He didn’t leave.
Not that day, not that week.
He didn’t even pack.
I wasn’t even sure where the suitcases were.
Are they in the basement or in storage with the summer clothes? Should I offer him one of mine? How does this work?
He was calmly going about his days as if nothing had happened.
And I was slowly going crazy.
I looked up the definition of separation in my computer’s dictionary just to see if somehow Webster had been brought back to life and had decreed that the word actually deemed a new meaning. Maybe there had been a moratorium on the subject and I missed out. Which is why I hadn’t been informed of the fact that the meaning of separation in the english language had now been rescinded, and the new meaning actually was synonymous with change-nothing-in-fact-feign-amnesia-and-act-as-if-nothing-is-wrong-and-maybe-she-won’t-notice.
Stranger things have happened to me, I can assure you.
The dictionary defined the word in this way:
1 the action or state of moving or being moved apart: the damage that might arise from the separation of parents and children.
• the state in which a husband and wife remain married but live apart: legal grounds for divorce or separation | she and her husband have agreed to a trial separation .
Trial separation. What the hell does that even mean?
Hey listen. Let’s pretend to live in separate places for a while and see how we like it.
Wait. That’s it!
Maybe this actually is a trial separation and we’re just pretending to live separately to see how we like it. Makes perfect sense.
That makes absolutely no sense.
Did I mention that I’m slowly going crazy?
I couldn’t take it anymore so I decided to broach the subject with him.
“Hey. So have you decided on who you’re staying with?”
“When you move out. Have you decided where you’re going to go?”
“Well, I’ve asked around, but I really don’t have any friends.”
You go to karaoke, hang out with friends for shows and projects all the time. In fact you’re hardly ever here, what the…
I pinch the inside corners of my eyes. Right across the bridge of my nose. (I’ve convinced myself that here is where the hidden clasps of my mask are located actually).
“Um…ok. Well what about your brother?”
Now, all jokes aside, I really like my brother-in-law and I really am thinking of my husband when I suggest him. He’s a straightforward kind of guy. He’s very honest, fair, an Iraqi war vet, who works as a prison warden now that his tour is over. A real no-nonsense kind of guy you can respect.
Maybe he can reason with my husband.
I used to joke with my husband that although I’m sure he’s extremely capable of protecting me, if the zombie apocalypse ever came to fruition, I’ll be at his brother’s house, because I’m convinced he’s got a S.H.I.E.L.D. level armory in his basement.
But I digress.
“Have you asked him?”
“Well, maybe you should.”
I can actually feel my husband getting agitated before he says anything.
“What are you saying?”
“I’m just trying to get some answers, because you asked to separate, but you’re not…” I flail my hands a bit in frustration.
Now he’s mad. I can see it as his face contorts. Maybe he has a mask too. He looks as if he’s fighting to keep his on straight. I think it needs to be re-calibrated or something because it’s doesn’t appear to fit him very well. I know a guy, maybe he could…
“Look. I’m feeling some kind of way emotionally about this right now. And I don’t think I’m receiving this well.” He says.
(Translation: “I can’t believe you just said that.”)
“Well, I’m sorry if I insulted you. That was not my intent. I’m just trying to get to the bottom of what’s going on with you.”
“What’s going on with me?” his voice is doing that thing again.
“You’re the one that keeps bothering me about when I’m leaving. It’s like you’re trying to push me out or something.”
Now I’m mad.
“Ok look. YOU asked to separate. YOU are not paying any bills. YOU said we needed space.Yet YOU are not leaving. I’m sorry if this is so hard on YOU, but would you mind telling me how YOU define the word separation?”
He just glares at me.
I glare back and cross my arms.
“Need a dictionary?”
He did not find that half as amusing as I did for some reason.