And so, it’s over.
I’m talking about the deep freeze, not the marriage, thankfully. It’s over like an active volcano that simmers and burbles, building pressure over time until one day, when you can’t say you didn’t expect it, hot lava and ash is everywhere.
Luckily, we were out for dinner at the time of the eruption. We were all glammed up for his birthday dinner at his favorite restaurant, Vij’s, where their “no reservations” policy forces Bill Clinton and commoners (actually Danny Glover was there that night) alike to mingle in a dimly lit back room for 2-3 hours waiting for a table for two. Wannabe diners throw back indian mojitos with delicious pakoras hot from the deep fryer until everyone’s revelling and could not care less about a table. The din reverberated through that small room Saturday night, like a healthy Om that seemed to say, “please be patient, we really are that good.” Vij’s was a mosh pit that night, people flocking 3 and 4 deep to the bar, ledges, walls, anywhere a hard surface could give stiletto’d feet some respite. We were shoulder to shoulder with complete strangers, unless you’re my height, which is more like shoulder to belly button, situated dangerously close to a bowl of spiced cassava fries.
We were still our deep freeze, a silent car ride over, attempts at conversation answered perfunctorily, without explanation or any banter back. We in fact, shared more smiles with the bartender, than each other, until I asked simply, “Is there something you’d like to say?” I say we were lucky we were at Vij’s on this night as the din made forced us to have our faces very close together to have this much needed conversation. And in breathing the same air, the spicy snacks stoking our fire, conversing loudly, but slowly and clearly for 2 hours in a sea of strangers kept the tears and theatrics at bay, and behold, the ice slowly melted.
What I’ve now realized is that all the old hurts stay in the volcano. In relationships, we forgive and forget, but the scars remain, so Kate choose your words wisely. Sometimes, there are no take backs, only forgiveness, but it still gets filed in the volcano. And while your volcano can stay happily dormant for ages, sometimes all it takes is a tiny irritant to bring you back to rehashing old feelings of love, appreciation, insecurity, self esteem, and you’re both wondering, “What the fuck are we doing all this for?” And at a time of our lives where relationships are breaking down all around us, it’s only natural to look at ourselves, so maybe this conversation needed to happen.
Thank goodness, after 13 years in, we have gotten so much better at navigating our way back from the deep freeze. It takes mere days now instead of weeks, and still, there is so much room for improvement! And I find, like volcanic ash has huge benefits for farmers in the quality of soil, we’re still reaping the benefits in the bedroom! Yippee!