Sunday, October 31, 2010

Turning the Page

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.


Jaliya said...

Oh, honey. What a post. I'm so with you.

Somehow, in your telling of this story, I'm reminded of the movie *The Hours* and Julianne Moore's character who decides to stay alive for her son (about Velvet's age when you took that photo of him at Tavern on the Green) ...

So glad you chose to stay ...

Sometimes I think that we can't imagine our lives without certain people because they -- despite all and anything they've done -- are lodged in our heart's memory ... Something about these people has *touched* us way deep down ... Before the shit hit the fan, there was love ...


PENolan said...

Never saw that movie, Jaliya, but sometimes people say I look like Julianne Moore. I think it's the hair.

Buzz Kill came over today and started taking down the living room shelves - so the apartment is even more bare tonight than it was this morning. I told him I couldn't imagine him not in my life. He said that of course he'd always be in my life, and not just because of Velvet. We'll have dinner when he's in Austin next October running that Triathlon.

As for that guy who won't see me - maybe we learn more from each other when we're apart, but I still wonder what I've done that's so horrible we can't fuck our way into new territory. He's the judge of that, though, and I have to remember that Mind/Ego hangs on to Hurt for protection and that it's not about me. Feels like it, but it's not.

Hope you're staying warm.

Vancouver Voyeur said...

Sometimes we get so buried in our own shit that we can't see a way out. Lucky for you, me and a lot of others, life had other plans for us. Overall, it's worth the effort of living. As for letting go, it's interesting that after all this time divorced, there's still a part of you that can't see life without him. That says to me, that there's still some love for the guy, so he can't be all bad. Also, you should reserve a compartment of love for the father of your child. It makes it easier to deal with the father over the years. Also, I'm with you concerning not getting stuck in his life choices, been there. I'm much happier without the Spin Doctor than I ever was with him. He had a very negative outlook on life and I just didn't want to be Mrs. Downer for the rest of my life. Good luck packing up and putting away the memories as the impending move comes closer. Look forward, not back...too much. On another note, did you make it to the Rally?


when I was reading your post a song popped into my head...."I have to wash that man right out of my head."..kick his ass to the curb, come to Texas and start your new life...if he follows you I'll kick his ass for you..ha

PENolan said...

Granny, the trouble seems to be that I DO kick their asses to the curb and then I feel guilty.
But I don't have to wash BK out of my hair - I just have to learn how to fix stuff around the house for my own self. He's been taking care of all those "handy" jobs the whole time we've been divorced. It must really piss off his girlfriend.
As for that other man, *sigh*
I think I must have kicked his ass to the curb then washed it down the sewer with a fire hose. I'm still not sorry either. I just wish he'd relax enough to see the humor so we could fool around - but if a man can't see the humor in something, he's not a man for me.
Note - I say A man not THE man. I intend to maintain relationships with more than one.

I did not go to the rally, and I'm glad. It might have been fun, but I can't stand crowds and port-a-potties.

corticoWhat said...

Stop by Memphis on the way. I'll buy dinner and laugh at your jokes (especially after the second glass of wine).

PENolan said...

The third glass - my favorite.

dissed said...

There's a lot to be said for being divorced from a decent man. I didn't manage it, myself -- he's indecent as all hell. I can imagine life without him just fine, as there are worse things than being alone. If you need Buzz Kill, he'll be along soon enough. You won't need him, though. You won't need that other guy, either. They'll recede to the far side of the horizon. Think fondly of them, but keep going.

PENolan said...

dissed, I'm going into the farmlands of Southwest NY state this weekend to meet with World Wide Hippies about this Joint Venture. That's the way this wind is blowing.

And I'm remembering fish and bicycles

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