I never thought I would write this letter, but, of course, you saw this coming. Six months apart frays the rituals of a marriage. I tried at first. I was faithful in the beginning. I was Mountain; you were Central. And then, one night, when no one was looking, I thought, “Just one. Just one episode of Homeland.” I blinked, and seven passed. And then I thought, “Just one of Love and one of Here and Now,” and poof – I knew the full seasons.
In truth, I can’t keep count of how many shows I’ve watched without you now – how many apps I’ve thrown myself at with their glossy promise of good narrative. I remember year one of our marriage, held in part by Dexter and Downton Abbey. Year two – Weeds and Breaking Bad. Year three – sweet sweet Game of Thrones. And so on. We sprinkled our life with British murder mysteries on Sunday afternoons. I can’t quite explain the satisfaction of a quaint murder following the Eucharist. And then, yesterday, I crossed the unthinkable line. I began the second season of Handmaid’s Tale.
I got wet walking downtown this afternoon. The rain fed an already swollen river. I watched whole trees claimed by the water – seeming to bend to a swirling will. One tree turned into the Loch Ness Monster, and then I saw the Clark Fork full of strange creatures. Snakes and bones and angry fingers. “When you meditate,” you once said, “treat your thoughts like logs floating downstream. Let them pass.” The river has burst its banks.
I walk to the cookie shop, and a young man hands me three. Sugar is the enemy, I know, but I need something to curb these odd desires. When you are here, your gumbo and barbecue keep me in line. There is an order to things. When you are here, the thought of Netflix infidelity is anathema. When you are here, I do not leave my keys in the front door all night. I do not forget my purse on the porch. When you are here, I am not a Hulu whore.
My ribs still ache from falling down a waterfall last week. “Epsom salts,” you say. I keep forgetting to remember what you offer. So, I will sleep with the salt next to me and hope to one day show you these hidden parts.