Friday, May 12, 2006


I miss my husband terribly.

But I’m sure I don’t know the half of it – about the fog we’re in. It’s like when a window is so dirty you can’t see how dirty until you clean it and the sun shines through the glass directly, without first passing through layers of dust. Or there’s that needling feeling I get – a sort of claustrophobia – with my constantly half-moved-in house, the framed photographs that are meant to hang in the bathroom still piled on the toilet tank.

Having a baby has put this distance between us.

I adore watching Mike with Isaac, his genuine laughter over his antics, Izzy carrying his blocks one by one to the kitchen cabinet and shutting them inside. Mike’s shoulders bounce up and down like a turn on a pogo stick; and I feel joy for his joy – a kind of metajoy. Sometimes I worry that my love for Izzy is a metalove, that I love him from up on my writer’s cloud, from my bird’s eye view.

In college, I had a sociology professor I respected a great deal. During the semester, he and his wife adopted a little girl from Korea. He was constantly arriving to class with stories of his daughter’s reactions to various cartoons or social situations. Eventually, I felt sorry for this little girl, like she was somehow being experimented on, exploited.

Mike once told me, in what seems a lifetime ago, that he is with me because I keep him alive. He can drift away sometimes, hum into a rutted routine and not notice the seasons changing, not really feel. “Like 1994,” he told me near tears. “What happened to 1994? I don’t know.” He shrugged. “I was there I guess, but what? A whole year.”

But now I need him to rally. Most days I don’t have it in me to be the engine in this relationship. 2005. I was there I guess, but what? I want to tell him. A whole year.

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