Saturday we went to the Renaissance Festival. A friend of mine from work was getting married there, in the King's chapel. As a wedding gift, I made her a cloak, since the weather was going to be cool and her dress was light. More on that in another post. (I have lots of "more on that" stuff I need to catch up with, so I'll probably be posting quite a bit over the next few days. Drought or Drown when it comes to me posting)
Of all the things to see and do at the Festival, the thing that fascinates The Boy the most is the hill. It's not really a hill; it's the embankment surrounding the jousting arena. But when you live in the flatlands, any piece of ground that isn't completely level is as exotic as a six-legged llama. Which means we spend a lot of time hanging out at the jousting arena, while The Boy runs up and down. Up the hill! he crows, scrambling up the embankment. Down the hill! he squeals, tumbling to the bottom, covering himself with enough grass in the process to look like a miniature scarecrow.
But that's not what this post is about, either.
This post is about a couple I observed while sitting at the top of the embankment, waiting for The Boy to get his fill of Up and Down the Hilling. Although observed isn't really the right word, since it implies some sort of action on my part. Overheard doesn't quite work either, since that implies some element of private conversation on their part. Maybe was subjected to would be a better phrase.
Because this couple was arguing. Not really screaming, but with voices raised loudly enough that anyone within forty feet or so couldn't help but overhear. I couldn't tell what, exactly, they were arguing about, but it really didn't matter.
You aren't hearing me. You don't care.
They didn't sound so much angry as resigned. It was a dance they had danced a thousand times before. Their two small children played around them, seemingly oblivious to the conversation. I suppose they had grown used to it.
I'm talking about something very specific here. Why does it always have to be this way?
An older couple was sitting on a bench not far from me. I caught the eye of the man, and he shook his head slightly, sadly.
I'm tired of this. This is how you show your love for me?
I wanted to shake them, slap them, knock them out of the pattern they were trapped in, off the ruts they had dug so deep in the path they were on.
Why do you always do this? Arrogance? I tell you how I feel and you call that arrogance?
It made me sad. Because I have been them. Because as much as I wanted to tell them, "It's not too late. You can break this pattern." I realized that for them, it probably was too late. They were both too wounded, too withdrawn, so desperate to be heard that they were beyond hearing.
Hours later, as we walked through the grounds, we passed them again. They were still arguing, her back against a tree, arms folded across her chest, him gesturing with clenched hands. I was grateful for the firm reassurance of Husband's hand in mine as we walked past, our stride in easy rythm.