Tick Tales of Misery and Occasional Ecstasy

June 17, 2010

The Divorce

Filed under: My Past, personal, Social — Tags: , , , , , — thetick @ 12:30 pm

It’s been a while since I wrote anything, mostly because of the Divorce. I really didn’t want to put anything out in public that could possibly cause me problems. The good news is, the divorce is over, and sooner than expected.

Here’s how it happened: The biggest delay was that the ex could not think of anything except staying on my insurance. I am pretty sure that fact, along with her lawyers trying to run up a big bill and get me to pay it, were the major causes of the huge delays. A Temporary Orders hearing at the end of January did not compel me to pay for her legal fees, which caused her attorneys to quit. At that time, there were several deadlines for turning in paperwork, as well as a date for the final hearing. The final hearing was scheduled for September, with a backup hearing date in June. My attorneys kept filing paperwork as ordered, and since a good attorney costs a lot of money, I was running up a huge debt. This caused my attorneys to also file a motion to quit.

At this time, I decided that something HAD to be done. There was no way I could get another attorney, since the first thing a good attorney does is check the case history and see what has happened before. They would also contact my previous attorney and ask why they quit. A lawyer generally doesn’t take a case when there is a history of non payment. So I bit the bullet, and called the ex-to-be. I explained what was going on, and that if we did not reach a settlement before the hearing for my attorneys to quit, neither of us would have representation and neither of us knew how to finish the damn thing. We would be standing before a judge, effectively saying, “What do we do now?” Generally speaking, Judges would rather judge than teach people how to get a divorce.

I finally got the ex to agree, in writing via email, to terms for the divorce. But the hearing date was rapidly approaching. I was a mess. My attorney was not returning calls, the ex was avoiding me, and things were just taking too long. I finally got the attorney to agree to draw up the Final Decree of Divorce and I got it to the ex via email. All she had to do was print it out and sign it in front of a Notary. There was only a week left, and she has a history of NOT doing things she needs to do in a timely manner. Since she had to sign the papers and also get the original to my attorney, PLUS show up in Court on the day of the Withdrawal Hearing in order to finalize everything, there were just too many variables, a failure of any single one of them would be disastrous. Since I was 1300 miles away, all I could do was send emails and make phone calls. But if I was there, I could actually make sure shit got done. I knew that I could eliminate all of the variables if I was there.  So, I drove to Texas.

I made good time, and left a voice mail with the ex the night before I would arrive telling her that I would be there around mid-day Thursday. She still had not done the things she needed to do, and the hearing was on Tuesday. My attorney needed the original paperwork on Friday to prepare for the hearing. I drove straight to the house where she still was living with her parents. No cars in the driveway, no answer at the door, no dog barking.  I walked around to the back of the house, I thought she might be out on the back porch smoking. No such luck. I was pissed. I thought that she had gotten my voice mail and had gone somewhere to avoid me. I called her cell phone, no answer. I called her Dad’s cell, then her Mom’s with the same result. I thought about driving to where her mom worked, then just called there instead. Her mom gave me permission to go around and pound on the back door since the ex was probably still asleep and her room is closer to the back door than the front. I finally got her up by pounding on the door that led from the porch to her room.

She still had not gone over her copy of the Decree. She wasn’t even sure if she knew where it was. Keep in mind, this is all taking place at about one in the afternoon. For me, the clock is ticking down rapidly. I had four hours to go over the paperwork, get her dressed (she was still in her nightgown while talking to me) get her to a bank to have the paperwork notarized, and then drive to my attorneys office to deliver the original signed document. After that, I could head to Houston to see my friends and have a great weekend before going back to Fort Worth for the hearing on Tuesday.

For an hour, page by page, we go over every single line item in the decree, which was the same as what she had already agreed to, except now it was in legal terms. That was what I was doing. Explaining legal terms. Finally, we get to the end and I ask her if she still agrees, and she says she does, but… She still wants to go over it with her Dad instead of just me. “Not that I don’t trust you, but I just want someone else to look at it,” she said. “So when will that be?” I asked. “This evening.”

