Sometimes, without even having to close my eyes, I see this picture of my husband’s fire-engine red Durango truck parked in front of Niagara Falls. In a nearly vacant parking lot, it faces the mist that rises against the plummeting waters that seem so effortless and peaceful in their fall.
My husband’s head with his thick, slightly graying dark hair is behind the steering wheel while the shoulder-length dark hair of another women sits in the passenger seat.
Upon a closer look, one could see that his face is ironically dark and grim against the majestic falls; it lacks all signs that he has any inner joy left within him. He is very matter-of-fact, his eyes very calculated, lacking pure or honest emotion. Her face is longing and hopeful. She is patient as her eyes lean into him, looking for something in return. Both are nearly 50-years old. Both have been married and divorced; the only difference is that he remarried and is still married to me.
Being a vacation destination, Niagara Falls should be a happy environment, exuding a joy-filled aura with its vistas that awe every spectator with their mystic beauty and magnificent power, which is emphasized by the sheer grandeur of the cliffs and rock faces, the quantity of water moving with incredible power and intensity, the mystic feel created by the effervescent mist rising in stark contrast to the falling water. But, today, the mist defies the intense cold that holds the air frozen; it gives off a blue and icy chill. Even the bright red of the Durango looks frozen as the red transitions from shiny to frosted in random patches across the body of the vehicle. Though there are a scattering of a few cars and trucks in the parking lot, there isn’t anyone else to be seen.
Their faces both hold the promise of something expected –but not yet discovered or found. They both are going somewhere—together—having come to Niagara—together. This picture holds them stagnant in the Durango, frozen in this place and time. A paradoxal twist to their contrived and calculated plans. Their stiff, uncomfortable-looking bodies and their hollowed and hungry faces reveal that they haven’t yet figured out where it is exactly that they are headed. The background of mist is a depressive fog blurring any clear passages and any clear sense of direction. The GPS system mounted on the dash mocks their journey with its superficial roads and instructions, maintaining its outward journey and completely ignoring their inner needs for direction.
She is asking him if something is wrong. He is telling her nothing is wrong.
They are both lying. Something is terribly wrong and in her heart she knows what is wrong. Yet, through the invisible camera lens, through which I am looking, they continue to put on faces for each other, she more successfully than him.