Lately here at Pariah Central, we’ve been contemplating the ever-growing possibility that the Wounder (yours truly) and the
Wounded (baby-daddy) shall perhaps never speak again. He and I have settled into a comfortable habit of terse texting, characterized by a predictable pattern of lengthy logistical questions reciprocated by one-word answers. What would we do if we were suddenly transported to an earlier, pre-texting era, I wonder? Hopefully I would be fortunate enough to have a manservant at my disposal to deliver beautiful, handwritten notes on the highest grade parchment.
And oh! At one time we were so close to actually exchanging words! Several months ago we both attended our son’s high school graduation, driving there together in the very same car and sitting on either side of the same corner of the dinner table at Boulevard (fancy restaurant name-dropping totally unintentional, btw). That was followed a few weeks later by an email exchange that involved full sentences, as well as some thoughtful responses, so I felt encouraged that perhaps Resolution may soon be around the corner.
But since then, something has gone amiss. Either some sort of decision has been made – to which I am not privy, of course – or perhaps a tinge of mental illness has started to settle in. Based on intimate knowledge of the Wounded’s proclivities, my suspicion is that it could very well be the latter, unfortunately. Not meaning to be cruel or glib (me?), in all actuality, it is not outside of the realm of possibility that he has created an entirely new reality for himself, one based on a memory of spending the past 18 years at sea, exploring new lands, whaling, carving scrimshaw and collecting specimens for his vast collection of rare gemstones. The progeny that now lives with him is the result of a chance, passionate encounter with a mysterious Nordic maiden who disappeared into the night as ethereally as she entered it, returning many years later only to deposit their teenage son at his doorstep and slip away without a word. Yes, the silence and solitude would appeal to him.
Though I suppose I don’t blame him. I conjured up a bit of an emotional shit show thank you very much, so getting as far away from that as he could was probably a pretty good idea. And as we all know, fantasy is considerably more appealing and satisfying than reality … unless you’re talking about the Lord of the Rings trilogy. Or World of Warcraft. Or basically anything in that same vein with pointless quests and clanging swords and ridiculous beasts and whatnot. Horribly tiresome, that.
Of course, Option#1- that of making some unknown personal decision that has sealed off his already difficult-to-access self from me permanently – is an equally plausible potential reason for the silent treatment. Unfortunately, that option leaves me to dwell in the world of Conjecture, Hearsay and Rumor, and I’ve never been a fan of that neighborhood, so I best be getting on the 14 Mission back to the Excelsior straightaway. Fuck, my Clipper Card’s empty again. I guess I can walk.
So what will this future of sustained non-verbal communication be like? (And by non-verbal I in no way mean the fun, pleasurable sorts of non-verbal communication with which most adults are familiar.) When I try to envision it, for some reason I keep thinking of that scene in Walk the Line when Joaquin Phoenix/Johnny Cash is pouting and moping about Reese Witherspoon/June Carter, and he’s all fucked up on booze & pills and gets his tractor stuck in the mud down at the bottom of the hill. Reese/June’s mom tells her daughter to go talk to him, to which Reese/June replies “oh Momma, he needs to figure that out himself, I’m not gonna go down there with him!” and Momma says “You already ARE down there with him, girl!”
Yeah, it’s like that. Only without the storybook ending part.