I brushed the dust off my ruby slippers and set them in the closet for the night. I had hoped that Goose would stay here with me tonight, as I had with him many, many nights. He didn’t stay. In fact, he couldn’t get out of my little apartment fast enough. I gave him a container of left over scalloped potatoes and ham to eat at lunch the next day. He took the still warm dish from my hands. He gave me a hug when he left, but he forgot the kiss. I didn’t forget to feel overwhelmed. I lit a couple of candles in the bathroom and drew a warm bath in my big claw foot tub. As I took off my jeans and my soft warm sweater I began to feel more vulnerable. Tears began to leak from the corner of my eye. Was it such a terrible thing for someone to be loved by me? Why is it, that I can’t find someone who wants me to love them? I only find people who want me to share them with someone or something else in their life. (Here comes that personalizing pain again. The little girls’ sadness in a woman’s body.)
The soft calming scent of vanilla from the candles, the flickering light from the flames, the sound and the feel of the warm rushing water, wanting so much to comfort me. Instead, it opened the safety barriers in my heart. Reaching inside the disappointment and sadness buried not so deep within it. I stepped into the tub with the water still filling around me, holding me with the tenderness of a hug. I filled a big soft sponge with water and squeezed it over my shoulders. As the warm sudsy water swirled down my back, the tension eased from my muscles. I lathered up the sponge and caressed my arms with soft bubbles and wiggled my toes in the water. I slid my body down under the water, paused, and rose like a wet phoenix from the suds.
It isn’t about me. All I’ve done is love him, and care about him. I’ve been kind and compassionate and open and honest. I’ve been brave and willing enough to meet his entire family for heaven’s sakes. I’ve opened my heart to them as well. I’ve found good things in this man. That’s when I remembered something Goose said to me during one of our driving talks. He told me that I’m gullible. He said it like it was a bad thing. Yes, I see the goodness in people. I reach in to show them their goodness. I don’t see their flaws. So ultimately, when their flaws appear – they hurt me. I am stunned and overwhelmed with disbelief.
That ‘do unto others’ thing.. “as you would have them do unto you.’ I believed that. Is that Gullible? OR is that Faith?
According to the Merriam Webster Dictionary…
Gullible is defined as:
1. being easily duped or cheated.
Faith is defined as :
1. Allegiance to a duty or person; Sincerity of intentions
2. A firm belief in something for which there is no proof
I choose to have faith in people. That with knowledge and support.. people will do the right thing.
I laid my big fuzzy towel on the radiator while I bathed, and now as I step out of the tub, I wrap myself in its warm grasp. The candles have warmed the bathroom so I feel no chill as I pull on my nightgown. I watched the last of the water slip down the drain and with it, today’s sadness. Feeling refreshed, body and soul. I went into the kitchen and snitched a spoonful of still warm apple crisp right from the pan. Its cinnamon-y richness and crunchy topping reminds me again that life is good. And so is this dessert! Just one more spoon full… (I didn’t scoop ice cream on top of it! But I wanted to.)
A few minutes later laying here in bed, I think of Goose going home into his empty dark kitchen. I know he’s been thinking about our ‘talk’. And about my ex husband being there for lunch. He had 90 miles to think about it. I hope he thinks about it as he crawls into his bed tonight. And then I sleep.