Monday, March 04, 2013


'Come closer' she murmured lazily, as if it took all of her effort to force those two little words out from behind her perfectly straight teeth. I glanced over at her, and said ' we are in bed less than two feet from each other, how much closer can I get?'  It was, in retrospect, a particularly bad thing to say, and it was a bad time to say it. But my sense of timing has never been what you would call well planned. As expected, this idiotic comment led to her getting further away, not closer, and in the cold light of the morning led to an argument that did not go especially well for yours truly.

It was not a comment on physical distance is the gist of what she was trying to say, it was an invitation for me to come emotionally closer. Closer to the ideal of what a relationship should be rather than the poor imitation that we were presently 'living out'.  It almost always befuddles me when I get this type of comment, mostly because I know exactly what kind of jackass I am, and generally cannot fathom why anyone in their right mind would want me closer, physically or otherwise.  Yet I hold on to the hope that I will one day get it right, and hope that despite my growing fears, I will be able to change my ways, and become closer to someone.

It wasn't to be her because once I made that off hand, poorly thought out comment, we both knew that closer wasn't going to happen between us. It was the death knell of a relationship that was already sailing through some rough seas, and this was the last leak sprung that would lead to the ship of our relationship foundering upon the rocks of my emotional unavailability. Quite sad really, but the idea of closer was just something I've never been good at (expect in the physical sense of course). It is a article of my (lack of faith) that when I hear that sentence (said in various forms) I hit some sort of panic/eject button, and shit starts to break bad.

It is also a sign of my immaturity, my inability to 'come closer' in more than the physical sense. Something that a person of my advanced years should be able to do. However, the valley of my heart seems to be empty, and all I can do is walk away when I heard the words 'come closer'. I am holding out the slim hope that I will find the moral fortitude to change this fatal (at least to relationships) flaw that I possess.  However, as I laid there next to her I realized that I could not confess my follies, and could not confess any sort of long lasting love.  I am not that good at expressing the few feelings that I do actually have.  Those feeling are kept very close to the chest, in a tightly lock compartment in my mind. Kept apart from the heart strings, those things that people like her attempt to pluck just to see what kind, if any, of a reaction they get.  Those strings are not ever going to become a noose that can be slipped around my neck, and that is probably part of the problem. They are there but they don't vibrate when plucked, instead they because painfully still.

And so I couldn't come closer to her, and I like to think part of her knew it. I like to think that because it takes me off the hook a bit. It makes it less my fault and more her fault. And to me that is important, it allows the guilt I should feel to slide past me like an out of control duck on a sheet of ice. It makes me blame her, even though I know I shouldn't and that blaming her is a cowardly thing to do. I am trying, and probably failing, to shoulder my part of the blame in the disaster that followed. A disaster that took me (surprisingly enough) way too long to finally process, and put away in its allotted compartment.  It was a tight fit, and I had to push a lot harder than I figured in order to get the door shut, but shut it did. And a rather large, rather clear 'DO NOT OPEN' sign was placed on the outside for future reference. Of course this compartment exists in a row full of similarly marked compartments that, in spite of the warnings, I do sometimes open. Usually to my cost.  This post being one of them. Ah, well the desire to come closer, much like wisdom, seems to come late.


Anonymous said...

Is this about the snake charmer?

Beryl said...

My site, The Writer's Drawer (, is for drawer writers like you, among others. Check it out. Maybe you'd like to contribute an essay, story, book review, or whatever?