Baby, I said, last time C. and I were fighting about money, baby we're so close to the edge. I can work three days a week and pay for rent and bills and groceries and car insurance and gas and your art-school installment and your paints and brushes and canvases and stretchers and my crazy-meds. I can do all this. And I will have time enough left over to work on the dayjob project which is the thing I want and need and love to do.
But nothing, you understand me, nothing can go wrong. We cannot get sick and go to the doctor. The car cannot break down. Because any little thing, any unforseen incident, will send us spinning.
Then I cried and he clucked and the conversation was over, and he never answered me. And then last night we got spun.
The break light on the car is broken. It's been broken for a week. Somebody dinged me while I was parked downtown. I meant to get it fixed as soon as I had some money.
I left the club last night at 2am, turning onto the access road of the highway, and the cruisers were parked right there. They camp there, waiting for drunks to leave the club after last call. Red and blue lights in the mirror and I pulled over into the grass.
I told the officer right away that my license is suspended -- I wasn't carrying insurance when that van T-boned me three years ago come December and left me with the zipper-scar. Another thing I meant to do when I had some money. He asks where I'm coming from and I say I'm leaving work. He says the name of the club, like a question. Well, duh. There's nothing else down that road that's open at 2am.
Yes, I say. He says he smells alcohol and please step out of the car. I had a beer around midnight with a Mexican tour-bus driver named Alberto. I pray this doesn't put me over the legal limit. Seriously, I pray. I get out of the car. He shines a light in my face and tells me to follow his pen with my eyes. We do this for what seems like thirty minutes before he turns the light off and tells me I don't seem drunk, but I can't leave without a license so he's going to impound the car anyway.
Cab ride home: $75
Cab ride back to the impound lot to pick up the car this morning: $80
Impound fee: $152
Fine for for driving with a suspended license: $500
Not going to jail in hand-cuffs: Priceless, I guess. But fuck.
I don't like I-told-you-so's, so I waited till this morning to say, Listen, baby: this is the unforseen incident. All the money I made this week so far, all the money, gone. That was the bill money.
To which he says, it's no big deal. You make that kind of money in a weekend. Work a few extra days. It'll be fine.
But I don't think it will be fine. Because I'm crying again, and I don't cry this much unless something's wrong. I've cried every day for the last week. Sometimes I'm not even sure why I'm crying; I just get started and can't get stopped.
I don't think for a second that C. would act this way if he really understood how scared and vulnerable I feel. But since I've told him a few times now, using the words "scared" and "vulnerable", I don't think he's going to understand.
I don't mind supporting C. I don't mind working. I don't mind paying for things. But somebody asked me in an earlier post what I was getting back, and I don't know the answer. And by "something back" I don't mean money, or anything material, even. I don't need him to "pay me back." We love each other, and the things we do for the people we love are beyond price. It's a relationship, not a savings and loan. I would be happy if, in return for supporting him, I also felt supported. I don't, really.
I have fantasies about being held and feeling safe, but when C. holds me I still feel afraid.
Baby, I said last time we were having this argument, what if I get sick? What if I break my leg? What will we do? To which he says, "You could start temp-ing again, couldn't you?"
That sound like leaves underfoot is my heart breaking. It's a softer sound than you'd expect.