The Second Time Around


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The first time, I had a need to stay in and he had to go out.
The first time, I needed him and he needed life.
The first time, I lost so much and he didn’t know what to do.
The first time, I had my dreams. And he had his.
I and he.

It was like being a part of an endless boxing match. Each of us trying to measure our opponent from across the ring. Retreating to our corners. Many advances, no uppercuts, no right hooks, nada. It’s what happens when an extrovert marries an introvert. We knew so little, but faced so much. The introvert got stuck in her shell, big enough for two, and the extrovert didn’t get the space constrictions. He did what those extroverts do. He pushed, prodded, and poked.

So we measured, and approached, and retreated. Over and over again. Only to give up the fight; we left the ring with not a victor in sight. We let life defeat us. Sign, sealed, delivered, it was over.

Time passed and we both trained in earnest. We entered fights in which our opponent was a reflection in glass. When you fight a reflection, you learn all of its moves.  We weren’t together but we had hearts you couldn’t really separate (cliché-much?) When we entered the ring again, we were ready. Older and wiser, who knows? (cliché-forgive me) We learned to stop throwing them and instead to roll with the punches that life threw our way. The second time is different.

The second time, I have a need to stay in. So we stay in.
He gets the space constrictions.
The second time, he has to go out. So we go out.
I get the need for life.
The second time, we have lost so much and we know what to do.
We get the need to lean.
The second time, I need him. And he needs me.
We get each other.
The second time, I have dreams and we celebrate them.
He helps make them happen.
The second time he has dreams and we celebrate them.
I help make them happen.

Together. We.


15 thoughts on “The Second Time Around

  1. When we speak of writing with voice, you make it look easy … It’s letting your reader into the very workings of your heart and sharing something that is very close to us. I respect how honest and open you were in this post, at the same time still being respectful and not sharing too much. The dichotomy of the answers from beginning to end is breathtaking – thank you for sharing.

  2. This entire slice was just amazing, Kim. The beginning and ending poems – wow! That could have been a post of its own. I love the issues and later the resolutions! But…the middle makes it that much more wonderful! “We entered fights in which our opponent was a reflection in glass. When you fight a reflection, you learn all of its moves.” Genius! I absolutely love this creative talk about reflection. Such a powerful piece. Awesome slice!

  3. I just laughed out loud because I read your title. This is exactly what I was just thinking about writing about today. I’m not going to read your piece until I’ve written mine because I’m curious to compare notes… Little experiment. Stay tuned. I’ll be back later after homework and dinner… 🙂

    • Ok. So… I just read your entire post and realized I have inferred wrong and feel like a gigantic dip. I thought you were going to reflect on the, “second time around,” slicing. Ha? What a loser. Sorry. What you have written here, however, is so great. Even though it is not what I originally thought we’d be comparing, I can still relate. “We knew so little, but faced so much.” What a beautiful piece illustrating the difference of a disconnected, disjointed relationship verses the reality of a relationship in which the participants’ interests are invested in, “us.”

  4. You have written right to the edges here Kim. Raw honesty is powerful in writing. It evokes a strong connection for this reader, this writer. Such a well constructed and thought provoking piece of writing.

  5. Wow! I love how you paralleled marriage with boxing. “Trying to measure our opponent from across the ring. Retreating to our corners.” Truly masterful!

  6. From “I and him” to “together and we”. Beautifully simply stated. Really. That clinches it for me! I was in a fighting mood yesterday. So many different angles to look at. I love this slice!

  7. So, so much I love about this piece! “we left the ring with not a victor in sight” tugged at my heart. Loved the structure- the end coming back to the beginning- it felt like a representation of your relationship. Your line “When you fight a reflection, you learn all of its moves” made me stop and really think. AMAZING!

  8. Great figurative language. I love how you made it sound and feel like a dance between two people in love. I feel the struggle. Excellent slice.

  9. What a beautiful expression of struggle and loss that morphs into understanding and compromise. You make it sound so easy, yet I know it wasn’t. You have reason to be very proud of where you are now in your life.

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