“The Future Ain’t What it Used to Be”.
That’s what the tag line used to be. It made sense a few years ago when I tacked on there, underneath my name. I had found myself living in another country, far from home – a home I hadn’t really planned on leaving, outside of occasional talk of “maybe someday…”.
I had found myself in this far away land, a married woman. Hell…I sure didn’t see that one coming, & neither did he. None of these things were in the plan.
Of course, there hadn’t actually been much of a plan, but it was sure that my future wasn’t anything at all like what it used to be. Nothing was as it was before & never would be again. Oddly enough, that was ok.
But, now the future has changed once again. Sure, it still isn’t what it used to be, but now it’s something else, too. Now it isn’t only mine – I’m sharing it with someone else, which I didn’t think that I was capable of doing, but it seems that people are just full of all sorts of fucking surprises.
It’s a funny thing, being married to someone who grew up in a different country. There are language difficulties from time to time, miscommunication, words & phrases that seem to make no sense. Eventually, something happens where there is a new language that evolves, that only those two people understand. It doesn’t have anything to do with nationalities, cultures or those annoying fucking verb conjugations.
There are several books that were written by a man who was a much better writer than I. He’s said a great many things better than most of us could, which may be why I quote him a bit more often than I should. In one of these books, there is a character who is not quite good, not quite evil. Not black or white, only gray. He is a writer of plays, born in one country & living in another; an American living in Europe, married to a European woman. Early in the novel, the character says:
“I was sitting alone on a park bench in the sunshine that day, thinking of a fourth play that was beginning to write itself in my mind. It gave itself a title, which was “Das Reich der Zwei”–”Nation of Two.”
“It was going to be about the love my wife and I had for each other. It was going to show how a pair of lovers in a world gone mad could survive by being loyal only to a nation composed of themselves–a nation of two.”
So, while the future still isn’t what it used to be, it’s true that it isn’t my future – somehow the “mine” became “ours”. Somehow, after spending 3 years in France, the American woman & the French man became 2 people between nationalities, on an island that they created themselves.
The cultural lines become blurry, but they don’t disappear altogether. I make fun of his French accent & I sound like a retarded Inspector Clouseau. He makes fun of my American accent & sounds like a horrifying version of John Wayne. I often ask him questions like, “Why in the hell do you people do (insert irritating French quirk here)”. He often says things such as, “I just don’t get why (insert cheesy American quirk here)”.
There are some things about one another that we just don’t get & things about each other’s countries that we will never understand, but in the Rasmenian Nation – the “Nation of Two”, everything makes sense.