Friday, May 6, 2011
In the Middle of It - Jennifer Baljko
He sits on the couch, comforting her with long strokes through her blonde locks. He knows she’s prone to momentary lapses of insanity. He’s been in the middle of this before. Not just with her, but with other women too. He doesn’t understand this frequent emotional imbalance. Strong women weakened by the world, not the whole world, just their narrow sliver of the world. An only when something seems to spin off its axis. Something they can see, something he almost never sees. He’s learned it’s better to just sit still and hold her. While he sees the black and white answer, he leaves the whole thing in whatever shade of gray she’s in. Better for him to keep quiet, not offer a new perspective or a solution until she asks for one. And, even if she asks, his answer, he knows, will be influenced by the tone in her voice, and if her claws are drawn. She walks the feline line between lioness and kitten. He must do the same. Or so he thinks. His experience says so. He lets her ramble on, but stops her before the tears come. That’s too much drama for him. Instead he offers to make her tea. He rests her head on the pillow and lets her wander down her darkening path. He won’t let her see him rolling his eyes and secretly shrugging his shoulders. He takes a brief refuge, knowing when he returns, he’ll have to say something – something she may or may not want to hear.