Shirley met the wives of the other men in Glen’s unit. She stayed away from them. She didn’t see herself belonging to their group.
In a strange way, she felt unmarried. Not that she was having affairs or partying, it was that with Glen in and out of her life, with a fun job at the zoo, and her son virtually the child of her sister, there was a touch of unreality.
It wasn’t that she and Glen were ‘one soul’ and when he was gone she felt half, it was that her marriage was more fantasy than fact.
She didn’t want to change or adapt or manage. She felt comfortable with herself as she was.
She didn’t want to hear the other women describe their traumas or methods of dealing with them, she wanted that whole segment of her life to be filed away.
When Glen was there, he was there, when he was deployed she went back to basic mode. Weekdays she would wake, get her son ready for school, Olive would take him. Shirley went to work if it was a working day, or had outings if it were not.
If it was a working day Olive would make dinner and Shirley would leave work to go over there and have family time. If it wasn’t a working day, then it could be one or more variables..
For Shirley, this was enough.