without bloodshed

It was a revolution without bloodshed. He simply stopped fighting. Fighting her, fighting for her, fighting the inevitable slow demise of a trainwreck relationship in progress. He became detatched. He didn't so much participate in their relationship anymore as he observed it, as if from a great distance. (He did, however, have his little moments of resistance.) He washed all of the dishes because a dirty kitchen made him antsy. But he stopped doing her laundry, feeling just the slightest sense of personal victory on the few occasions when she deigned to come home. She'd breeze in the door, make a few disgusted sounds at the piles of her unwashed clothing, fish out a halter top or some such club attire from the middle of a mound, and breeze back out. He started cooking meals for one, so she'd no longer find his leftovers to drunkenly inhale after stumbling in through the door after four in the morning. Once, after one such night he'd come out of the bedroom to check on her, only to find her passed out on the couch with an equally inebriated and unconcious male companion. The stranger's pants were draped across his favorite armchair, and he was fairly certain he recognized the edge of his wife's favorite panties peeking out from underneath the pants. He quietly padded back to the bedroom, locked the door, turned himself off as best he could, and went to sleep.

That was when it clicked, he thinks back later. That was when she won the battle she'd been too absent to even realize she'd been fighting. She couldn't even recall the last time they'd spoken to each other aloud if he asked her. It's been seven weeks, he knows, and even then it was barely a passing word between them.

But in those weeks he's been documenting. And photographing. And on one memorable occasion, videotaping. And soon, he'll have all he needs. He knows she'll only realize he's gone when the money dries up and the lights get turned out because paying bills is a 'small detail' she's too busy to notice. And thanks to his thick and ever-growing file, when he leaves, the money leaves with him. And the jewelry. And her car. And the antique clock that was his grandmother's gift to her on their wedding day. The clock she claims to love but sets her wine glass on top of whenever she thinks no one will notice. There are permanent stains in perfect circles all over the top of it now. She doesn't know they're there because she's too short to see over the top of it, but he sees. And he recognizes the similarities: he is also something she claimed to cherish but worked hard to destroy over time. And just like those perfect circles of destruction, she's left her mark on him too.

Oh the emotional cruelty went firmly to her side, as the finances went to his side of the tally-board. It was a revolution without bloodshed. Without screams. Without tears.

But no one was on the winning side.


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