

icyhighs said...

Touche Goatman, but I (ermmm, the 'protagonist' )didn't mind being dumped, he just wanted a cinematic blood-and-guts breakup.

Red, you hit the nail on the spot. I'm hoping as the story unfolds, our hero will realize why they really broke up, and hopefully grow up a little in the process. (So it's not the most innovative story.) We'll see.

I do feel for you -a divorce is tough under any circumstances- but I kinda understand why he couldn't take you seriously when you first told him. Men, I find, are just not conditioned to pick up on the 'resentments' building up. When we're told you're ok after an argument, we really believe you're ok. So, it really does seem like you want to break up over a quirk (weekly budget/snoring) rather than all the issues that have accumulated over the years. I'm verging on sitcom-psychology territory here so I'm going to stop!

icyhighs said...

Thanks Sanjana, and its not really fact, its just a story I'm writing that I hope will turn into a novel at some point.

goatman said...

I see now how accumulation of incidents or situations or tiny insults can cause a major change.
It is not just one thing that decides, in most cases. There is always a backup story.
I guess I always knew that -- thanks for pointing it out.