And so on it goes.
Like a lover trying to dance with a too-aggressive partner, the thick blades of the fan tussle with the hot air, jerking it from one side to the other until the air manages to escape where it settles sullenly and heavily in the corners. Yet the fan has no purpose if not for the syrupy air, so it continues to woo it upwards, only to toss it, scorned, to the opposite corner again and again.
SNAP. The light switch cuts the power, and like a dying moth the blades circle slower and slower, while the air gathers strength, and despite its relief from the fan’s temporary powerlessness, it’s easy to see that the fan and the summer air need each other.
The room is stifling.
She looks up from the deep seated chair where she is reading, the leather seat immediately beginning to cloy to her flesh as the room heats up.
“Why’d you turn the fan off?” The accusatory tone travels the short but well worn path between the two of them.
He throws his hands up in the air, just as she expects him to, and says, “Fine. You want to pay the electricity bill this month, go right ahead.”
He snaps on all the light switches so that the fan and every light in the room flip on [as she had insisted they all be tied to the light switch as she wanted always to be able to see what was in a room before entering it]. The lights in the bright sunlight seem an affront to everything.
“A fan costs 25cents a day to run. That’s less than you spend on your stupid café mochas!”
This again. The fan jumbles the same tired waltz of words around them until they clutter the room, filling the space between then and blocking each one’s view of the other.
After the words have all been said again and again, there seems only one final question left to ask:
How did we get here?
“You tell me. You’re supposed to be the smart one!”
This story is no stranger to anyone who has walked this lonely path – as an enabler, no matter if even unknowingly, you always know something is wrong, even if you can’t define it.
The worst part about these stories is their sad tragedy that they all share, the nastiest irony usually comes later often after a steep price has been paid, when the enabler discovers, with a mix of relief and horror at the unnecessariness of it all, that his or her grief and suffering is not unique.
Their story is not unique.
Their love is not unique.
They are not unique.
Sobering, a befitting word, and heartbreaking. One day soon I will tell this part of my story fully so that others may also know that they are not alone.