Greener Meadows

She needed proof from the outside, it wasn’t enough that her limbs ground and trembled from imposed rigor, her cramming in the exercise. “No more gorging, giving into cravings, no more nonsense,” ordered the familiar voice. It sounded so reasonable in her mind, that she could stop that silliness immediately.

She had forgotten, again, the wide stare of the prejudiced mirror in the parlor, that very morning, while absorbed in the tasks ahead.

As a nonbeliever in the vague, muted sighs from intuition, she felt sure her condition was registered somewhere by a reputable MD. That didn’t save her from remembering she had never been able to restrict from oral pleasure. Disciplining cravings was never her thing.

Soon, the pesky bug of ambivalence crept up, saying the meadow was probably greener on the other side of her.

She was not a planner, no road was ever sketched, and no prospect ever enunciated. Her way was akin to the gusts of October, unconcerned, always looking for something wonderful to “lo and behold”. Emotions tore her in two,  back and forth, wanting to achieve what she wasn’t meant for.

Then he came. She said yes, although at her core there was always another option, wanting to be revealed. But alternatives needed excuses to be taken, and he was no drunken idiot, lying around being as fatherly as a pile of dirty laundry, smoking a couple of packs a day. She saw no way of backing out of him. Her new mess would have to do.

Worried, she bounced theories with her shrink, unraveling layers of herself. The professional hinted: might she be obsessed with finding fairness where there wasn’t any to be had. ¿Could she be free in an unfair world, where willpower fails against cravings, thighs jiggle in faded jeans, and husbands aren’t as exciting as they were pumped up to be?

The s caterpillar glissaded to her head, announcing options available. ¿A brighter, greener meadow, on the other side of marriage?

But love happened. Perfection came, for a while.  Four legged with a mane, and during this time she felt free. At the end of thirty-something she found herself resolute, along trails of sweat and falls. Her mind balanced in the risk of art, thighs tightened steadfast around a noble back. An emerald meadow stretched ahead.

Her husband’s fear of the future tipped the scales over. The green turned pale. After his drilling probabilities into her gauzy reality, she tore herself apart and acquiesced. She wouldn’t die riding, she’d stay put for him, and play along, pretending to be herself. The game of passion subdued, will against whim.

It faded her discreetly.

Se searched for worlds and found them in other people. Outside of herself other eyes watched, feet treaded, hands explored, voices told. Books piled on shelves around the house, in the coat closet. New theories brought back some of the lost gleam from her eyes, while her body grew old and achy.

But temperate October always comes back in amiable gusts, and she dreams of greener meadows, still.