If you’ve ever heard two cats fighting, you have a pretty good idea of what’s been happening I my head recently. I’m a rather impassioned speaker even if I’m reciting my grocery list. Okay, maybe that’s not a good example because we all know how passionate I am about food. Anyway, Rachel agreed to come up to the holler for a “just us” visit. She has known me for almost thirty-nine years, so she knew what she was signing on for. She refers to my favorite conversational topics, things like “the meaning of life,” as “Deep-Doo.”
It had been a couple of years since we had this much “just us” time, so I had kind of stored up the “Doo;” it was pretty deep. Not to mention that I’ve lately been torn between two “lovers,” Coker Creek and New Orleans. Rachel understands my struggle because she’s often longing for the Louisiana lifestyle. I also am sorely distressed by the climate of fear in our political discourse in the country. We took on all these topics, and then some, including religion – you know all the things we’re taught not to discuss in polite society.
Poor Richard; he must have thought there were two tigers in a big sack in the living room. As we talked, my voice got louder and louder, which is, I think part of having grown up in a family of eleven passionate people. First, he retreated to the kitchen, then he headed to his office, and finally he closed the office door – all the while suffering in silence as Rachel and I took on all the problems of the world.
In the early days of our relationship, quiet spoken Richard would stop my arguments with, “Just because you can talk louder than me doesn’t make you right.” Even when I’m in agreement with a person, the greater my feeling for whatever the topic, the louder my voice gets. My daddy used to call me “Mighty Powerful Woman, “probably on the strength of my voice. He also called me “Y” –because I always wanted the “why” behind every statement of rule or belief.
When Rachel went back to tell Richard good-bye, Richard came out of the room shaking his head in disbelief. “I’m glad you had a good time,” he said, rather quizzically. “If you call that a good time, which I don’t understand.” Rachel replied, “I wouldn’t call it a good time, but it was fulfilling.” “Yeah, I’m full to overflowing,” I said.
This was only partially true. I did feel filled with Rachel’s love for me, but I felt empty of all the grief and anguish I’d saved up. I don’t know how Rachel felt when she left, but I felt purged, and utterly exhausted.
Richard is a brave man to have two matriarchs in his house at the same time. He seems no worse for the wear; in fact, he calmly proceeded to the kitchen after Rachel departed and made sumptuous salads and burgers. What a man!