hindsight by candlelight
she lit another smoke in the half dark, and took another big swig of jack’s as she gazed hauntingly into the candle – it was the only light she could tolerate when her eyes were so swollen and burnt with these many melancholies and tears --- the deeper into the candle she sunk the more vivid and acute the pain became --- it engaged her on an almost feral level and consumed her more quickly than she could consume the booze --- fifteen years of her life down the tubes and nothing but this grip of agony to prove its reality!!!
hannah had been over the moon to begin with – twenty-one with two months to spare and engaged to a fellow that she had eyed from afar for several months – then he asked her to go out and it was all too good to be true!!! --- next she actually became a bona fide fiancee --- WOW!!!
hiccups in the relationship started, and like any respectable case of hiccups, they kept coming back – so she literally held her breath each time she felt the need to assert her own true self as things progressed --- he treated her condescendingly each time she confided misgivings over the whole marriage thing, and she soon began to doubt her own feelings and put all of her faith in his answers --- when she expressed uncertainty that she really wanted to marry and have her time consumed with other penned in women prattling on about kitchen curtains, measles,cookie recipes, and the like, he patronized her yet again and softly coaxed her into the belief that she was suffering a little case of pre-nuptial jitters --- the jitters began to evolve into seismic activity sized doses of anxiety, but she was IN LOVE!!! - and so it was that he was so easy with the facility to talk her out of her own convictions, qualms or reservations --- she went forward with her certainty based on his wants and needs, and all too soon the wedding was actually happening, becoming a fait accompli - and hannah was caught up in the hype and excitement of the real deal as it actually transpired ---
she had seen herself softly and romantically clothed in a flowing, liquid mother of pearl gown, glowing in ethereal beams of a subtle otherworldly light --- her attendants had looked waif like, seeming almost to be fragile and rare butterflies with sequined wings --- the groom and his group stood waiting, elegant in dazzling formal wear – it was all very distorted in her mind!!! --- back then it had felt like an inter-galactic affair but in truth and in fact, it was an ordinary october wedding with all the usual bells and whistles on a very modest scale --- more’s the pity for the girl in love with love rather than well and truly in love – desperate to escape a life filled with disappointment and woe by romanticizing her independence and freedom from what came before --- seeing what lay ahead as perfect and beautiful, an unblemished and untroubled “happy ever after”
BUT THOSE DAMNED HICCUPS WERE STILL TAKING HER BREATH AWAY!!!
soon after the big day was over and done with, they returned with the vengeance of a mythical creature betrayed in the worst way --- and as if to add insult to injury she became pregnant when she least expected it – far and away too soon to suit her - and her worst fears were being realized --- all the worst case scenarios that ever she had fantasized were fact rather than fiction --- and now when she tried to unburden her heart to her groom he was no longer patient or kind --- he was callous and rude, debasing her intentionally and calculatingly ---
her insight had grown proportionately to her overloaded belly and on the birth day her hopes and dreams were as empty as that same recently evacuated belly --- the downhill ride which was the remaining years of the marriage had been terrifying and brutal, ending with a predictable fatality of the whole relationship ---
why had she let herself get roped into that mess? – why did her life mate change so drastically? – had he really changed so drastically? – or was she finally in touch with a reality from which he had cajoled her away? – she could see it all with such clarity now in the waxing and waning glow of the candle - his own ulterior motives of having a family as an accomplishment, a trophy of sorts!!! --- a way of inflating his sick, sorry, and sad self-image - a pretentious way to make up for all that he had seen himself to thus far lack in life – he was the same manipulative SOB that she had happily allowed to drown her skepticism in the first place --- she felt opressed by her own need and stupidity - how had she let this happen to her --- shit!!!
why had she not trusted her own intuition??? --- maybe someday she could --- maybe someday when she didn’t need the jack’s and the candle --- maybe someday she would ---