There's a song stuck in my head again.
It's a good song and everything, but it's not one I ever paid much attention to back when it was originally on the radio. It just popped into my head one day last week - right after I officially became a correspondent for World Wide Hippies. Or maybe it was the day of the Magpie meeting when I heard Black Magpie Theory is getting 5500 hits per month and picked up by The National Review. Fancy stuff, but I'm thinking this song is resonating for me right now on account of Impending Separations.
Little by little, my apartment is becoming bare. Moving day is a ways away, but once you've reached a certain age, seven or eight months is no time at all. If I can swing it, maybe I'll leave New York on my wedding anniversary. Seems fitting. Or on June 14th, Flag Day, the anniversary of my first real date with Buzz Kill. He had sent me a plane ticket to come to New York. I felt like I had won the Grand Prize on the Dating Game and was so excited I got my teeth cleaned.
Since we got married, I suppose I did win the Grand Prize in the Dating Game. It gets even grander when you add the Central Park West address. If you ask me, the best part was being a family or at least it was the best part until the marriage fell to shit. You can't be a Family when one person regularly makes unilateral decisions that have lasting repercussions without acknowledging that his wife might have preferences or an opinion - much less a right - to be consulted about family finances.
It fucking sucked.
Back when we were suing GE because their defective dishwasher started a fire that resulted in spending four months in a hotel, GE's insurance adjuster came to inspect the apartment. Buzz Kill worried that I would say something silly and inadvertently cost us money. In his determination to control the process, he insisted that I wait in our building's basement laundry room while the adjuster was in the apartment. Most likely, he was afraid that I would answer any questions the adjuster asked truthfully which would, consequently, expose some of Buzz Kill's big fat lies about the value of certain items. When Buzz Kill told me that he didn't want me to meet the adjuster, I didn't give him an argument. I figured he could fuck up the law suit all by his own self, and that's exactly what he did.
It worked out okay. The court determined that GE owed us the sum total of the loss from the fire we declared on our income taxes that year. It was about $85,000, but we owed it all to his wealthy sister. She loaned us the money to cover the hotel expenses and to fix the apartment because Buzz Kill let the insurance lapse. He was in charge of all the bills, but I should have stopped nagging and paid the insurance myself. I didn't, though, because I was trapped in the cycle of marital dysfunction.
I packed all those legal papers away a long time ago. And really, as troublesome as all that financial stuff was, the most telling part of marital therapy came when the therapist asked us if we would be together if we didn't have a child. Buzz Kill was quick and confident when he said, "Yes." I shook my head to silently say, "No."
I finally had to admit that Buzz Kill was so stuck in his own bullshit that he couldn't imagine his life without it. When the rubber hit the road, he chose his bullshit over the marriage. It's beginning to look like that guy who won't see me is just as stuck as Buzz Kill. I would go on and on about how I don't understand how anyone can be that way - but I've been so unable to imagine other ways of being that I was hospitalized for suicidal tendencies.
Actually, I could imagine other ways of being - I just couldn't imagine it was possible for me. About a week after I got out of the hospital we took Velvet to Tavern on the Green for his fifth birthday.
While we were waiting on our lunch, I took Velvet to check out the topiary on the patio. He especially liked King Kong. I was glad I hadn't killed myself because I would have missed that afternoon, so I committed to life - for the time being anyway - and set about doing the hard work of creating new possibilities.
In April, Velvet will be twenty. In those fifteen years, I've become pretty much the woman I wished I could be. There are goals I wanted to accomplish and didn't; and I accomplished some things I hadn't even thought about back when Velvet was five years old. It certainly was never my goal to divorce Velvet's father, but there was no way I was getting stuck with Buzz Kill's life.
It's one of life's little ironies that now that it's finally time to fully separate from Buzz Kill, I'm realizing that I haven't been able to imagine a life without him. And no matter what I imagine about that guy who won't see me, the road is in sight.
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