Across the great divide

Published 10:08 pm Tuesday, April 1, 2014

By Rex Alphin

Well, I never thought it would come to this. Not in this way. In one fell swoop, it all changed, and we became distanced. After 33 years, this is what happens? This is how one is treated by life? How can it be?

I will admit, I wasn’t prepared for the implications of her decision, the consequences of her action. I had no idea it would cause this void, this fracture of human intimacy.

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At one time we were close, for life itself had kept us in such proximity. At one time, we were inseparable, unable to escape the clutches of one another, forced by the storms of life into the arms of one another.

But now — it pains me to pen such words — she seems but a ship on a distant horizon, a heart beating from afar. This abyss has come between us — a cold, broad desert, bereft of life, an expanse of sterility.

To be honest with you, at times, she is not to be found. I search — oh, with yearning — but to no avail. My arms grasp but air, my fingers touch but emptiness. I am like a man cast upon the Plains, windswept and barren, alone, calling into the darkness in search of humanity as the terrain mocks my efforts and laughs at my misery.

I stumble to the west and she is not there. I search to the north, but to no avail. To the south I embark, but my hands come up empty, though they crave the touch of human skin, the feel of a beating heart, the tingle of another’s hair across my cheek.

Finally, broken and defeated, I lay on my side, drawn in fetal position, knowing my bride is alive and breathing, yet far, far away across a great divide that I have not the strength to cross. I am undone!

What, you may ask, has caused such angst in your heart? What could possibly cause such separation after these many years?

I will tell you, my friend, but brace yourself.

My wife bought a king-size mattress.

Rex Alphin of Walters is a farmer, businessman, author, county supervisor and contributing columnist for the Suffolk News-Herald. His email address is rexalphin@aol.com.