In Control

In Control

“You’re in control,” he says to her over the phone, during a (usual) passionate conversation.

“How can I be in control when everything around me is out of my control? What exactly am I in control of? Work? What, while I’m being taken advantage of? You? I control what you say and do and feel? My love life? What, when it’s on hold and can’t begin until outside influences release you.”

“Darling, calm down. I didn’t —”

She interrupts him. “How do you expect me to calm down in any of this?”

Silence. He inhales deeply, loudly. She knows he is gathering his thoughts, trying to calm himself down at the same time he needs her to. She knows all of this because she feels him, senses him – the connection so searing it changes white-hot to fridge-cold.

But at times, when she feels anything but in control – and when she knows he feels the same way as she does – she simply cannot take it when he instructs with those two words.


It would be more accepting if he said, “Calm the fuck down.” Just the way Live sings: “Light up a cigarette she said and calm the fuck down; you got a serious side to you that could give the whole world a frown…” in Voodoo Lady.

“Are you not going to say anything to me?”

“You’d interrupted me,” he says.

“What? It’s a heated conversation. What do you expect? Of course, I’m going to interrupt you – to make you feel my anguish.”

He chooses not to mention how it makes him feel each time she interrupts him, disrupts his train of thought and instead returns to the feature-topic oozing provocation. “I used the wrong words. In control are far from the right words to speak after you’ve just explained it like that.”

“So, what is the right word? What did you mean? I control you, how?”

He releases a sigh, a deeper breath than before. “I just meant at that moment when you ask all the hundreds of questions from every direction – you have the upper hand because I cannot get my thoughts out fast enough and it feels as though —”

“A broadside is about to —”

“Go on interrupt me as usual, take over and…”

Her burst of laughter stops him from finishing his sentence.

She knows she’s in the wrong but she knows he’ll love it that she used the term ‘broadside’, after all, he explained it to her upon relating it to one of her verbal ‘attacks’ – of course, she disagreed with the word ‘attack’ but loved the lesson, loved that he taught her a lesson for a change.


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