Monica Bielanko
A chronicle since 2005 of my marriage & move to Brooklyn in my twenties; becoming a mother in my thirties; moving to Pennsylvania and learning to amicably coparent after divorce in my forties while living 3 doors down from my ex-husband in a small country town.
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Monday
Mar062006

Ballad of an Insomniac (Float Away)

I can't sleep. My two boys are engaged in an epic snoring competition in the next room. The big black boy sprawled on my side of the bed, the bigger white boy spooning him instead of me. Right now that suits me just fine.

We had a fight a day ago. About what, I don't recall - it's the escalation and subsequent trading of insults that tends to stick to my ribs. It's never the initial disagreement, is it? That's just the fuse, but once it's lit, look out baby - the whole of your transgressions from the past week, month and year are being locked and loaded, ready for strategic firing.

And so we fired our missiles, lobbed our grenades, until we were seriously wounded, nobody left standing. Me, face down on the couch sobbing. He, laying on the bed reading.

A 24 hour stand-off ensued. Monosyllabic sentences uttered only when absolutely necessary.
"You work today?"
"Yeah."
"You walk Max?"
"Yeah."

I tell myself that everyone fights, our elementary antics not uncommon. But not everyone lives their life like my husband. On a cigarette wing and a musical prayer. No thought to tomorrow. And then what? When he fails to stay then he'll fly away, to wake up tomorrow - if he wakes up tomorrow at all.

Only love can stop you now

He needs me

Float Away you're floating

If only to keep him grounded in reality...the semantics of life with which he has yet to make an acquaintance. Will his free spirited approach to living transform me, by default, into the person I never wanted to be? A sexy night consisting of dialing my credit card company to hear the computerized voice purr the dwindling balance of the Visa I work so hard to pay off? Yes. Yes! YES! Tell me more my sweet, electronic, baby. Was it good for you?

Perhaps The Surge will woo me to his side of the street.. because that's where my heart longs to dwell. But if I cross over, who will hold down the fort? Who will organize? Who will make sure to pay utility bills and student loans on time? That piercing thought niggles at my maternal instincts, keeps me from finding my way from this city of gray to his sunnier side of the street. Boy.

Will my demons and his insecurities devour us?

Any time at all
Any kind of blue sky over
Any kind of fall
Could land you on the lonely streets
Of anyone at all
Who's drifting from the arms of Somebody, Somebody, Somebody

Float Away you're floating...

Reader Comments (13)

Hey. Hope you can sleep. I'm not finding a comfy position in bed tonight.
March 7, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterHoopla
My husband and I are very different people - much like it sounds you and The Surge are - except your circumstances are extreme...probably so extreme that no one really can relate to how it feels. All I know is that when I am the one sobbing on the couch and Rob is rolling his eyes and saying, 'why are you crying again?' I have to go back to the beginning and remember why I am here with him...this guy that I don't recognize or relate to - the man that seems...so far away. The beginnings of our passion always gets me through the tough, no holds bared, ferocious fights about nothing...until I recognize him again and we are walking down the middle of our streets together.
March 7, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterRichelle
This actually happened and I wrote this a week or so ago.. Hence the "looking back" categorization... Nonetheless, thanks for the kind words..
March 7, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterMonica
it's trite to say, but it seems many of us start trying to mold our partner into ourselves--then claim victory.I don't want to live with another version of me, but sometimes you need the little changes...
March 7, 2006 | Unregistered Commentercathy
I know it's hard and it can be difficult Monica. I hope you know even though that I'm not married. I know how you feel, somewhat of what you go through. It's just been going on for 8 years and 1 month and a few days for me.

March 7, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterFiabug
You can't have the ying without the yang. The same sides of 2 magnets repell each other. Life is constantly striving towards a balance state. An equilibrium. It's not always easy or pretty, but somehow we find a way to do it, balance the scales that is, without giving in completely to the other side.
March 7, 2006 | Unregistered Commenterbob
ah, student loans. would we all be vacationing in europe without them??
March 7, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterEmily
Beautifully written. How many of us have felt that? Quite a few, judging by the responses. That could have been my house for the last year, at least, of my marriage.

The post by Richelle was very pertinent in that it takes a continuing perpspective for marriages to survive. It's too easy for someone to say, "I've changed," or "you've changed," and break off. That isn't the foundation that a marriage should be built on, and too often people lose the thing that initially drew them together.

I think your desire to go over to the Surge's "side of life" is probably a simplified view of your own sense of what security is, how it makes you feel, and how you can pursue your dream, while still making ends meet.

The financial insecurity of being a "breadwinner" is daunting for us all.

That said, the Surge pursues his muse and art with the vigor and sense of purpose that should eventually lead him (and you), to a place far different and better. Monica, your need to write is no different. If the roles were reversed, (and I see you both, similarly...as artist's), how would things be different? Maybe his "living in the moment" is the only way for the art in him to bloom? Maybe you need conflict, tension, and pressure to create what you create?

That's my take from reading some of this stuff, and I'm just taking the things that I read at face value, with no clear understanding of your actual marital dynamic.

Marriage ain't easy. Lord fuckin' knows, it ain't easy! One thing I do know; keeping tabs on all a person's transgression's (if they even are transgression's?) will eat you and the other person alive. This is the the standard line, but it is better to see the good in folks than the bad.

Luv' on both of ya!
March 7, 2006 | Unregistered Commenterjoe
Yeah, what Joe said. Every word.

People are doing the best they can do, almost always. Including you. Makes no sense to beat each other up over it, almost always.


janet
March 7, 2006 | Unregistered Commenterjls
Joe said: "Maybe his "living in the moment" is the only way for the art in him to bloom? Maybe you need conflict, tension, and pressure to create what you create?"

That's so very true.. his living in the moment is what attracted me to him. Were he a an office drone, I wouldn't have looked twice.. and really, I never want him to change.. If I had to choose between financial stability and The Surge as he is - there is no question I'd go with the latter.. And about me you are correct as well.. Writing is my therapy.. were I some happy-go-lucky kinda gal all the time - I wouldn't have written my book.

Thank you all for the comments.. I'm so pleased that such insightful, thoughtful, intelligent people are drawn to this blog..

March 7, 2006 | Registered CommenterMonicaBielanko
You know...this is totally off topic...but has to do with insomnia, which I have had a terrible case of the past month or two. I just finally was able to get some sort of sleeping aid. Generic Tylenol PM's. Before that it was my cold medicine that I had. I can take the stuff at 10 pm...here it is 12 am I'm still wide awake. PFFFFFT!

Tomorrow I will wake at 6:45 am. Get the little one up for school, see her out the door to the bus stop and run right back to the warmth of the blankets on my bed and go back to sleep, sleep until 10:30-12:30 sometimes. Thank god I go back to work in a week and a half.

Being an insomniac is for the birds. It was much cooler being one when I was younger, didn't have a kid and worked nights. LOL

March 8, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterFiabug
I've been fighting the insomnia demon for about a month now.. It's awful.. I'll toss and turn for hours.. brain racing.. Finally, I'll get up and read or watch TV until I crash, which sometimes is not until 7AM.. I too, have resorted to Tylenol PM.. which makes it difficult to get up in the morning..
March 8, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterMonica
Tylenol PM has been my friend. I've never really had full blown insomnia, but not so long ago, after I had just lost someone very close to me and was kept up with sadness more than anything else, a friend gave me a gift - a bottle of Tylenol PM. Best thing anyone did for me during that difficult time.

Haven't used it since, though, happy to say. I have much more difficulty with the waking up part than the falling asleep part.
March 8, 2006 | Unregistered Commenteramanda b

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