The Dark Passenger
Sometimes I wish I could talk to my ex.
Not the man of now, whoever and wherever he is.
Nor the man that sent the text that ended the marriage.
But the man I was married to several years ago.
The man that was sliding on that slippery slope to utter destruction yet still seemed to have a grasp on reality.
I wish I could I talk to him.
And ask him how it felt to split into two.
How it felt to live one life aloud while whispering the other.
How it felt to believe that no one would accept him for who he was.
How it felt to carry the ever-increasing burden of the dark passenger.
Brock and I just finished watching the first season of Dexter last night, a first viewing for him and a second for me. The show had an entirely different meaning for me now.
You see, the first time I watched it, I may as well have been sitting next to Dexter, the friendly serial killer. Now, as far as I know, my ex wasn’t a killer. But I sure see reflections of him in Dexter’s struggles to feed his dark passenger while maintaining a smile. To everyone around him, Dexter is normal with a job, a sister and even a girlfriend. But he is playing pretend. Behind the scenes, Dexter is a killer who, based upon the “code” his father taught him, targets only other killers. The first season focuses on Dexter’s struggles to maintain balance between the two lives and to sustain the illusion that he was just like everyone else.
I wish I talk to my ex and ask him if he related to Dexter at the time.
Did he also feel like he was born from some long-ago tragedy?
Did he feel the drive to satisfy dark urges and keep them under wraps?
Did he also learn to pretend to be normal while viewing himself as anything but?
Was it strange to sit on the sofa next to his unsuspicious wife while watching a similar drama play out on screen?
Or, did he not see himself in Dexter at all, convinced that he was in control of whatever was happening? That somehow he was special. Different.
I wish I could talk to him so that I could understand what initiated his fracture.
So that I could see the bigger picture.
The whole of him rather than just the side he presented.
The man and his dark passenger.
But most of all, I just hope that wherever he is, he has decided that the dark passenger has ridden long enough.
And kicked him to the curb.
I’m sure part of the show’s appeal comes from the ability of all us to relate to Dexter’s dichotomy to some extent. We all have parts of ourselves that we view as dark, even unlovable. We all sometimes feel as though we are pretending, worried that others may see through the act. I believe the lesson in the both the show and in my ex’s life is that the dark passenger only grows more powerful when isolated from the whole person. Accept yourself. Ask for help. And bring some light to the dark.