In the sober light of day, when Sam wasn’t overthinking the meaning behind everything, he had high hopes it would all work out between them. He knew part of problem was, he couldn’t bend or accept her independence.
He’d seen it so many times on Montel Williams, you were an idiot if you thought you could change someone. Men were supposed to be tough. He knew he was a whipped pussy man who stayed out of his fear of being alone.
Harmony lay somewhere in the secret world of backing off and turning the other cheek. So why couldn’t he let her be?
“Things are always as they should be Sam,” Sofia told him but he didn’t believe her. He wasn’t wrong but the world pushed down on him as if he were. Making nice didn’t work for him either. He could hear the lie in his own voice.
He went out for a walk, where they used to play by the pond but it had since been filled in and a strip mall built over top.
Oh Frank, I need you now!
He closed his eyes and conjured up the wolf image of Frank, hovering above him as large as an elephant with his snout close Sam’s face. Frank’s protective breath, wrapped around him like a force field.
Your emotions are too powerful. It’s in your nature, its instinct and it’s alright. No more being hard on yourself Sam.
Later while taking a shower, Frank’s truth washed over him. For several minutes Sam understood the meaning of life and it’s wonderful simplicity. It is easy to follow your own path and let other opinions roll off.
Then clarity slipped away and Frank’s answer to the meaning of life was gone.
How do I keep that channel open Frank?
Defying Sofia’s epithet, “headshrinkers are sent from the devil!” Sam and Eunice booked couples counseling.
“You don’t need a high priced quack, living in sin is your root cause, Son!” Sofia had said.
The night before the first session Sam wrote:
I look forward to meeting you regarding how I have moved a serious issue. It relates to my jealousy of my girlfriend mentioning her past life too much. I was triggered bad Saturday. It had been a build-up of subtle feedback of how it bothered me. We managed to talk it through over the weekend. I was able to be brutally honest even at risk of it being over and done with.
It could have been the end and I would have handled it. Good to know I could have walked away. That I would have the strength for it, if required.
Eunice used to share more of herself. She kept people at arm’s length, so they wouldn’t hurt her. Sam was sad he’d become the exact person, she had described to him. He was now in the same container as the men, she’d been afraid of as a child.
“Even when you offered me ways out, at no time did I want you out of my life. I hope I’m just a fool for love and a sucker for your pretty face,” he said, trying to lighten things up.
“Sam, I love you but I fear you. You have to engage in a level of civilized conversation. I can work on my distance, so don’t assume I’m abandoning ship just yet!” she said.
“You have to admit, you don’t love deep conversations!” he said.
“Are you saying I’m shallow? she asked.
“You talk in your sleep, so I’ve heard a lot!” he said.
“We have different needs and rather than voice them, we dig the hole deeper,” she said.
“I think we need to stop assuming, what the other one is thinking. Something like, ’Hey, let’s do something fun tonight rather than assuming the other doesn’t want to do anything,” he said, knowing he sounded frustrated.
“I get it. I get it. You are quite intense right now,” she said.
He stopped talking.
“What do you mean?” he asked.
“I guess, I need to appreciate you more,” she laughed.
“Why?” he asked, with appreciation.
“For trying for the both of us,” she said.
“You get what I’m saying right? I think it would be good if we each tried,” he said.
“We shall see Sam,” she said.