Stockholm Syndrome

Sean Daly

I hadnt talked to her in days and wasnt going to start now no way cant believe she threw a bowl of oatmeal at me like that good thing I ducked no telling what might have happened could have been warm mealy lumps hanging from my hair honey dripping from my brow could have killed her after that and been justified in doing so and all of it over something now I cant even remember what it was doesnt matter but Im gonna suffocate her with silence to teach her not to mess with me and go on pretending she isnt ever there not even under the bed covers next to me but I guess I cant hit her or nothing not this neighborhood not a man of my stature so Ill just go on and on like we do even though it makes me so mad I could fuckin scream but I wont instead Ill sleep like a baby tonight I can tell you that much and I hope I sleep sound and hope I snore to high heaven Ill tell you thats my deepest wish but if I do I know she wont tell me because she would never admit that the silence is hurting her in any way that its destroying her wonder-woman insides while I go from one day to the next pretending to be unaffected and happy as a clam never better working away feeding the family greeting the neighbors paying the bills watching the games on TV getting it all done and then going to sleep with not so much as an acknowledgment not a single word or even a look in her direction not a hope for something better and for sure no reconciliation until she knows Im serious that she cant just do her ranting and raving and finger pointing and flinging bowls of oatmeal and get away with it and now that shes asleep her back is to me the bed sheet dipping just below the flat line of her shoulder blade showing a little soft skin that I miss the touch of and she smells like some kind of flower whose name escapes me and the way her neckline dips toward her shoulder and the shape of the white bed sheet running down her back and then up again to her perfect hips oh how Id love to forget everything Ive worked for over the last couple of days capitulate and throw in the towel hoist the white flag forgive and forget and press up against the nameless parts of her body that I only know by touch like the back of her knees or the small of her back above her ass the round curvature of her pelvis where the skin is stretched against bone it would be so easy to roll over and hug her but Im not there yet not going to do it even though I feel a lock of her hair touching my shoulder and that little touch of hair makes me wonder is it intentional and then I hear her breathing her gentle snore finding a rhythm and I know what a fool I am as I roll closer to her mirroring her same shape like a Gothic letter but staying barely inches away even though I want so much to hold her I take in a deep breath and throw my arm over her shoulder while rolling over in one continuous motion like its a mistake a natural movement of sleep and I tuck my legs into hers wedging my hand between her breasts like its just another night and were snuggling up and then her snoring stops and my heart stops I know what she thinking whats up with his dumb ass now but after a bit of a pause she rubs her callused heel along my shin back and forth which is a sign in the unspoken language that weve developed over the years and then she turns toward me and we embrace like normal and she slips the tips of her fingers down the curvature on my back along the bottom of my spine and then beneath the elastic of my boxers pulling me closer with both hands so I peel off her top and after she does one of our rehearsed moves we both know that its going to be like its hot and like its the first time when we were walking on the beach that night and our clothes disappeared unscripted in a flurry of hands and flailing limbs and the ice inside me making me feverish moving my hands to her favorite spots and remembering what she likes and what I like and the feel of her body beneath me is like feeling something both divine and everyday like sunlight when you are cold and the taste of good water when you are thirsty and now we are working into our motions and Im thinking what a stupid prick Ive been even though there is still not an intelligible word between us and God why cant we do this every night and the thought of it and the sound of her soft groaning helps me feel forgiven for all the silence and the movement of her body that is heaving something primal now and me wanting everything for her until we find the ending and we kiss which is the most personal part not to be rushed our wet mouths opened wide like we are screaming like we just cant open ourselves up any more and get enough of each other and its this part the denouement that makes me want to cry the part right before the end before the great moment and then the little death and the vulnerability and the thinking about the shame of the days of silence and then the long pause before the rolling off and the gathering of our thoughts before her starting to inch away back to the same position she was over there in on her side of the bed her back to me a little to quickly for my liking but calling for my arm to be wrapped around her in the darkness of a moonless night saying nothing of course but I know she thinks she has somehow let herself down in a way I cant understand a way she expressed maybe a month ago when things were calm and we were feeding the baby together and that memory makes me think about this crazy merry-go-round we are on the fighting and silence followed by sex over and over without so much as talking about whatever the thing was and me thinking we cant go on like this but I know shes feeling cheap for caving in like shes been duped but her breathing is quiet and peaceful as she falls asleep again and still not a word between us.

Copyright 2009. All rights reserved.

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