old habits die hard

My friend Terry, of Nallen's fame, is in much the same boat as I. His wife managed to find herself a boyfriend and get moving right on with her life without him, less than a year after they married. We spend every day a fair amount of time on the phone or at lunch every day talking each other off the ledge.

He got the call he has been both praying for and dreading at the same time today. She left the boyfriend (he returned to his wife) and wants to start over with him. Not so much be married per say, but starting from the very beginning, a very fine place...

I like musicals. Bygones.

Anyway, he called me in tears today. He has no clue what he should do, and since I have traveled this road a few times, he is calling on me for help. I, of course, have no idea as to how to advise him. My heart breaks at the thought of my friend, one of my very best friends, (and I only have like 5, not really enough to spare one) moving to Texas. I worry because she is so clearly wrong for him on every level and I knew this well before she turned into scanky tramp girl, but he loves her and really wants to be married and so I walk a thin line with him right now, the line between supporting him and loving him and giving him the words he needs and wants to hear and hitting him hard upside the head with my shoe and knocking some goddamn sense into him.

The funny thing is, with all of this I am finding myself feeling a little bit jealous of him. I mean, Josh and I have done this song-and-dance routine too many times, but he has always tried to win back my favour. He has always really dug me when we are apart. This time, however, not so much. He's done. It's final. There's no fighting for me, winning me back, there's just nothing. It is a harsh sort of rejection and I am jealous of Terry because he is not getting that. He is getting a complete, total mind-fuck from his wife, but at least she wants to talk to him. In my twisted little mind, that counts for something.

On to my point: I realized the other day that it is over between Josh and I, for good, forever, in the funniest sort of way. Backstory...

When I was a little girl, my mother had this thing for creeping into my room in the middle of the night wielding the closest belt/shoe/hangar/brush/skillet she could grab and randomly just beating the ever-living crap out of me while I slept. I got into the habit pretty early on of sleeping in a ball in the middle of the bed with the pillows all around me and my head tucked in under my arms, just in case. For protection. I remember shortly after Josh and I began hanging out on an "overnight" sort of basis, begin fast asleep and woken to him tugging on my legs. I asked him what he was doing and he asked me exactly what the fuck I was doing. "Sleeping?" In a ball? Not like that, not in this bed is what what he countered with. He was trying to straighten me out. He did this in the middle of the night every time I stayed the night and I knew I was going to marry him the day he said to me, "You know you're safe here, right? You can relax now." I stretched out and slept probably the best sleep of my whole life that night. Every night since the he would come to bed and put his hand on the small of my back and then I knew I was ok and could sleep.

A few weeks ago I woke up, in the middle of the bed, curled into a ball, stiff neck and all. And I have every morning since.

I guess I stopped imagining that hand on my back. My body has realized that it is over. Weird.