L'esprit de l'escalier

It's all about the timing.

Location: Memphis, Tennessee, United States

I'd rather be somewhere else most of the time and I'm a huge practitioner of staircase wit.


Stress All Over the Place

We had a difficult couple of nights. When I came home the next night after the fight, he still was not speaking to me. We roamed around the apartment, carefully avoiding each other - not an easy task in a 1 bedroom apartment - until finally he said, "Hey. Why aren't you talking to me?" A way of letting me know he didn't want to go on like this, but he wasn't ready to make up. I wanted him to hug me, he wasn't ready. It was fake and pointless. Then he went to a friend's house. Good, I needed my own space, too.

The next night we stayed up all night talking things through. He's an artist. He quit his job and he needs supplies to make his next piece. We don't have enough money to buy his supplies and the patch so he can quit smoking and pay all our bills. So, he buys some roll-you-owns and orders from Digikey for delivery on Wednesday. We discuss how he needs to make some money. He needs a part-time job or he needs to sell on Ebay or he needs to find another way. I can't do this on my own. He knows. He understands, but he doesn't know how. Our discussion became philosophical. We come from two different points of view. Artist vs. non-artist is what it boils down to. I don't understand. I appreciate, but I require equal contributions into the household and he can't deliver. I used to tell him I didn't mind making the money, I can do that. He can stay home and take care of the kid and the dinner. But there is no kid yet, and I don't make enough money yet. He wants to start the deal before I'm ready. I'm not ready! He thinks this means I don't appreciate what he does, I don't respect his art, I don't care about his needs. I don't think that's what I mean. I'm just too scared to not worry about money and bills, and if he didn't have me, he'd be homeless or letting some other girl take care of him. Is that a short-coming, though? This is what I don't know. In the big picture, is he right or me? I seriously don't know the answer.

Then he says I've changed. I'm not the girl he was attracted to from the start. He thought I wanted to be a writer, he thought I'd understand his need to be an artist. I did. I do. But I don't ever write anymore. Why, he asks? Because, I'M TOO SCARED TO NOT WORRY ABOUT THE BILLS. That's what I tell him because I have to. I tell him I can't let that go. If he isn't going to pay them, someone has to. The responsibility falls on me. I was raised with that old protestant work ethic. It's in my blood. I can't help it. I don't have time to be a writer when I work 8 hours a day at my soul-sucking job. But I'm writing right now. This blog he can't know about. This blog, my secret place that he hasn't been told about. And he won't. Even though he's telling me, "you don't ever write anymore, you're not the same girl you used to be, you've gotten so lazy," I can't tell him he's wrong. I do still write, I just don't tell you about it. Because you want me to be what you think is good, not what I think is good. So, you have to be left out. I have to let him think I've lost my desire to be something. So I can be something. I'd rather sacrifice his view of me than lose mine.

We're in transition. I'm trying to get a job in Memphis, so he quit his job, but I haven't gotten one yet. So, we're here and we don't know how long it will last. He regrets quitting so soon, I regret the letter I got on Friday saying I didn't get the job. I still have another application out, and that's the one I want, but I rarely don't get a job I apply for. But I've never applied for anything above just some hourly position. I'm trying for a real job, now. A professional job that requires skill and a degree. What if I'm not good enough? I really don't know who I'm being compared with. I'm scared. A lot is hinging on me. My husbands sanity. Maybe mine.


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