"Is it possibly, finally, for one human being to achieve perfect understanding of another?Haruki Murakami, "The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle"
In the dark, I thought about blue tissues and patterned toilet paper and beef and green peppers. I had lived with her all this time, unaware how much she hated these things. In themselves they were trivial. Stupid. Something to laugh off, not make a big issue out of. We'd had a little tiff and would have forgotten about it in a couple of days.
But this time was different. It was bothering me in a strange new way, digging at me like a little fish bone caught in the throat. Maybe-just maybe-it was more crucial than it seemed. Maybe this was it: the fatal blow."
You know, there were many things that lead to Alan and I breaking up, but one of them is nicely articulated here. I never quite understood how he could have lived with me for so long, been with me for almost 7 years, and known me so little. And it isn't just that I changed in Korea. Before my email account got hijacked, I went through a bunch of old, saved emails to various friends. This basic frustration had been part of our relationship for years. Hindsight is an amazing thing. As is the power of the little things to niggle away until you can't ignore them anymore.