“What are you doing?”
The question hangs there a moment. it is my wife that’s asking, but it’s a question I have been posing to myself a lot lately.
“I don’t know.” I answer.
We are in the kitchen, the day after my first Facebook post, and she’s putting things away where they go. She’s always doing this, always putting things neatly away in boxes and drawers. It’s as though she possesses an innate sense of knowing where things belong in life, from salad plates to marriages. To know where things belong and to be able to put them there: it must be a relief of sorts. I try and share this thought, but it comes out wrong and she rolls her eyes.
“I really don’t know what I’m doing” I say “It’s just something I have to do, I think.”
“Well, it’s pretty weird, dude,” she responds.
“Weird” used to be a badge of honor for her, for us. I almost say this, too, but don’t. Everything is just coming out wrong lately. I’ll say something that I want to share and she won’t get it, or at least says she doesn’t get it. Then I’ll try and explain, but by then it’s done. We never had to explain things before, even when we didn’t understand. Our hearts, or something better than words, would fill in the rest. Dissonance was welcome. All the music and movies we spent hours and years sharing with each other and with our friends all had an abstract quality. It evoked emotion and did not beg for rational thought or meaning. There’s always enough to be thought out and processed in the daily minutiae of life. We always welcomed the chance to wrestle with randomness.
“It’s about me, though.” I said.
I know she thinks I’m just trying another way to get to her with this Facebook stuff. And while that may be a part of it, it is not the sole purpose. I feel she has been systematically disconnecting from me for the last year; wiping herself and her surroundings of my fingerprints. I can’t blame her for trying to create an identity apart from “Chris and Mandy”. But when she couldn’t, she just got sad or angry.
“It’s our life, our shit. And it’s sad. I don’t know why you want to share it.”
I didn’t either, but I can’t seem to help it.
“I’m open and I can’t close,” I say.
I understand what she’s saying. It isn’t completely fair, whatever it is I’m doing. It exposes her when I write about us. But, even if I don’t mention her, she is just as present by her absence. There is no way to tell my story without including her in some way. I tell her I’ll do what I can to limit her direct exposure. But I know it’s a lie. Maybe not a lie, but a promise I can’t keep.
“Why don’t you just put it in the ‘notes’ section instead of your ‘About Me’?” she suggests, offering a different place for me to post my Facebook missives. “No one looks there.”
“All right,” I relent.
Turns out put people do look there though.