how i crave a cigarette. how intensely i want to get out of this room, this house, and drive away, to smoke my cigarette. but i don't want to leave the children here. i don't want to leave them sleeping with him. is it time? i ask myself. is it time yet, to pack my things, to end this haphazard marriage? i notice i've been building my wall, brick by brick i've been building it, whenever i'm reduced down to shit, then nothing. there are periods of peace. of relative happiness. of course. even long ones. but then shit comes and is flung at my face. smothered my face in it. then i am called shit, called useless, called stupid. when he can't control himself. when he can't control his anger. i knew there was a dark side to him when we first met. no, not when we first met. when we first had sex. in that hotel room, when i was laying under him, looking up as he moved i saw it. i saw that carnal darkness lurking behind those half closed eyes and i knew, i knew he is incapable of controlling it. so far it has been good enough to hide itself, but i sense its presence getting closer more and more. tonight he threw the bowl across the room. it hit the wall and shattered. while he was holding the baby. it could be me next, he'll fling me across the room and i'll hit the wall and shatter the same way the bowl hit the wall and shattered. i feel numb. i feel afraid. i am afraid of him. i am afraid for myself, for my children, for the time when he cannot control his anger, what will happen then? when is it time to stop?
i've been building my brick wall. brick by brick i've been building it. silently. stealthily. slowly. if i were to pack my things, where could we go? we could go to Hai Anh in Orlando. he does not know her address. i could take the kids and drive to Plano, texas. except i don't think there will be anybody there in plano, texas. how long would it take to pack, if i pack without anyone knowing? i'd probably take two days. first would be the important papers, birth certificates, social security cards, title to the car. i'd take some of my books. the rest can be packed relatively quick.
i think one of these days i will do that. or i'd sit down straight across from him and tell him that it's time, i don't want to live with you anymore, i don't want to build a family with you anymore, i don't want to feel the hurt, feel the fear, feel the desperation, the dead-end, the no way out, anymore. and we could either amicably work out the custody of the kids and work it out in court. but i would have full custody. i've thought about it. i can't give him the children. i won't. not even henry, who looks so much like his father.
it probably won't be tomorrow. or even the day after. i know this despite wanting to scream at him to get out! get out! get out of my sight! despite finding him at this moment ugly and repulsive. despite at this moment feeling a numbing surrender even though he was a choice i made. except i would not have chosen him if it wasn't for the baby. if henry didn't come, i probably would not have chosen him. even if i did, for a moment, felt a certain safety in his embrace. even now, right now, he is not my love but my habit. habit like brushing my teeth at night and leaving books strewn all over the house so that i can at anytime pick one up and continue reading it. habit like a nun's. except i'm everything but nun-like.
but, i suppose he is my choice, and i will live with this choice, until i make the next one. this will have to be my salvation.