Mar. 22nd, 2011

invisionary: "When I give food to the poor, they call me a saint.  When I ask why the poor have no food they call me a communist." (Default)
She shrieked and fell backwards into the cabin door. She was used to the pain by now, but it didn’t change that it hurt every time he hit her. It was supposed to be the place to reinvent our marriage, to have the honeymoon we never had, she told herself. Those words felt pretty meaningless now. It seemed as though he was more interested in using this as a way to isolate her further and head back to Pennsylvania with her firmly under his control. Floyd had it already, but that didn’t stop him from thinking he needed to press her further.

"You... you APE!" she managed to stutter out between sobs, having fallen to the floor.

She knew it would hurt him in the only way she could. He was picked on in school for being stupid and hairy. They called him the Chimp. He hated that name then and resented it even more than his 19 year old wife would backtalk at him. He kicked her in the stomach. She doubled over, windless and hopeless.

In the ship’s garden an older lady practiced her early morning yoga. She was tiny but still full of energy and very flexible. A monk she met once called her Weasel for these attributes. Fee found herself without a real purpose in life and questioning how she should live the rest of her life after raising her kids. She too had come on the cruise to rekindle her marriage, but instead she found herself finding herself. It wasn’t that she didn’t love her husband. It was that she was finding she couldn’t be a sexual partner to him. She wasn’t attracted to men anymore. Their marriage had been mostly sexless for years, which she attributed to the pressures and lack of privacy of having teenagers in a Brooklyn co-op. He wasn’t happy about this, but told her often he loved her. Yet the glue that held their marriage together was their kids. Now that they were grown she wasn’t so sure she could love him again.

She meditated on Buddha and tried to clear her mind. It wasn’t working so well. She returned to her cabin and she knew her marriage was over. They talked it over that day. He took it hard; he had made it clear he could not love a lesbian. By the next day they had talked it through enough that they had decided they may as well enjoy the rest of their cruise and get their money’s worth. At least for now they wanted to be friends.

Being a couples cruise the alcohol was plentiful. Floyd already had a problem with overindulging that nobody in his family would acknowledge, especially not him. Being a faithful wife Milly helped him up to their cabin and laid him down to sleep it off for the night. She was secretly glad when he passed out; it meant she could have some freedom. Normally at home she’d have her kid to keep an eye on, but without that restriction he basked in her new-found freedom. She went down to the Admiral’s Club to seek solace in a smaller amount of liquor than her husband.

It was there that Fee met Milly. It was a casual meeting – they were at the bar and just happened to order the same drink at the same time from two different bartenders. This struck up a conversation. It didn’t take long for them to get on the same page. They turned heads for looking more like a mother and daughter than a romantic link. The overtones of the “wish-they-were-lovers-again” themed cruise fell into the background. The liquor encouraged them to spill secrets they’d both held close to their chests for years. Fee invited her to meet her in the garden in the morning for meditation. They parted to the first genuine smile that graced Milly’s lips in years.

Milly returned to her cabin, feeling that she might actually be able to make this work after all, assaults and all. Floyd wasn’t there, but there was a note for her. She feared the worst.

"Dear Milly, Something has to change. I can’t keep doing this. It hurts me and I know it hurts you. I’m sorry I hit you. I won’t do it again. I promise. Love you, Floyd"

She knew it was a lie because she had a stack of these cards at home. Someday she’d burn them after he was gone to put her mind at ease. She slept on this. By the time she had woke up he had stumbled into bed with her, but he was out like a rock.

Milly found Fee in the garden meditating under the banana trees. She tried sitting the way Fee was but found her legs didn’t quite bend enough. Fee smiled and showed her a bit more comfortable way to sit. There was no tinge of romance, but Fee’s hands were the most gentle she had ever felt and Milly couldn’t help but notice. They sat there clearing their minds for a while. Fee eventually broke the silence – "Come on, let’s get some breakfast at the Club."

Each took a stack of pancakes and fresh fruit from the buffet. They’d each had hardly a bite before they found themselves looking in each other’s eyes. It was a look of understanding. Despite their difference in years they realized that they could have the lives they wanted. Milly knew she wasn’t free but could make a good life in captivity, and for her son. They shared a hug. Neither was sure who really initiated it. It felt natural. Milly could tell already she felt something resembling love for Fee, but had no idea what kind it was. Something just felt like it was right for the first time in years. Fee was just as conflicted. She knew now it would be okay to love again, and even if not Milly, it would be out there.

At that very moment, as Fate would have it, Floyd stumbled into the Club. He saw the embrace. He assumed the worst. He was enraged. He grabbed a wine bottle and threw it at Milly. Fee saw the missile and pushed Milly down to dodge, taking the bottle broadside herself.

Milly saw Fee on the deck, her face bloodied, glass everywhere. Something snapped in her head. Enough was enough. A rage came over her and she reached for the nearest thing on the buffet. It was a bowl of nectarines. She picked up the whole bowl, stormed over to him, and clocked him in the face with it. He lost his balance, stunned by the ferociousness he’d never seen before from her. He fell backwards over the ship’s rail, catching himself at the last moment, hanging overboard.

Milly saw real power in her relationship for the very first time. He was breathless; he looked up begging her to save him, to spare him, to forgive him. Fee looked up from several feet away. Milly considered her options for a moment. She had decided before she opened her mouth. "You weren’t sorry before and you aren’t sorry now. I’m going on to live my life, Floyd. This marriage is sinking and I’m saving myself." She pulled out the apology note and used it. Floyd fell into the ocean, not making as much as a wave to ask anyone for help.

The Weasel was free. Now she knew that Milly was finally free too.

Oh, Fee, you're trying to live a life
That's completely free
Floyd is dead; he's nothing but a ripple
Cause Milly took that paper
And sliced him on the nipple

Oh, Fee, you're trying to live a life
That's completely free.
You're racing with the wind
You're flirting with death
So have a cup of coffee
And catch your breath

(Credit for the inspiration and lyrics to Phish for "Fee".)


invisionary: "When I give food to the poor, they call me a saint.  When I ask why the poor have no food they call me a communist." (Default)
Invisible Revolutionary

December 2011


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