Saturday, December 5, 2009

Hands Tied

Right now this man is outside, sitting on the couches by the stairs that go to the second floor of our library.

Inside my room, there are children playing. Kids are on the internet, looking at books, playing games.

Two of them came in, a boy and a girl, well-spoken and behaved.

Moments later, their father got a telephone call and went to sit on the couch outside my room.

He's arguing about being a good father, being seperated, selling a house ten years ago, being stuck unable to trust.

He's arguing about being there for his kids, how he's doing well, how the two of them should be in counseling as he wants to, handling there issues.

He's insisting that the woman on the other line needs to listen, how she can't move beyond certain things. "What do you want from me?" He says. "You don't know?"

He's doing all of this within earshot of his children.

It doesn't matter that he's doing as he ought, trying to work out his problems in a healthy way, because he is. He's not shouting or cursing or telling his spouse she's evil.

But his children are hearing what he's saying; they're inside the room with me, hearing what I hear, and knowing that there's something wrong.

When he hang up he came back inside and got on the phone with someone so he could recount the conversation. But his kids are in this room.

And I wish they didn't have to hear it. Because they're not just hearing it at the library.

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