It Started With a Fight

A = the guy I was seeing this summer

Last weekend, A came to New York with me, so he could visit his family and I could visit mine.

A and I met by chance in Vermont and found out we're both from the same town in New York, hence the friendship, and more.

Sidenote: While in New York, my high-school friend, F, and I went to a concert on Saturday night. We saw Matthew Good, a Canadian musician who we listened to in high school. It was therapeutic, lots of laughs and familiar music. Much needed!

On our way to and from New York, A and I drove through Port Henry and passed the sign for Witherbee Road. The energy was electric, and the book was calling out, "Write me, write me!"

So, when A stopped at his friend's house (which caused a fight last time we were there), I opted to stay in the car this time and write the first paragraph of my book (a variation of the Introduction I'm piecing together).

But the whole thing backfired when he got back in the car to leave, and I closed the Notes app that I was writing in, which made him think I was being secretive. He doesn't like secrets... and so I think the assumption was that I was texting another guy or just not letting him into my life in a way he thought he should be involved.

This relationship has never been perfect. He's been cheated on, and we both have a history of trauma. It's messy. So he got yelling at me, but then his messy history turned that into really angry yelling that I had never seen before, and I could see that escalating in the future, and so I decided to be done with that relationship for the time being.

But, I have to tell you... when "the book," Lizzie's story, was in the cross-hairs of anger, I have never wanted to protect something so much in my life (other than my own child).

I wanted that book to pour out of me and never be silenced. And so, as he yelled at me, with a red face, in a stream of words, demanding to know what I was writing, I quietly said back:

"Witherbee Road is a paved path between the hamlets of Port Henry and Witherbee, New York. It winds and climbs away from Lake Champlain becoming narrower as it nestles into the woods..."

I sometimes feel like Lizzie was silenced in a lot of ways, maybe because of the time period, maybe because of the strict household she grew up in. So, for both of us, I won't be.

Today, I will travel to 242 Wasson Street, Witherbee, New York to see if Lizzie's house still stands.

Gretchen PearlComment