I did NOT want to do that. If I could get it signed and to the lawyer, I wouldn’t have to spend the money on another night in a hotel. I asked if there was any way we could go to where her Dad was working and they could go over it. She started texting, and finally got an answer that yes, he could take a break and go over the papers with her. A half hour later, she was dressed (an all time record) and we were on the way down the highway. We meet up with her dad, and they leave me in the parking lot to go inside to review the papers. I sent an email to the attorneys telling them what was going on and telling them that I should have the papers signed, but I may be later than 5 o’clock getting them to their office. I knew that they often worked late, and was hoping that would be the case that night. I got a couple of phone calls from the X2B for clarification about things, sent a couple of text messages asking how much longer, and the clock continued to move forward.

My phone rang, and the caller ID said that it was my attorneys office. It was the secondary, cheaper attorney. She asked me if I would be willing to stay the night in Fort Worth, since she had called the Court and could get me in at 8:30 the next morning to “prove up” the divorce and it would be over, the Tuesday hearing would not be necessary. I emphatically told her yes. I believe it was a HELL YES! The only thing was that X2B wanted to attend the hearing, and I didn’t know if she would agree. Technically, only one of us had to be there, but I still am not a big enough asshole to just do it without telling her. I told the lawyer I would call back shortly, and sent another text to X2B. We were running out of time. She finally came back with her dad, who said that he only had one suggestion, and it was really minor. An ass-covering clause that he thought should be inserted over a very unlikely possible event. I told them both about the hearing the next morning, and her dad said he could take her to the court house. I offered to give her a ride home afterward so he could go straight to work. So it was agreed.

As we were driving off, I called the attorney back and told her to get us on the schedule, and that we were on the way to the bank to get the papers signed and notarized and I should be at their office just before five. We go to my bank, since X2B doesn’t have an account anywhere, and wait for ten minutes for someone to notarize the decree. The kid (probably only about 20) wouldn’t notarize the papers because X2B’s only ID is an out of state ID only (not a drivers license) that expired 2 years ago. I called the attorney back, and asked if they had someone on staff that could do the job without a current ID. She told me yes, and she asked someone to stick around until we got there.

The drive over was weird. For some reason, X2B decided that it would be a good time to talk about the good times we had in the marriage. OK, so maybe that isn’t so weird, but the good times she wanted to discuss were the good times we had in bed. We got to the attorneys office, and everything went as smooth as possible. Oh, and my backup attorney, the very nice lady who took it upon herself to get everything over with sooner than scheduled, was absolutely positively smokin’ hot.

Papers signed, notarized, copies made, hearing scheduled. After MONTHS, I start to relax. I am in a good mood. The weight of the world has been lifted from the shoulders of this puny Atlas. Also, we are hungry. I had promised to feed X2B in return for making the drive to Dallas with me to get all this done. She asks me if there is anyplace in particular I want to go, since there is a lot of good food in Texas that I just cant get up north. I am trying to decide between the Mongolian Grill, the Deli that has a great muffaletta, or some decent Mexican food. X2B tells me about a great place that they went on her birthday a couple of weeks prior, but cant remember the name of it. So she calls her mom, who kind of invites herself along and says that she will call her husband to meet us there. In other words, the night before the divorce will be final, I am having dinner with my ex-to-be in laws. And it was weird. We were all talking and joking and telling funny stories like the past two years never happened. Just another family dinner. There was one point when I felt sorry for X2B. We were sitting across from each other, and the cute little waitress seemed to take a liking to me. Every time she came to the table, she stood by me, resting her hand on my shoulder as she talked, joking with me and even giving me a hug. I noticed that X2B kept staring at her dinner when that happened. Finally, dinner was over, and I paid for X2B, and we parted ways.

