I listen to the silence in our conversation but are you aware it even exists? Even at the cocktail party for dear friends you are elusive yet most people would never guess that. The perfect martini, with one olive, fits comfortably in your hand as you take loud gulps. You don’t pause long enough in your own glaring monologue to wait a second or two for any type of pause in the conversation. You talk over people, especially me, your wife, you long to shine and glisten in the spotlight but you don’t see me or hear me.
You live in a world of denial, a narrow focus with blinders. Like a poor, old horse in NYC tired and sick, having to drag tourists around Central Park, in the blistering heat. There is so much wrong with that, with you, my love. Still, you continue as if we were the same we were thirty years ago, newly married, and nothing could be farther than the truth.
Some might call us “strangers” which, in a way, we are. We are held together by artificial glue, the fake kind that smells of chemicals, a sickly, strong, sweet smell. The bond between us is just as artificial and unnatural but I’m not sure you even realize that.
There are unspoken words between our sentences; repressed feelings, deep down resentment. I don’t think we are happy anymore, dear. Let’s at least acknowledge it, shall we?
You seem to look right through me, even after many years of practiced conversations, your arm hung loosely around my peach cotton sweater set. I feel that you are really only taking up space in our relationship, that I could be cardboard cut- out or a figurine; you use me like a prop.
Our children are not really a big part of your life, certainly not as much as they are in mine but you were always that way. Nothing came before your needs, your wanton luxuries: the sailboat, the new car, all toys. I never needed those things but you said that you “deserved them.”
Now, you can have all the expensive toys you desire but you can’t have me and the children too. I am taking the children and we are leaving you. I don’t expect you’ll care all that much, except for appearances sake.
I’ve done all that I could, I’ve tried and tried. When I suggested marriage counseling you ignored me and you suggested a wide-screen television. I begged for both of us to go to therapy together, you said we didn’t need it. That was a mistake. All the time you were playing with your expensive toys, your computers, your new technical gadgets, your madly expensive convertible, you left me out and alone. You pretended that everything between us was fine, it wasn’t.
I am leaving you. I’m sorry if it comes as a surprise but it shouldn’t. I have been telling you this for a very long time. You just never bothered to listen.