I want to preface this post by saying that I’ve had only three hours sleep. I woke up at 5.40am this morning after working last night and haven’t been able to go back to sleep. So I did what any self-respecting bookworm would do and stumbled out to the couch to read. Bad things ensued…
Just yesterday, I started the book Gone Girl and one of the book’s lines has really stuck with me (I’m 102 pages in so far). On the very first page at the end of the third paragraph, the husband asks himself, his missing wife, his marriage, ‘Who are you? What have we done to each other?’ They’re mental questions, things he thinks every married person wonders about their spouse and it struck me that it’s true.
I’m not married but I’ll have been with my partner for nine years come April. As I tried (in vain) to go back to sleep around 7.30am, I looked around our living room and saw the artefacts of our shared existence. Photos of our lives. Furniture we’ve bought together. Even the dog who faithfully came and slept on the couch with me. My partner and I have both changed so much in this near-decade. We’ve both grown, developed, acted upon each other, been acted upon, put quite simple, just aged. Is it really possible to still know each other?
Maybe this book is messing with my head (already) but my mind wandered to how one deals with the process of disentangling such closely woven lives. If we were to break up, how do we become our own people again?
The thing that seemed hardest of all was how would our dogs handle it? Oscar (my dog) is nearly eleven so he’s known a time before “us” but Ami (my partner’s dog) joined us when we were already together. He’s never known a time without both of us. How would me manage without his mum? I know Oscar would definitely miss his dad. Would we be adult enough to take them for playdates together? Who knows how these things unfold? And, of course, terrible torturer that my mind is, it then leapt to the day Oscar needed to be put down. Would I be able to call my ex-partner to come and say goodbye?
Sweet Jesus. Can I just say that sleep deprivation and fucked up psychological thrillers are a TERRIBLE combination? But I guess you figured that one out already.