The world conspires, every time, to show her to the door. To give her the easy way out, easier and easier outs, to keep from reaching that terrifying point. The slap. First it was because she was a hero. Because she carries him upon her back. Because he will fall apart. Because Sean did fall apart. Because he threw them, tantrum after tantrum. Because the phone rang, or the dog appeared, or their son was imperiled, or Paul's feelings were hurting. The world was generous. The world is generous.
Tina appears, looking for her thong, stops stock still and terrified, stares. When Cathy asks for a moment with Paul, Tina says her goodbyes. Paul stares, building up Taurus anger under what he imagines is a cold Cancer moon. To be angry first, to be angry hotter and better, to make the anger Cathy's fault, to have no accountability at all.
"What, no yelling? No lecture? No judgmental condemnation of my abhorrent behavior? I fucked her, Cathy. Multiple times in fact. I mean, why shouldn't I?"
Confession: She has hurt him so deeply that it made him a man. This is how he chose to show it. Childish and brutal and very, very afraid; drunk enough to act out. Man enough to sober up and pretend he meant it all along. He's very dramatic. Every day is Valentine's Day, with Paul Jamison; either Valentine's or a massacre. "You fucked somebody, so I fucked somebody too. And what do you have to say about that?"
But the volume doesn't change the clarity of the message; the way the honesty sears itself clean. His quid pro quo, he thinks it's about sex but it's not about sex. It's about the fire and the burdens and the little cracks of light. It's not about sex, it's about gift-giving. His honesty for hers. It's not about sex, it's about opportunity. To forgive him, to forgive herself, to lay down the burden at the river side; to come clean. Pulled, torn, between honesty and charity, to finally split. To dive in:
"I have cancer."
To love him louder still.
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