Twelve hours later, I was at the courthouse. The attorney showed up soon after, and then X2B. I only had one concern left: that X2B would say something stupid, thinking it was clever, and the judge wouldn’t grant the divorce. This was a real possibility. The night before, when we were signing the papers at the attorneys office, the lawyer had asked a standard question: “Are you signing these papers of your own free will, and state that you have not been coerced in any way?” X2B answered, “Well, it’s not like I have any choice in the matter.” The lawyer had to ask her to clarify, and X2b said that she only meant that it was going to happen one way or another, so she may as well sign. I told her on the way to dinner that she couldn’t answer questions like that in front of the judge, since we had not attended the court ordered mediation the judge may not grant the divorce and we would be back to square one. I told the attorney that if it was possible, not to give X2B a chance to talk to or be questioned by the judge. She agreed with my reasoning.

Our case was called, and my attorney and I approached the bench. My lawyer asked me standard questions, which were easy to answer since she had written them down on a piece of paper along with the answers and we were both following along. We finally got to the end, and the lawyer had to ask, according to the rules, if my wife was present. I answered and was asked to point her out. The Judge said “Oh! She’s here? Come on up!” X2B came up and was sworn in. My heart was pounding, since my lawyer had told the Judge that X2B was pro se, meaning she had no lawyer, and I was afraid that the judge would kind of act on her behalf. The judge just asked two questions: “Have you heard all of the testimony your husband has given?” and “If you were asked the same questions, would you answer the same way?” She answered yes to the first, and after a slight hesitation that my heart stopped for, answered yes to the second. The Judge said very well, I hereby grant this divorce and good luck to both of you.

My attorney went and got the official signature and an official copy for both of us, and we left the court house. It was finally over, I was divorced. I gave THE EX a ride home, buying her breakfast from the McDonald’s drive-thru before dropping her off. I just now realized, that the day we got married, we got food from a McDonald’s drive-thru right after that, too. It seems fitting, somehow.

I went back to the hotel, changed clothes and drove to Houston a free man. There was much celebration for the next two days before I left for home.

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March 8, 2010

My Weekend LOL

Filed under: humor, My Past — Tags: , , , , — thetick @ 12:52 pm

It usually takes a lot for me to laugh out loud when I am by myself. Laughter is best (and most infectious) when shared with others. Usually, when alone, the most outrageous laughter I make about humorous things like a sitcom or movie is a snort of air through the nose. I’m getting better at that now, really. But one thing happened over the weekend that not only made me laugh out loud, but a good belly laugh that lasted for several minutes. I am going to tell you about it, but for it to be funny for anyone else but me, some setup is required.

Setup Item 1: My Grandfathers house. My biological Grandmother died before I was born. She lived in a small house in rural Idaho with my grandfather. This was in the 40’s through the late 60’s. To this day, it is almost impossible to get a decent over the air television signal there, and radio signals aren’t much better. What I am getting at is that during that time frame, there wasn’t a hell of a lot to do to keep yourself occupied. My grandmother read books. A lot of books. She also did jigsaw puzzles and there was a lot of card playing. (Never play Pinochle with my Dad. He literally grew up on the game, and shows signs of paranormal abilities regarding what cards you are holding) Grandma had a preference for mystery books. Ellery Queen, Rex Stout, Agatha Christie… they were all well represented in her library. And her library outlasted her, and remained in the house. There were built in bookshelves in every bedroom, as well as a bookcase in the living room. They were all filled to overflowing with books.

Setup Item 2: My Childhood at “The Ranch.” Grandpa eventually remarried, and the woman he married already had a house. It was a nicer house, and she didn’t want to leave it. So, Grandpa would drive about 40 miles every day to what we called The Ranch, and do his job of farming and raising cattle, and then return home at night. The house he used to live in was now only being used when he had lunch. It would also be used when my family would spend the weekend there. The point is, since the Ranch wasn’t lived in, it fell into a bit of disrepair. There were three bedrooms, and two of them were one big room split down the middle. You had to walk through one room to get to the second. When we stayed there, my parents would sleep in what would have to be considered the “master bedroom” only because it was where the parents slept, my sister would sleep in the first of the other two bedrooms, and I would sleep in the living room on the pull-out couch.

