I don`t waste a lot of time with Could-Have-Beens, especially now, almost ten years after I left my first marriage. But music occasionally transports me back to a time when things were sweet, and right, and hopeful, and I could have never possibly imagined them going so very wrong.
So I sit here listening to my first husband`s favourite artist, James Taylor, singing alongside my favourite artists, the Dixie Chicks, and I can see the shimmer of a different reality out of the corner of my eye. One where we continued on together, living the dreams we once dreamed, and watching our children grow to be wonderful young men, together. There is beauty in that kind of simplicity.
When you are young and naive, when the whole world lies before you, it does seem sometimes that love will be enough, that it will buoy you together through all kinds of weather, through storms and droughts and long periods of conflict masquerading as stillness.
But somehow our hands, so tightly woven together, began to loosen their grip. First it was work, that took so much time and energy and spirit out of the both of us. And then it was kids, that, well, took so much time, and energy, and spirit, out of the both of us, labour of love though it was.
How did we begin to look to each other with demands and expectations, instead of love and acceptance? We both knew better, once. How did the love turn to hurt and betrayal, so much so that he has not looked at me since without a shade drawn over his eyes.
When did he begin to look at me with disdain, I wonder? Had I changed or had his expectations changed? And for my part, how did I begin to see him as a wholly different person, one who limited and stifled my spark? When I think of us in those early years, I only remember laughter, and shared dreams, and talk of our future children’s misadventures.
But instead, I sit here itemizing the financial remains of my second failed marriage, not really wishing so much as wondering. Because I have been over it, again and again, and the outcomes remain the same. When I was small I drove my parents crazy asking, “Why?” “But why?” And now I drive myself crazy, asking, “Why?” “Just why?”