Awoke an hour before dawn, made coffee. Sat here by the window and had dark thoughts.
What am I going to do with that girl? She insists she will schedule a visit very soon, once she gets that undisclosed medical problem taken care of, but I hear nothing from her about coming here, as if we never had the discussion. Furthermore she frequently goes silent . Days, sometimes a week, two weeks go by before she finally calls or writes.
But then that’s the way she is. Has been since I first met her. She responds to trouble or stress by withdrawing. Even though I tell her that talking helps. At least it helps me, since I just hate being kept in the dark about what is going on in her life. We’re lovers, aren’t we?
At first light I headed for the beach at San Franchesco. It doesn’t get crowded until later in the morning. Sunrise is the very best time to sit on the sand alone, to brood in peace.
I thought about the bizarre experience in America, when Giancarlo put on his nice guy act for her, complete with a flowers and candy routine. He figured that it would take a long time before she remembered why she took over the master bedroom as her own private space and told him to never come in there without her permission.
Naturally I thought Giancarlo’s true nature was the very first thing that she ought to recall. So I repeated to her the things she’d told me about him. Even showed her some of the e-mails we exchanged early in our relationship, when she wrote about her frustration trying to get out of the marriage.
“Oh, and by the way,” I said. “Do you remember that afternoon when we were in bed in my apartment, having a quiet conversation, and he showed up at the door? No? Well, he said I want my wife. Right now. I told him to get lost, and I shut the door. And then he started screaming and pounding like a lunatic.”
She shook her head slowly. “I’m sorry, but I don’t remember that.”
“You told me afterward that when you got home, he choked you, slammed you against the wall. You thought he was going to kill you.”
“That’s hard to believe.”
I stared at her. “Really? And why is that? Do you think I’m making it up?”
“He seems like a really sweet guy. He brings me coffee in the morning before he goes to work. He gives me money, tells me that I should go to the mall buy a lot of nice clothes. Whatever I want.”
It got worse. She told me about the night she woke up, crying. A really terrible nightmare. Giancarlo heard her, came into her bedroom, asked her what was wrong. She sobbed that in her dream she was in darkness, and some terrible monster was chewing up her belly, and she was bleeding to death. Giancarlo eased into her bed and cradled her in his arms until she went back to sleep.
And then a week later, when Vittoria and I were talking on the phone, I heard Giancarlo’s voice in the background, and then I heard her say, “Oh, hi, hon.”
I couldn’t stand it. But what could I do? She was married to the guy.