Excerpt from Licking Honey Off a Razor Blade by Valerie Grimes
Sunlight must have just entered the darkened room because now I was awake. The sun is my alarm clock. Fortunately I have one of those jobs that doesn’t require an alarm to get out of bed.
The mornings are my favorite time of day between unconscious and conscious when I wake up feeling the newness of the day and take advantage of that newness to reflect on what I am grateful for. But today as I gaze around the room, I see clothes all over the floor (mine are there too), the bed has been rocked across the wood floor about four feet from its starting place, a Bible is open on the chest of drawers, the Saint Mary candle long since extinguished, there is a row of empty beer bottles on the window ledge, and the hum of the window AC unit. Why am I here? I miss my routine: meditation and morning walks with my dog Bonnie.
The sounds of his breathing draw my attention as I notice more sunlight moving across his face to reveal an absolutely gorgeous man lying next to me. Finally, he is sleeping peacefully. In this state he seems so normal, the man who was an athlete that went on a scholarship to college, landed a great job, moved to Dallas with the girl of his dreams, and started building a life. His father’s stern influence on him to be perfect fueled him in his teens and twenties. I could easily see fear was the motivation. Fearful of what would happen if he disappointed his dad.
On the outside he looked self-directed, driven by pride and passion for capturing the dream of a great career and family. I refer to this aspect of him as ‘The Brilliant One.’
But I know that upon awakening this seemingly peaceful man becomes ‘The Wounded One.’ He wakes up cranky wanting a beer right away (and demanding I bring it to him), and also that I give him head. He is disagreeable; he is scary, and I realize I can only handle him when I’m drinking too. But there is no way I’ll drink this morning, can’t numb myself out today. While he sleeps, I continue to reflect and wonder if I’m really ‘The Brilliant One’ I see in him, so much potential but wasted.
I’ve been encouraging him to reconnect with his potential, but it is I who also has the potential, perhaps I need to spend more time encouraging myself to develop my potential for my health and my business. I’m in the health and wellness business, using my heart and my training for hypnosis, and if my mind-body is not in the right space, I’m bringing that to my clients. No wonder my clients have dropped off.
My phone has a feature that announces the name of the caller. I change the caller ID to remind myself whom I was dealing with so when I hear my phone announce: ‘call from The Wounded One,’ I won’t rush to the phone like I did earlier when it announced, ‘call from Salvador,’ which was certainly more tantalizing.
For a while, I referred to him as, ‘Just Be Careful.’ And sometimes ‘Ass Hole.’
It was my way of remembering how he could change from one person to another. I think I was the one that was changing from sensible to insensible as well. Seems as if he would show me just enough of the ‘Brilliant One’ to lure me in before he became the ‘Wounded One’ again.
In the consciousness of this new day, it is beginning to look clearer. On a clinical level what I was discovering was that he was really my teacher (I always felt compelled to stay with him although it didn’t make sense) in these early morning moments while lying next to him and watching him sleep, I realized how much I had grown on an emotional level, but realized too that getting over the addiction to him would be the harder part. It wasn’t a normal case of projection but in reverse, I wasn’t blaming him for my lack of potential, I just saw it in him and it created empathy for me.
So before the ‘Wounded One’ stirs, I slowly and quietly get out of bed, find my clothes, and slip outside into the sunshine where my soul can shine.