Firsts. They are so memorable, especially the firsts in a relationship. Take first dates for instance. They’re brimming over with expectation: your hope that he will be the one, the desire that this time it will work out, and the joy at realizing that a second date is in the offing, when the first one ends in a perfect good night kiss.
There are other firsts as well: the first time you introduce him to your friends, the first time he tells you he loves you, your first fight and the great make-up sex that follows. And then, it’s a walk down the aisle, the first man you’ve promised forever to and your first dance as husband and wife, which makes you feel like the star of your own movie.
Eventually, the firsts fade from view and you settle in to everyday life, blissfully unaware that there could be any surprises in the offing. You think you have him pegged, you feel safe and secure in the fact that your marriage is really on track. And then one day, like a shot in the dark there it comes: Crazy.
At first, you believe his behavior is an anomaly like a tsunami or finding the perfect pair of jeans. Crazy. It comes at you out of nowhere, as if it’s been hiding in the bushes all this time and waiting for just the right moment to pop out and freak the shit out of you. Crazy. It comes in like a lion and doesn’t go out like a lamb because, once it rears its ugly head, it never leaves. This is the point at which you have to admit two things: you’re married to a crazy man and you can’t fix crazy.
When you were first dating, he told you the horror stories about all the relationships that had ended in disaster. But you weren’t without a few horror stories of your own so, naturally, you gave him the benefit of the doubt. You cursed those hussies for kicking him to the curb, never dreaming that one day you would want to do the same. But now everything is so clear; they didn’t kick him anywhere; they ran, screaming, for their lives; as far away from the crazy as they could get, because you can’t fix crazy.
Once I realized what I was up against, I thought I was clever enough to outsmart crazy. I thought I’d be able to wait it out, to let it pass. Outwit it, kill it with kindness and drown it in sanity. I thought that I had enough love in me to quiet the storms of crazy that roiled and thundered and never seemed to abate. I guess that was my own form of crazy. But crazy is infectious and if you hang around it long enough it begins to drag you down. Truth be told, I tried to save him, even though deep down, I knew that wasn’t my job. And I know that was crazy. I wish I could go back and do the whole thing over again because I think I’d see his crazy sooner than later and I could swerve out of his path and avoid the whole head-on collision of our marriage. But I can’t go back and undo the past no matter how hard I try. I still wish I could and I know that’s crazy. But hey, you can’t fix crazy.