by cheri sabraw
Those of us who have been in long-term relationships can speak to the power of silence.
All that might be said, has been said. Many times over.
So I’ve taken, at times, to employing non-verbal communication signaled by a pair of fake birds that sits in our entry window.
For example, last week Hizzoner and I engaged in one of our weekly verbal arguments about how many hours he continues to work and preoccupy himself. How I am tired of it. How I want change of some sort. Change.
The next morning, I found that my residual feelings left over from this unresolved conflict in our marriage still lingered. But why bring it up again? So I reconfigured the birds. They can do the talking.
He, on the other hand, saw no conflict worth engaging in. At all. When I came home from my day out, he had realigned the pair to signal how he felt.
Later that night, because of his incredibly long day, he fell into bed like a redwood tree going down in a storm. Good! He’s asleep, I thought, as I entered my side of the bed, hoping to sleep as close to the edge as I could possibly balance for the entire night. But he wasn’t fully asleep and moved over in hopes of mimicking the birds.
Oh well, I thought. Practice gratefulness. That always softens your heart. So the next morning, on my way to my busy day, I communicated my thoughts.
When I arrived home again to a dark
nest house, on my way into the kitchen with logs for a fire and my iPad for entertainment, I let the birds do the pecking.
I made the dinner, seasoned it with cayenne pepper and spicy curry, and settled onto my perch.
The headlights turned down the driveway, the garage door opener grumbled, the door to our entry opened, the roller briefcase clicked across our tile, and the big bird entered, preening and pruning, dusting off his feathers, including the turquoise one in his hat.
I had nothing (at that moment) to say.
He went upstairs to unload.
I went outside to lug in more wood.
On my way out, I noticed the birds had been realigned.
Alright, I thought. That’s sweet.
How was your day, Your Honor?