Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Marcie and redemption

I will return to the places of Marcie's and my early love in time. First, I need to take a trip up to Humboldt (for pictures of our place). I think I should snap photos of it. It was a very special chapter in our lives, if also a tough one for her.

I am having so many dreams about Marcie. I am, in fact, having so many that I somewhat wanted to stay home and sleep all day today. I did not.

I found myself reflecting on some of the more esoteric reasons Marcie and I were so in love with each other today. I overheard a coworker kvetching about her brother.

"Oh, he is not going to change," she said. "People don't change and they can only fake it for so long when they try."

Marcie had a different idea, which I came to share. Marcie thought that everyone could change, but some people simply would never choose to.

"Some people change or they just fix their problems" she said. "Some people are perfectly happy being whatever they are, no matter how mean or dirty or how ignorant they are."

My discussion with Chrissy reminded me of another aspect of Marcie's outlook on people. Some people change, some people don't, and some people medicate.

"I am telling you, it is a total Prozac nation," she would say. "People think they can get away from their problems by just popping a pill and forgetting they have them."

Marcie understood the need for some help in a crisis, but she was disturbed by the number of people around her on permanent regimens of antidepressants. I had a theory.

"Maybe it's the environment that makes people sick," I said. "The drugs might fix a chemical issue caused by the polluted world around us."

I would never have dared offer it if I was on antidepressants. Thankfully, I never was and never will be, short of being forced.

"That's a total excuse," she said, her pretty blue eyes rolling as one hand went to a hips and her other circled dismissively.

"Oh, I was exposed to whatever, so I am depressed," she said. "Oh, I am sooo sad that my mom didn't love me enough. BLah Blah Blah! People need to get OVER it already."

But she was afraid of sounding silly, and she was wise to boot (as well as pretty and clever and well-read, and any number of other good things).

"You could be right," she said as she disengaged from the conversation. "You could be totally right and people might be completely toxic from the world or whatever. But that's just like throwing up your hands and saying nobody is responsible for anything."

But her belief that people could change and be redeemed was most comforting. Marcie had an immense capacity to forgive and to love, even if she was hurt. It was a measure of her tender toughness.

I will not say who she forgave for what. I will only say that, though we fought from time to time, I never did anything that tested her capacity to forgive me. But I still weep at the thought of her pain with people at times.

There were many times she was ashamed or just beyond the veneer of her pride, and it was a privilege to hold her and comfort her in them.

I was so relieved when, as I told her I apologized for anything she was too good to tell me hurt her feelings or that I had done to hurt her, she simply smiled and squeezed my hand.

"You don't have to redeem yourself for anything, honey," she croaked. "I always knew you wouldn't ever even conceive of doing anything to hurt me."

I realized at that moment that some of the things I had heard her talk about and held her in my lap or arms over still, on her death bed, cast a hurtful shadow over her. Like so many times before, I simply enveloped her in my arms and kissed her.

Sometimes, she did not share what her crying was about. In retrospect, I would get frustrated, though I held her anyway. I now know that consoling touch was more important to her than any silly lover's quarrel.

What she was telling me that very sad day was that the reasons didn't matter. That I just made sure to love her did, though.