Sunday, April 16, 2006

It would all be worse without the knitting.

I have finished the first sock, and have completed about four inches of cuff on the second sock. Not because I am fast or dedicated, but because I needed something to occupy my mind. Without knitting, my mind is left to spin out of control with anxiety, worry, paranoia...
I had a fight with him last week Thursday, maybe because my mind spins out of control, maybe because his silence is torture to me: Whatever, it doesn't matter.
So tonight I sit with my knitting and wait for him. I finished the toe last night, not knowing if he was working or at home, until far into the night. I cast on the second sock this morning, wondering if my parents saw him in Church for Easter services. Finished the cuff ribbing as they came home without him. Worked the bar and diamond pattern wondering if he would stop by before work. And tonight I finished the zig-zags as I waited to see him: The time when he is usually off work came and went. Maybe he stayed late. Maybe he went home first, maybe he had a shower and something to eat. Maybe he didn't get my text messages, maybe he fell asleep... As I made the white and blue yarn swing up and down in zigzags, my brain went back and forth:
How pathetic is it to wait for him, one eye on the door, one eye on the pattern? Shouldn't I be mad? Shouldn't I stand my ground, ignore his text messages? All I want to do is see him, hold him, forget the fight. But shouldn't we pick apart every word so as to understand the miscommunication and avoid this silence again?
As much as we want to believe that knitting is the new yoga or some meditative lifestyle, I am here to say: knitting isn't life. With this sock, I rip back and tediously fix the tiniest of errors. With him I can't rip back, I can't obsess on one tiny stitch until it is fixed. With knitting, my crazy, obsessive maze of a brain has an outlet where it can swing around the most complicated two-handed fair-isle pattern in Arabic and perhaps leave him alone. With him, all the complex branches of thought can hurt.
So I sit with this pattern, these two balls of yarn on either side of me, both hands wrapped in a strand, chart close by, cat on legs, book open, laptop open, and sock number 1 in view for comparison... I have filled my bed with this knitting project in an attempt to fill the emptiness. I have filled my head and hands with these complex strands to keep myself from obsessively ripping back the fight.
I wish he would show up. Catch me unawares with this mess of two handed yarn. It would not be a "Let me just finish this row" situation. I would push the book, chart, sock, laptop, and cat to the floor. I would throw down both balls of yarn, untangle my fingers, and toss the project and all five needles away. I wouldn't care if my carelessness tangled or ruined the knitting: I know how to fix the damn sock!
Just let my fingers be knotted in his hair, just let me be lost in the tangled un-fixable mess of being with him.

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