An Affair

I remember when my father was in his
early forties – I was a teenager then,
when a great commotion ensued in
our family, very loudly heard by all
of us, even those too young to understand
at all just then. It seems my mother had finally
somehow forced him to reveal the awful
truth of his affair. He seemed happier
then though, during the short course of
his affair, than ever before or after in
my memories of him, and so I found
her upset quite perplexing.

She had no proof, as proof is seen, that
this was really happening – no sight or sound
or sensation’s report, other than an emotion –
that the invisible feeling realm of her intuition
brought uncannily to her awareness then.
He’d contrived a lie, to cover over the truth
of where he’d been on those nights when he
kept telling her he was merely working late.
And yet she knew, somehow beyond the
shadow of a doubt, just what it was he truly
did during those late hours.

And so she poked and prodded, pushing
every button in him that she had discovered
in the long years of their marriage and living
together. She always was much quicker
with her wit than he. And she questioned
him so endlessly about minute and seemingly
unimportant details of his time away,
that at last she caught him in the
unrehearsed juxtaposition, the core of truth
that lay at the very center of
one of his own fabrications.

He knew he’d lost the battle then, of
playing power games with her, and so regressed
and acquiesced, admitting that she had
been right again, through gritted teeth, but
still, the essence of confession nonetheless;
and he awaited nothing more than just
the penance she’d decree for him.
He never could imagine though, how
great a penance she would willfully
impose on him. I see now that, unknowingly,
she had imposed the same
great penance on herself.

The details of his supposed sin were never
really important to her at all; for it seemed
that all she really sought was a confirmation
of her own inner knowing (that she so often,
even now, confuses with her blind beliefs of
faith in something other than herself). Yet
within the compromise of his confession, she
felt justified, at first in just her anger at this
one experience of exposure; but then in
ever greater amplitude. For to her then, any
anger that she’d ever felt toward him at all,
no matter its inanity, was also eventually
justified within this same sense of knowing;
even though the things she really knew
were still so very unclear to even her.

For in her mind then, and so much deeper,
at the core of all her blind beliefs, her building
rage at him was religious and righteous, and
therefore entirely right and justified, quite
beyond any bounds or bonds or reason on
her part. He had, however, somehow silently
accepted the penance she would impose into
his being, so he too held obviously altered
attitudes of right and wrong. Both of them
bound then, to this penance of eternal wrath,
that only gods could really bring to be, sank
within a pool a guilt and shame and blame;
lashing out at any momentary slip beyond
perfection that the other always made
within the course of time and thus, their lives.

And it was as if, within this penance, she
became so much more his mother than his
lover or his wife, and he another version of
every father never known. Even now, five years
and more after his death into another state of
being, all too often still, I feel that same rage
and wrath of ancient ages pouring out of her;
yet she still seems to feel a great sense of
power in it, even as it bleeds her health away,
that empty, endless, useless feeling of the rage
of all destruction.

It seems to me, even now though, to be born
of more than merely Christian creed, or any
sense of a religious or spiritual need. It feels
more as if it were drawn from an abyss
where centuries of anger unexpressed abide,
still active, for this energy has never been
transformed or transubstantiated. And I
wonder as I wander now, if perhaps that
second coming is upon us now, and if
that ancient Adam is reborn in female form.

New visions of those dying myths that have
lived unchanged for so many centuries
might finally come to find a balancing point
in this, a telling tale of deed - finally reaching
for a point of truth that used to seem so
nebulous and unbelievable. So this one
affair becomes, in tides of time, an
affair to be remembered now
in every detail of its experience,
by so many more than
you or I alone...

? Michaelette ?

5/4/2001
Copyright© 2001 Michaelette L. Romano
All Rights Reserved
Take me home...