Tuesday, May 13, 2014


She wanted to play badminton.   We bought a yard games combo that included a badminton set and in the box it sat.  Often, at dinner, she would ask when were we going to play badminton in the back yard.  "Tomorrow," I would say.  "I will set it up tomorrow and we will play badminton in the back yard."

The badminton set was purchsed during a difficult time for us and an awkward time for me.  I was still getting high so that made it easier to put things off for another day.  Being a chronic procrastinator anyway did not help matters.  Also, I'd already come out to her and our married life was continuing along the edge of a straight razor.  She knew who I was but was trying to hang onto something.  I was lost in my fear, but yet there was a great hope on the horizon.

She was like a kid and the older she got the more mature she did not become.  We were alike in that regard, kindred spirits of eternal childhood.  I wanted to play badminton with her just as much as she wanted to play with me.  But I played it out in my mind while the net and rackets sat in the cardboard box.  Reality was a new thing for me but I wanted to experience it.  Really I did.

One day I cleaned all the dog poop out of the back yard, opened the box and set the badminton net up between two trees.  We played badminton.  After awhile she was bored and wanted to do something else.  "Me too", I said, and we retired to our different areas to go about living our separate lives together. 

We not only had separate rooms to go with our separate lives, we had separate houses.  Occasionally we would converge and do some activity together, maybe watch a television program.  But quickly that would become uncomfortable.  Or feel old.  We were tired.  We wanted to play together but we couldn't seem to stand it.  Not for long. 

Today, while cleaning one of the spare rooms, I came across the badminton set.  Barely used and with the net all tangled up in everything, it spoke to me.  "Hey, do you want to play badminton?" 

"Sure," I said.  "I'd love to.  I'm all better now and I'm ready to play.  It would be fun, wouldn't it?"  But I looked around and she wasn't there.  She is somewhere else.  All alone.  Living her life in a separate house, while I build my new life in mine.  It only hurts now when I am alone, when he is not here.  When he is here I am filled with joy and hope.  There is happiness today and hope for a future.  I never really had that before. 

Somewhere a child sits alone.  Longing for someone to play with, she laments being the only kid on the block.  She wishes her friend hadn't moved away.  They used to have such good times together.  Or they wanted to, anyway......

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