First Position

There was a time not long ago when I believed that anything was possible. I thought I was invincible, with influence over every outcome. Then my husband failed a test of his sobriety, extinguishing our happily ever after.

Rather than take time to consider what might be next, I took a leap of faith from which I have yet to land. The strides preceding my jump included asking my husband to leave; purchasing a home complete with landlord responsibilities; and writing and rewriting my definition of tough love.

Ready to put behind me years of marriage to a man with alcoholism, I set the cadence of the steps I was making to ahead: Don’t look back. D o n ‘ t l o o k b a c k. D o n ‘ t l o o k b a c k.

But I have. And each time I do, I see Swenny. Standing ready to soften my landing, to choreograph the chaos I have caused, and to assure me that whatever will be will be okay.

Lacking his confidence, I want for the certainty with which I took those initial steps. Especially now that I am lost in the spin I set into motion two months ago. Dizzied by one misstep after another, I look to the husband from whom I am parting as the only spot on which I can rest my gaze long enough to ask, “What if?”

What if in my attempt at change I have confused carelessness with courage? Selfish with selfless? What if my need for closure is forcing a conclusion that I can’t bear? Or leaves us both more alone than not?

But what if I had allowed first position to continue being held by fear? Or replaced the steps I’m taking now with a sequence less challenging? Less difficult? Less breath taking? Had I retreated to the dance with which I am so familiar ~ so comfortable ~ I would never have known the strength of the partner I have in Swenny. And that would have been the biggest misstep of all.

Save the last dance. The very last dance. For me. ~ The Drifters