Sometimes when we argue I can almost feel myself breaking away for good. Like I’m a bungee cord stretched to the breaking point and about to snap. And sometimes, I truly believe I’m going to do it, too. Snap. Leave. Move on.
That’s usually about the time I arrive home from fighting with him, or hang up the phone, or delete the offensive email. I look up and see myself in my apartment, and suddenly I feel so trapped. Stuck. Staked in place. For what am I really? Not the bungee cord, no. I’m not flexible, or strong, or liable to break away. I’m the figure tied to the end of the cord, and he’s the one holding the string. I can see him, standing on my rooftop, stringing me along like a puppet as I bounce up and down at his request. And I bounce up and down, peeking in the windows of my neighbors apartments as I go, wondering if their lives are like this too. And all the while I hope he’ll reel me in and that when I get to my roof, it will just be him waiting there.
No strings, no games, just him.
And then, just when I give up all hope, just when I think he’s going to polish his ring and head home, his hand reaches down and pulls me up to the ledge.
And there he leaves me, hanging on for dear life, clinging to the ledge. It’s the perfect vantage point to see him turn around and walk away. But not before he clips my bungee cord to the chimney.