Nov 20, 2006

war stories

We don't talk very often. And we talk even less about real things, things other than the week's menus, or work, or the weather, or... well... that's it really. When we talk about things that matter it is hard. There are scars that I have grown so used to that I forget they are there. Until he calls. Until we talk about real things. All of a sudden I realize I am covered in these scars, I was not born with them, I have not always looked like this. They are the result of years, decades now, of conflict. In this place, this relationship, that should be neutral (like Switzerland), a no fly, safe zone, but this is the battlefield. And I've tried peace talks more times that I can count. I've been careful about the setup of the room, a round table so no one is at the head or "in charge." I've chosen neutral locations, locations on his turf, locations on my turf. I've had strategic planning sessions, utilized script writers, and more self-restraint that I ever thought I had in order to craft perfect peace talks and treaties. I have offered gifts in the form of vulnerability, intimate knowledge of my emotions, given the blueprints to my heart, my mind, my beliefs. The results are always the same. There is a grand gesture of thanks and apology, there are always tears (at least from me). We vow to strive for peace and healing in this land of our relationship. But as the years, battles, scars, and failed attempts at peace treaties increase I realize we are just another war torn nation engaged in ongoing civil war with depleted resources and battle weary troops who grow more reluctant to go into battle each time the call to arms is sounded. And if I have scars from all of these engagements and peace keeping missions I know he is at least as battered and bruised and covered in war wounds. And the shrapnel lodged in my heart may not alert me to oncoming rain storms, but it pulses with each beat of my heart; its presence warning me of upcoming battles like the air raid sirens in London. All I want is to wave the white flag of surrender. At this point I will sign anything to make this war stop. Because what I want is to sit on the porch reminiscing about the war years, and instead I'm nervously awaiting the shrill whine of the air raid sirens deep within my heart or the construction of another Berlin wall separating east from west.

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