Eyes Wet with Anger



In the morning the storm was still going and the power was out. She woke in a bad humor and didn’t speak to anyone. Jim and the boys gave her a little bit of space and hoped that when the wind and rain passed they might all have a good day together.
She was on silent mode, letting the steam build, and the kids wanted to cook breakfast eggs over the campfire, so Jim led them out into the wind and the rain to collect wet kindling and have a try at it.
Once they had the fire going good, past the smoky frustrated stage, she walked down to them, and passed silently and stood facing the water for a few minutes, before walking away on the rocks around the old fishpond.
Her four year old followed, calling out “mommy” and returned after a few minutes in tears, saying his heart was beating, and not understanding what he had done wrong. Jim held him and let the minutes go by.
The logs were burning down to a good cooking fire when she returned and Jim went into the kitchen and quietly chose the oldest little frying pan, put on a thick layer of oil, and pulled a carton of eggs from the dark fridge.

He found a wooden spatula, and asked her if she was all right, and she turned to him with accusing, angry eyes that filled with tears while she talked, and she asked him why he had to drink beer every night. And she told him she was thinking about quitting the whole thing, and that it was too much, and she was sad because she loved him, but it was a deal breaker.

After breakfast they got into it again, and the kids were right there listening, confused, and it was still wet and windy, and it was time to pack up.

Jim wasn’t in a good mood at all, though these were the days he usually loved, camping out and cooking over a fire, loading up the truck and heading off for an adventure.

He asked her if it was ‘cause she was headed to Brazil, and so wanted to cut off the relationship to have a clear conscious.
She said she’d figured he’d ask that.
And he said, ‘well yeah, the timing you know.’

It was her and the kids’ last day on Molokai and it seemed like a real bum deal to lay it on him then, sour the whole experience, when everything had been so good.

No, it wasn’t because of the trip to Brazil, she said. It’s something that’s been coming for a long time. A dis-satisfaction.

But the confrontation had cooled her fire enough for them to get in the car. And six miles down the road, when they stopped to fill their water jugs, and he had the kids busy, he walked back to the truck where she was waiting and they made a little peace, at least for the day.

They stopped again at the boat mooring at Kamalo, and up in the mountains the waterfalls were all going, and she was happy like nothing had ever been weird. But Jim was quiet now, and when the kids went off to find crabs under muddy rocks, and she followed them, he leaned against the truck and looked up at the waterfalls but didn’t really see anything but some distant dark mountains with thin little white lines that kept falling.


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