Most of the time (and this will sound terrible, I know), I just tune him out. I'm busy getting chores started, or supper ready, or homework done. Kids are circling me like vultures. He plants himself next to me in the kitchen, or wherever I might be, and keeps going on and on with his stories. I occasionally hear something of interest and insert a thoughtful question that sends him into another half-hour monologue. Noise, and more noise, always in my ear.
My husband has now been gone for four days on a mission trip. There is no cell phone coverage where he is working, only heat and years of oppression. It's been the longest span we have ever gone without talking in our 14 year relationship. We have four more days to go. On the first evening, I was so giddy with the silence that I sat on the couch with no television, radio or computer to distract me. Only the candles buzzed slightly around me as I caught up on all my celebrity gossip. The change felt miraculous.
It's gone downhill since then. I miss my husband something fierce in almost a panicked kind of way, as if this stretch of silence is permanent instead of just a week in our lives. I never would have expected that I would miss his endless banter, or his dirty socks under the coffee table, or his looks of pure mischief before he goes chasing after our kids. I miss the noise. I miss his chaotic energy. I miss, sadly enough, the flawed man. He makes our house a home.
That's the really screwed up part about life, I think. No, correct that. That's the really screwed up part about people. We want we don't have, but then when we get it, IF we finally get it, we often want it to go back to the way it was. We hurt others, we even hurt ourselves, in search of something better. Turns out, it was pretty damn good right here.