I haven’t moved. She walked away a while ago but I remain in the same position, on the couch, not moving an inch. The light on the timer just went out and I sit in the dark, hearing the cat’s tail flip on the carpet by my feet. We went round and round tonight, almost politely, and through the whole argument, I didn’t move an inch.
Finally she said we should just talk later and I said fine. She walked into the kitchen. I stayed. She came back a minute later wanting to wrap things up before sleep but I didn’t budge. We said we heard what the other was saying but we kept talking and explaining. I knew even if she heard what I said it wouldn’t change what she was going to do. I think she felt the same. So the argument went on. Still, my position on the couch didn’t change. I don’t think even my face changed.
We came to silence. She pet the cat too much and he snapped at her. She said fine, and walked away with a trailing “I love you.” I sat silent and let her leave. I knew I should have said it but I didn’t want to.
I couldn’t move. I felt my chest get warm and I wanted to scream or put my fist through the wall, just to the left of the TV, but I sat perfectly still. The warmth grew. The light went out. The wind blew outside and I sat thinking about how I didn’t want to get up and start the motion towards bed.
I want to sit here all night. I’m imagining how numb I’ll be by 3 a.m. Why? Maybe if I don’t move, my point I was trying to make will linger on. Maybe I want to go numb. Maybe I have to stay still so I won’t yell, I don’t know.
She’s asleep. Nothing’s changed.