I’ve held on to anger for a long time. Anger’s been my friend. It’s showed me what I no longer have to put up with, it’s fueled the changes I’ve had to make and kept me moving in the direction of freedom. Anger wore the combat boots, the fuck-you t-shirt. Anger wasn’t afraid of tattoos (Anger loves needles) or driving really fast. Anger’s unfolded the road map and said, “Here. Here’s where you need to go. Let’s pick up a few friends and I’ll navigate! Beer’s on me!”
But lately, Sadness has shown up at the door. It knocks politely (we don’t have a doorbell) and waves as I walk toward the glass storm door. Would you like to come in? Now’s not really a good time. Sometimes, late at night, I’ll allow it to visit. As long as it’s gone by morning. Sadness and I like to have little trysts, little one-night stands. I noticed, when I spelled ‘tryst’ wrong that ‘triste’ is sad in French. Yeah. So I can say the word in two languages. Go me and my feelings!
I think, though, that once I’m alone – uncoupled, no longer cohabitating (the kids stay!) – that Sadness will show up unannounced and demand to stay a while. I’ll have to feed it dinner and offer it dessert. Possibly give it wine. We might sit at the kitchen table and discuss the situation over a bottle or two well into the night. I can only hope that it’ll give me the hug I haven’t had in years, and sympathize with my plight. Maybe I’ll even get a kiss. I’ve forgotten what that’s like: to be kissed, to be comforted.
To be loved.
Soon, Sadness will be welcomed with open arms. I’m overdue in the emotional realm and I do have something to mourn. Something real. Something I thought I might get to keep to forever but life doesn’t always deal you a royal flush. Sometimes you’re stuck with a two that counters your pain with its own, a four that ignores you, a jack that snores and two eights that can only be expected to do but so much housework before needing a rest. You have to give up whatever you put in the kitty and call it a night. You have to fold while you’re ahead, lay your head on the table (the table you get to keep; the chairs you’ll have to replace) and cry.
And Sadness will be there with a kind word and a warm arm across your shoulder. He’ll fill your glass up and wait until you’re done. He might be here a while. I think I’ll mail him a house key now.