The sound of her son’s giggling gives her temporary relief. So does a late night text from a friend. There is still the perfect cup of coffee to savor, and crisp autumn air to fill her lungs. Letting in the dog, locking up, turning out the the lights, doing the things her husband used to do, she is also very cautious not to linger too long in her own silence, shutting out the “why me?” and “what if?” type of thinking that the silence brings. She imagines life a year from now and surprisingly still has strength enough to dream that it will be better, “Sometimes I want to fast forward a year in my life and get a glimpse at what is, hopefully, a brighter future,” she writes on her blog.
Used to be, when Abigail Maslin Googled her husband TC’s name, articles from the New York Times attributing quotes to him as an expert in the energy industry would pop up. Now, she is sickened that his name is synonymous with terms like, “brutal,” and “assault.” Scanning all of the bigoted comments aimed at her neighborhood and her husband’s attackers that surfaced on the web in the wake of his assault, Abigail Maslin isn’t swayed; she still loves Capitol Hill. But the Maslins are letting go and leaving.
“As my old husband slips further and further from my reach, my new one grows stronger and stronger,” Maslin writes on her blog in a post titled, “Communication.” Maslin wonders what her “old husband” would think of her after seeing the enormous load she is carrying. The road ahead is uncertain, and shedding parts of the past might help lighten that load. “The love is richer,” she writes, “but the fear is deeper.” A year from now, the better future, the brighter future she sees is a life filled with what most of us already take for granted. And someone as “remarkable” and “impressive” as TC continues to fight for it.
With the sounds of the traffic and weather reports trickling in from the bedroom t.v., my wife and I squabble over who spent more time in the bathroom as we get ready for our hour-long commute. The argument spills over into the kitchen where she accidentally elbows my coffee cup, emptying its contents. There isn’t any left and there’s little time to stop. Recognizing her apprehension, I take a beat, and instead of heightening the tension, I just wipe up the spill and tell her, “no worries, I have to cut down anyway.” This is exactly the kind of life the Maslins are dreaming about having a year from now. Still grieving the past, Maslin tells visitors to the blog that it’s her not so secret wish that one day it will cease to exist, that we will become “bored” by their story. Cheerfully having nothing to write about a year from now, the Maslins will have moved on to a “more normal life where bad days consist of traffic, spilt coffee, and lesson planning. Not brutal assaults. Not violence. Not pain,” she writes, adding, “I could really go for a bad day like that.”
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