I know what you are wondering… why didn’t I sleep in the back bedroom? Well, there are two very good reasons. One: the second bedroom was being used as a storage area. It held boxes of toys from when my Dad and his brother and sister were young. Second: It was full of dead flies. My sister and I called it “The Fly Room.” See, over the years, a bit of a hole opened up in the wall. Not completely to the outside, but the space between the inner and outer walls  was exposed. As a result, flies were able to get in that room. They lived their entire life cycle in that room. They were born, lived and died in that room, their crunchy carcasses blanketing every surface, including the floor. The practice of my grandfather and my family was to keep the door shut and pretend it didn’t exist. My sister and I were the only ones to venture in there, mostly out of boredom. TV signals were still poor, and the TV itself was a black and white holdover from the 60’s. I did not know that the General Lee was orange until The Dukes of Hazzard went into syndication. I went in there for books, my sister for anything she could find that was interesting. I was a voracious reader from the time I was very young. It helped that my family literally lived across the street from the county library. Before we would leave for the weekend, I would check out several books from the library, take them to The Ranch, and have them read by mid afternoon on Saturday. Then I started reading all of Grandma’s old books. She introduced me to Nero Wolfe, who I still visit regularly; Hercule Poirot and Miss Marple, who did not interest me as much as Nero, and others that I remember enjoying, but can’t remember the titles or authors to re-read them today. I probably read her entire library.

Setup Item 3: Recently, my sister had a hard drive crash on her laptop, and it was replaced. I was trying to help her with getting her programs set up the way they were over the phone, and she told me that she had lost everything in the crash; pictures, videos, financial records, everything. I told her to mail the old drive to me and I would see if anything could be recovered. When it showed up in the mail, the box was waaaay bigger than necessary to hold a laptop hard drive. She had sent me belated x-mas gifts and a bunch of Valentines candy along with it. The belated x-mas gift was around eight books from my grandmother’s library that she remembered me reading. It was very sweet of her. I put the books on a shelf and intended to read them as soon as possible.

Setup Item 4: The eBook Revolution. Over the years, I have bought and sold or donated a staggering number of books. A few years ago, I got my hands on an Amazon Kindle. I still have at least half a dozen U-Haul small boxes full of books in my shed. And yes, even the small ones packed with tightly compressed paper are heavy. So I decided to find as many books that I owned and enjoyed in an electronic format so I could lighten the load. I found that many of my old favorites were not only out of print, but also not available in an eBook format, anywhere. So I did a little research and decided that if I had to, I would scan the books in their entirety and use an OCR program to try to decipher the text and I would make my own eBooks for convenience, but keep the out of print originals.

On with the story: Over the weekend, I spent a lot of time reading, and cataloging the eBooks that I have acquired so I would have an easy method of sorting the physical books I own into Keep, Scan and Keep, and Sell or Donate piles. I decided to do a test run of the whole scanning and OCR process, but I didn’t want to go out to the shed, since the grass is still super saturated with melted snow and I didn’t want to unseal the book boxes. But, there on a shelf were the books my sister had sent me that would work wonderfully for a test. I went to the shelf. “Peanuts, no its all graphics and the first gen Kindle doesn’t deal with that very well. The Great Brain? Encyclopedia Brown? No, too many pictures along with the text… I just want something text only. Ahh, here we go. This one shouldn’t have any pictures!”  I pulled the book from the shelf and opened it to a random page, intending to flip through it to verify it’s “no pictures” status. It opened to the most likely page, the one with obstacles in it. I knew at a glance that this book had indeed come from The Ranch. In between the pages, the reason the book naturally opened there, I found about a half a dozen very dead, very flat flies. And I laughed. Then I laughed harder. I knelt there on the floor in front of the shelf and roared with laughter.

