Irony waits…poetic, in cold waters, like an octopus, orbits swivelling independently, leaping and tearing with parrot beak. Peter is at the end of love – suitcase in hand he heads for the promised country, walking slowly across the sea.
Peter had a wife who suffered from Multiple Sclerosis for many years. And when the love ran out, he did too. He said he did it for her. Pleading he could no longer afford the medical bills he argued that divorce would constrain the government to replace his nursing hand.
Peter was a Christian, born again, as he would put it; solidly ensconced in convictions that committed him for better or worse. No one knows the inner machinations of his decision. And perhaps the machinery was so cleverly concealed that he too could not see or hear it turning. Perhaps his youth and dreams were bone weary in a relationship where love had expired. And self-deception was a creative way of slowly moving through shame.
How did Peter explain his decision to his father, a pastor, and his mother, a solid Christian woman? How did he reconcile the professed ground of his being with his choice? I see him wheeling his wife into the living room one day – he sits on the couch opposite. She is in tears, and he, impaled on the spear of choice, broadcasts the news through the telegraph of family and friends: “I’m leaving because I can’t afford it.” He tells them. “The government will be forced to take care of her. It’s better this way.”
Shortly afterward he is seen often in the intimate company of another woman. He no longer attends his church. Friends fall away. Family is divided. And Peter, suitcase in hand is walking slowly across the sea to the promised country.
A year passes, and he, a man in his late thirties, has a minor stroke. ‘Irony waits…poetic, in cold waters…’ Peter is hospitalized and begins to recover. ‘…like an octopus:’ Some months later symptoms impel him to the doctor. ‘…orbits swivelling independently…,’ And he is diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis. ‘…leaping and tearing with parrot beak.’