Steeeeeerike two!

Posted: March 28, 2010 in Non Fiction, True Story
Tags: , , , , ,

Last night was yet another in a line of odd and surreal evenings this past week. The entire family went over to a friends house for dinner. I met Amy and the kids there and from around 6:45 until 11:00pm Jess, Butch, Amy and myself sat and talked about all kinds of things. We laughed and joked and had a fantastic evening. The reason it was so odd is that last Monday Amy and I decided that we shouldn’t be married anymore.

I woke up Monday with a dual purpose. My main focus was the interview I had that evening with Kevin from about becoming an editor at his website. My other obligation was to try and teach a 22 year old how to drive. That went poorly so I’ll skip over the details there. I had lunch with friends on Monday and we talked about relationships and what we want out of life. An hour before I needed to be there I arrived at Crossroads, a cool little coffee shop down at VCU. I wasn’t nearly cool enough to be there but I sat and read Style and sipped a cappuccino while waiting for Kevin to arrive.

My phone rang around ten minutes before my meeting and when I saw that it was Kevin calling my heart sank with the thought that the meeting would have to be postponed. Luckily it wasn’t that, he was calling to tell me that he was already there and when we both looked up at the same time I got very excited. I haven’t been an editor in a while but it was something that I was pretty good at once upon a time. We talked for about 45 minutes about my experience and his needs and he asked me about my life. As always when asked that question I replied that I had been married for almost ten years and had two kids. He seemed a little surprised and then asked me a question that I don’t think I really answered fully, “Why does someone who is married with kids want to get involved with a gay website.” It took a minute to find the right words and the first thing I mumbled was that I was bisexual and that was something I had been dealing with over the past ten years. I went on to tell him that I believed that the real reason I go to gay rights rally’s and protests is because I believe its a civil rights issue and one group of people shouldn’t have the power to deny rights to another group of people because they don’t approve of how they live their life. I may have quoted Dr King at that point because I love the line”If you see a good fight, get in it.” but I don’t know if I did.

The meeting went great. He offered me the position of section editor for Arts and Entertainment and I was on cloud nine. I sped across town to share my good news with the fine folks at WriteClubRVA who were properly enthusiastic about my exciting new editing gig. Our meeting seemed to me to be a much happier and productive meeting than normal which was a shame because I didn’t think to take my laptop along. After the meeting my friend Jess and I went to the Starbucks at Barnes & Noble to talk. It was there while sipping my mocha frappuccino that I realized that my marriage was over. It wasn’t a bolt of lightning or anything it was more akin to remembering where you left your keys. Its something you already knew but couldn’t remember. We talked for about an hour and I went home dreading the talk that I knew was to come.

As I drove into the driveway it looked like all the lights in the house were on. I didn’t know if that meant Amy was still awake or if she had fallen asleep without turning them off as she does sometimes. I walked in and stood in the doorway of our bedroom and shifted uncomfortably. “Hey,” she said. I could only croak out my own “hey” in response. She asked me if anything was wrong and I mumbled something unintelligible. The look on her face took on a new resolve and she said “Can we talk? We need to talk.”

This was it. The talk and I didn’t even have to initiate it. The coward inside me lept for joy.

“I’m really pissed at you right now. You were supposed to feed the kids before you left tonight because I had to work late.”

The coward then wept. I couldn’t believe what I had done. In my selfish pursuit of something more I had actually forgotten to feed my children. I felt about two inches tall and I expected her to yell and scream and possibly hit me with a frying pan because I felt like it was the least I deserved. Instead we sat and talked about all the problems we’ve had over the years and where we are right now. We care about each other, we are friends. Sadly, we are not in love with one another anymore. I know in my head that we both made mistakes to get here, she will tell you the same, but I feel like the bulk of the blame lays at my feet. A few years ago I fell into a black hole of despair and depression and I never quite climbed out of it. I basically checked out of our marriage and she did the same in response. By her reckoning we’ve actually been separated for about two years, the last nine months of which I have spent in a separate room from her.

She was mad at me Monday night, she said as much but she never actually got angry. We were at that place beyond angry where resolution resides and we are better for it. Once we were resolved that this was the end of it she asked where I would go. I knew I couldn’t be far from the kids so I told her I would talk to my mother and see if I could move in with her next door. “I can’t make you live with your mother.” was her only real response to that and I am now living happily where I had been living miserably, on the sofa with my family. Its incredible how the exact same living situation can seem to much better once the labels have been peeled off and the last remnants of a tattered relationship are shrugged off.

We will always be in each others lives and we will always be friends. My friend Ray thinks our ability to act like civilized people instead of the crazed ax swinging Norsemen most divorced couples turn into is that we’ve been through the horrible ordeal of separating but we did it over a year ago. We’ve already felt the hurt and betrayal and loneliness so now the separation feels like a promising start rather than a horrible ending.

  1. homeslice says:

    you and i need to get together for coffee, brother. we’ve obviously been drinking the same water. i wish things in my situation were more like yours as it seems a lot healthier. i’m glad you are both able to determine it’s over and move on. it’s best for everyone.

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