Doing it again

Still sickly today. Hurts to swallow. Poor me.

Here's a slightly bigger bite from my second chapter.

My new husband missed meaning in my words at crucial moments. Sometimes my efforts to communicate felt like embracing a dense fog bank.

I told Tim how timid I felt during his 24-hour duty nights. He had to spend them on base tending the USS Grayling’s nuclear reactor. I tried going to bed before sunset those nights, so they would pass quickly. But I always awoke at 3:00 a.m., tense, fearing every noise in the dark.

“I wish we had more time together,” I summed up when relating my woes to Tim.

“You need to get out and make girlfriends,” Tim said.

I seethed. He was supposed to reach for me, cup my chin, whisper comfort in one ear. “I’m sorry,” he’d say in my imagined script. “You’re going through a lot to be with me. I appreciate you.”

It didn’t help matters that Tim’s idea of doing right by me translated into buying on credit a 1968 Mustang, the type of car he’d always wished he owned, and then spending most free hours of our initial married months at the base auto hobby shop rebuilding the engine.

The car was for me to drive, so I knew I should be happy. But even after he finished its engine and we paid back the loan, I harbored a civil resentment.

Our neighbor Bob died in early October. Tim and I spent our spare moments with the family and attended his funeral. Grabbing hold of such reality – the death of a regular guy I’d just met – loomed beyond my aptitude.

Somewhere around Halloween I perched on Gail’s sofa. As she handed me tea I asked how she was today.

“I go back to my office tomorrow,” she said. Long-worked fingers gripped her mug. Her eyes, though red-rimmed, shown clear. “I wouldn’t really have to, you know. Bob provided well for his family.” She squared her shoulders. “Thank God. But I miss him.”

Gail’s older daughter Kari sat on my other side. She pulled her knees to her chest and plucked at tassels on a pillow. “Deanna,” she said, “why did God let my daddy die?”

I was pea soup. I didn’t know.


DeadMansHonda said…
Oh I like this! I want more Deanna! So fascinating and so easy to relate to your journey...thanks for being so open and honest.
Ruth said…

You write so well. I really am looking forward to reading your entire book! Sometime I'd love to talk to you more in person about some of the topics you've addressed. Hopefully in the New Year we will run into each other at critique again sometime!

Joy and peace this Christmas,

Deanna said…
Thanks for reading, both of you. I will continue ambling and bumbling my way through, and whenever the time's right will give you more to endure and/or enjoy (and yes, Ruth, I'd love to chat with you sometime :o)).