The book? William Golding’s “Lord of the Flies.”

OK, so maybe it’s still only funny to me. But you now you can’t unread this post and you’re stuck with it.

June 5, 2009

Doubting a Decision

Filed under: My Past, personal, Social — Tags: , , , , , — thetick @ 4:39 pm

A couple of years ago, when I was giving serious consideration to actually leaving my marriage, I spent a lot of time thinking about the pros and cons. One of the biggest things was the subject of children. I had three kids from a previous marriage, and I knew that the current wife wanted to have kids.

I was getting older, and the thought of having another kid at my age was not appealing at all. I knew that if I were to have another child, it would be graduating high school about the time I was wanting to retire. There were a lot of things that I wanted to do in life, mostly traveling, and felt that having another kid would put a damper on that.

Christmas of last year, I had gone home to see my family. My sister had a little girl a couple of years ago, and this was my first real opportunity to interact with her. The thing that I remember most about that trip is my little niece sitting on a chair across the room from me and babbling on in her own language.  I started talking nonsense words back to her, which caused her no end of amusement, and I wound up teaching her how to do the YMCA dance. After several iterations, I realized that the entire family was standing behind me, watching. After I left, I thought “That was fun.”

A few months later, my oldest son came to visit for a week. I took him to DC and The Statue of Liberty. While we were sight seeing, I realized that I was feeling the same sense of joy showing him around and sharing the experience with him that I had always wanted to share with a spouse. I started to realize that maybe, just maybe, it was possible to have my dream of seeing the world, and sharing it not only with a spouse, but with kids, and it would be just as special. Maybe more so. I started wondering if perhaps having kids wouldn’t be a damper on the seeing the world experience, but possibly make it better. I started thinking about other people I knew that had kids, and still were able to travel and see the world. I thought about how I was envious of their kids for being able to broaden their horizons, while I never had been able to. I finally realized that it was a bit selfish of me to think sharing these things with my kids would be a detriment to my own enjoyment.

The last thing that took me by surprise happened just before the Memorial Day weekend. We were having a barbecue at work, and one of the girls at work brought her 5 month old little girl. Of course, all the women were passing this poor child around like a bong at a frat party. Once again, as has happened so many times, this little girl caught sight of me and just kept looking and smiling. Her mother was amazed at how much attention was being paid to me by her daughter. As I sat there, watching my co-workers play baby baby who’s got the baby, I suddenly realized, to my amazement, that I wanted a turn holding her.

It kind of freaked me out.

I have technically been out of my marriage for a year. It was almost a year ago that I left on the five week assignment, after which I left my wife. Except for the two weeks when I was back, telling her I was leaving and packing everything up, I have essentially been separated almost a year. It has been long enough that I have been thinking about the possibilities of getting into a relationship again. One of the things that had been bothering me was that the likelihood of finding someone who didn’t already have kids, and who never wanted kids, was very very slim. So I had to take a look at how I felt about getting involved with someone who already had kids, and if they didn’t, how I felt about the fact that if they didn’t have kids, they probably would.

Mulling this over in my mind, I realized something. It wasn’t the kids that I didn’t necessarily want, it was child support. Child support, more than anything, has been that thing that has kept me from doing many of the things that I wanted to do. I simply didn’t have the money. I realized that it wasn’t that I didn’t want kids , it was that I didn’t want kids with the X2B. I knew how that would turn out. I knew that she did not have the capacity to be a good mother. I also knew that there was a really good chance that we wouldn’t last, and I didn’t want to start paying child support all over again. I also realized that, because of the failure of my first marriage, I have never had a chance to raise a child of my own. My oldest was six when we split, the youngest was under two. My ex and her new husband raised my kids. It has caused a lot of problems in my head. Every time they screw up, I blame myself since I wasn’t able to be there for them. If they do good, I am unable to take any credit for it since I really didn’t have a big part of their upbringing. The best I could say is that I was the “cool dad.” I was the one that could relate to them better. I kind of had that grandparents attitude of “love them, spoil them rotten, then send ’em home.”

