Subscribe to Laird Harrison Subscribe to Laird Harrison's comments

They haven’t met

Posted by Adrienne. Comments (7).

They haven’t met face to face, my husband and his pen pall.

An image came into my head as I wrote that: Charlie’s face and her face, the face of this other woman. I saw his thick silvering hair, the broad forehead wrinkling and brows rising as he smiled. And within inches, hers, constructed by my imagination: pert, oval, hair pulled back, lips pursed…

But stop.

I meant they haven’t made a rendez-vous, no phone calls or even live chats. I know because I read everything they write to each other, and their dialogue is entirely self-contained, no “as I was saying last night” or “didn’t that waiter drive you crazy.”

Instead they go on and on about nothing.

BigBear47: “In a good cup of Columbian Supremo,” he writes, “you can smell the mist rising up from the forest.”

2Dance: “I taste it much better now,” she says, “since I give up smoking. But I miss. Without stopping to think, tell me something else you love.”

BigBear47: “What I love most is trajectory: the arc a thing makes — a golf ball for instance, but it could be an arrow, a champagne cork, a man’s life, the plot of a mystery — rising and falling to the trigonometry of destination.”

2Dance: “Your are poet! How do I always find artists? When I’m in Russia, they are all the time at my apartment, and I am at their apartment. Painters, writers, philosophers. I am the only ballerina. Now I am in New York only one years. Pushkin said in a foreign place he lets a bird fly, then he is free. Do you know? The e-mail is maybe my bird.”

It’s all so innocuous. I keep reading it just to make sure. If anything changes, I will know as soon as they do. Yes, it goes down like cyanide. But what can I say? I believe in a marriage you have to overlook such annoyances.

I wonder if my parents would have stayed together if they had focused on what really matters.


7 Responses to “They haven’t met”

  1. RIsky

    It may seem innocent now but they’re clearly involved in some kind of virtual attraction. You’ve got to stop this before it’s too late. Does Charlie wax poetic when he’s talking to you? Doe he talk about trajectories while you’re doing the dishes together at night? Do you even do the dishes together or do you both retire to your own computers in the evening? He’s on some kind of trajectory, alright, and you have to confront him before he lands — in her bed!

  2. Frau

    i second Risky’s comment– is Charlie a poetic person toward you? I’m just wondering because this was a good image he had of trajectories.

    • Adrienne

      Charlie can be very poetic to me, but it has been a long time. It hurts, now that you mention it, to think how long.

  3. JC

    I would actually disagree with Risky’s comment. Since when did it become wrong to be attracted to someone. So they have a virtual attraction, yes, we are all attracted to others that are not our spouses. It’s part of being human.

    I would still advise to confront him with this relationship. What bothers me here is not that he is having it, that it fine, but that he seems to think he has to hide it from you. His answers to your questions seem to suggest that he is hiding something. Although you are also hiding the fact that you are reading his private emails so you may want to confess that as well. A marriage cannot be built on deceit and lies. You said something about focusing on what really matters – what really matters is honesty.

    • Adrienne

      Wait. How can it be fine that he is having this relationship? I seem to recall something in our wedding vows about “forsaking all others.” There was a reason for that, right? I don’t think human beings have the capacity for multiple romantic relationships. Sooner or later, jealousy is going to erupt, and the whole thing will blow apart as it did for my parents. Maybe as Frau implies I need not to confront him, to make this into a big issue, but to woo him back to me. I’m still out of town on business, but when I get back I’m going to sit down with him and we’ll put something on the calendar.

  4. ipswitch

    Maybe this is rather innocent, like mild flirting at a party. It does give you the opportunity to have a, maybe some, heart to heart conversations with your husband. Honesty in marriage is so much easier than the tanglement of concealment and leads to more openess and closeness.

    • Adrienne

      Honesty is easy? That’s the first time I’ve heard that. I expect Charlie will come clean with me eventually or let this whole thing with 2dance fade away.

Rss Feed Tweeter button Facebook button Technorati button Reddit button Myspace button Linkedin button Webonews button Delicious button Digg button Stumbleupon button Newsvine button