January 1998

To everything I was last year, I shall shed a single tearOur relationship is still going down the tubes. We have everything we could possibly want, but Lou seems miserable, and I don’t know how to make him happy. He’s not talking to his mother or his sister, and has no close friends. He loves our house, but absolutely hates all our neighbors, and their feelings are mutual. But when I suggest we look at houses elsewhere, he says he doesn’t want to just move from one part of town to another. He doesn’t want to have to pay for a move anywhere for that matter, so I suggested that maybe we look into me finding another job at Hewlett-Packard with a relocation package. He likes that idea in concept, but doesn’t want to move to California, which is where the most opportunities are. He literally makes me feel crazy; I spend all my energy trying to make him happy, but I often think that he’s actually happy being miserable. I don’t know if anything will ever be enough.

There are snippets of a poem, or maybe they are just thoughts, that annoyingly run through my head on constant repeat; I feel like it was somehow complete in my dreams, but I wake with parts of it replaying over and over. I keep thinking that if I can recall and finish, it will stop. But all I have is:

   I Set You Free
In the beginning,
You said I should be your wife, and always stay by your side
You said I brought you happiness, and made your life complete
You said I set you free from all the pain inside
You said I set you free.

Now that we’re married,
You say, as your wife, I must stand in mute agreement by your side
You say my love is not enough to be happy and you just need more
I say, I need to be set free from all the pain inside
I say, I set you free.

I don’t know how to fill in the blanks to get there, but in the end, I need to be set free from all the pain of not being enough in his world, and I need to set him free. It’s just too hard grasping onto nothing.

I remember some parts of a poem I wrote in middle school for an English class about being free:

What is this thing that they call free?
It’s what I hope some day to be.
This thing of wonder – feeling free.

There was more to the middle of that little poem that I don’t remember. I’m sure it was quite profound and lovely. I think I wrote it back in like 1977, because I remember another one from the same timeframe:

To everything I was last year,
I shall shed a single tear.
To all the friends that I have known,
And all the nights I spent alone.
For all my joys, my sorrows and fears,
To them I shed I single tear.

It seems like another lifetime when I was 13 or 14, and I was as free as I ever would be in my life, and my reflection on the year only inspired one single tear.

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