So, here I sit, getting ready to see a lawyer in a week or two to get the divorce papers ready for filing as soon as I legally can. When the judge signs, I will finally feel like I can get involved again, and I have doubts about my decision to not bring any more kids into this world. Right now, it kind of feels like I would not be opposed to the idea, as long as I felt there was a reasonable certainty that I would be able to raise them, and not just pay for someone else to do it.

Of course, this whole thing is rather academic. You cant be thinking about having kids if you cant find anyone willing to have sex with you.

January 13, 2009

New Year Nostalgia

Filed under: humor, My Past, personal — Tags: , , , , — thetick @ 5:17 pm

People who know me in the flesh know that I like to tell stories. Most of them are from personal experience, and they are the ones that make me laugh every time I think of them. This is one of those stories.

It was New Year’s Eve, somewhere between 10 and 15 years ago. I was visiting the family for Christmas, and by New Years, boredom had set in pretty hard. I decided I wanted to go out for New Years, and knew my uncle would be up for it. I gave him a call, and we decided to start the festivities. A friend of his was going to be joining us. We hit the first bar and got our drinks. It was 4:30 in the afternoon. I knew we were in for an interesting night, because the friend had recently been “86’ed” from the first bar. Every time we went to get a new drink, the girl behind the bar whispered to my uncle that he needed to get his friend out of there before her boss showed up. My uncle and I had been catching up on things, and reminiscing about my grandfather. I had seen a small bar stuck in the corner, not being used, and it looked familiar. I asked my uncle, and he verified that it was the one that my grandfather had built for his basement. I “tended bar” behind it when I was about 8 for a party or two my grandparents had held. The friend spent his time talking to the other customers, and the conversation always went the same way. “I thought you were kicked outta here?” “Yeah, but…” The conclusion changed with every telling. My uncle finally decided that it was time to get us all out of there about 7:30, since the owner could show up and any time and he didn’t want to get 86’ed for bringing his buddy in. This was the only bar in town, after all. Oh, there was also the issue that my uncles boss had come in with his wife, and she kept asking me to dance, since her husband kept refusing to.

The friend had proceeded to get very drunk, very fast, since he couldn’t go into that bar he wanted to get while the getting was good, and my uncle drove him home. We sat in his driveway, and he wouldn’t get out, and kept babbling about how unfair it was that he was 86’ed. My uncle finally had to fake a temper tantrum about how pissed he was about his friends misfortune, and that he was going to go back and “straighten this shit out once and for all!” This finally got the friend out of the truck and we left. We decided to go the the “happening place” instead of going back. Now, the town I grew up in doesn’t allow bars inside the city limits, so we had to go to an even smaller town that did. This was only about 15 miles away, but the bar was much nicer. It had been around forever. I remember going to the restaurant there as a kid, and how neat it was that the interior walls were decorated with shingles that local cattle ranchers had burned their brand on. The front was a restaurant, the back was a bar, and they usually had a live band playing on the weekends. Before we went there, we had to stop at the local convenience store, since we were both out of cigarettes. While we stood in line, my uncle noticed a small bowl near the register full of packs of gum. These were the old Beemans brand. They also had Clove Gum. My uncle went nuts over them both, and bought several packs of each. This is important later. We picked up another friend of his and proceeded to the next bar.

The joint was hoppin’ when we got there, and we proceeded to get drinks and wander around meeting and greeting. I met a staggering number of relatives, which caused me to have concerns regarding my familial traits. I was drinking my normal beer, but the uncle was showing a tendency to regard the bar as a sampler tray. I don’t think he ordered the same thing twice. Beer, followed by a shot of whiskey, followed by a martini, followed by “Whatever you think I should have” directed at the bartender. His friend sat at the bar, chatting up a rather attractive lady in her early forties, who kept asking him the same question; “Aren’t you married?” “Yeah, but…”

I had found the evenings theme.

Midnight rolled around and the uncle was swaying. Neither of us got kissed, but we toasted each other and cheered with everyone else. The band played, people danced, and everyone had a good time. Except the friend. He didn’t get kissed at midnight either, despite his best efforts and buying many drinks for the lady. Around 12:30, I told the swaying uncle that we needed to go, since I had to leave early the next day to drive back home. He had taken a bar stool and placed it directly in front of one of the large  speakers the band was blasting. He told me to go get his buddy. I wandered over to the bar and told the buddy we were leaving. He looked at his lady friend hopefully, and said that he thought he had a ride. I turned to her and tried to verify this, and she introduced herself to me with a smile and wink. A Cougar before Desperate Housewives made it cool. She asked if I was really leaving, and wanted to know why. I told her that I was leaving to go back to Arizona the next day, and may have mentioned that I was bored and hadn’t even been kissed at midnight. That was all she needed to hear, and planted a big wet one on me. The friend did the whole “shoulder your way into the conversation”‘ bit by literally shouldering his way in between us. He then asked her if he had a ride home. She said that she would provide his transportation, and I found out later that she had deliberately dropped him off at the wrong house.

By that time, the uncle had come to see what was taking me so long. I told him we could go, and as we left to go out the back door, I heard his friend begin telling the lady all about me, and my disreputable qualities. He had known me for about two hours. We got into the bar, and rather than walk around the crowded dance floor, my uncle weaved a precarious path through the middle of it. There was a lovely young thing dancing with her date, and my uncle was so taken by her that he didn’t watch were he was going, and her dance partner bumped into him. The young man apologized immediately, and I pushed my uncle through the remaining crowd and out the back door. We were in the alley behind the place, and he started telling me about the girl he had just seen on the dance floor. I informed him that I was there, and had seen her. I was getting rather frustrated, because now that I had stopped drinking and wanted to go to bed, he was delaying me. Plus, I wasn’t sure that I was going to be able to get his keys from him and I didn’t want to be his passenger. So, I was a little stressed. The remainder of the events from the dance floor caught up to my uncles drunken consciousness and he stopped in his tracks, no mean feat, and said, loudly, “That little fucker pushed me!”

I grabbed his arm and tried to get him moving again. “No, he didn’t. You ran into him.” I explained. “No, that little fucker pushed me!” he said again as he broke free of my grasp and turned to go back inside. “I’m gonna kick that little fuckers ass!” I had had enough. I grabbed him again, took hold of his coat with both hands and pulled him close as I screamed in his face. “No, you’re not! You ran into him, then he apologized to you for it! I am the one that pushed you, to get you out the fucking door! You aren’t going to do anything but give me the keys and get your drunk ass in the truck before I kick your ass!” I gave him a little shove backwards as I released him. He starred at me angrily. Then he stared at me with confusion. Then he just stared.

“I ran into him?”

“Yes. Give me the keys.”

“He didn’t shove me?”

“No. Give me the keys.”

He started feeling around in his pockets, and finally extracted… the Clove Gum.

“Would you like some Clove Gum?” he asked.

“No, give me the keys.”

“I think you would feel a lot better if you had some Clove Gum.”

“I don’t want any goddamn Clove Gum, I want the fucking keys so I can take you home then I can go to bed.”

“I know that when I get upset, Clove Gum always helps calm me down. You should have some Clove Gum.”

I took a piece of gum, then demanded the keys again.

“I can’t find ’em.”

We went to the truck, and the keys were in the ignition. Sometimes I miss that small town trust. My  uncle snored the whole way to his house, and I woke him up and sent him inside. I told him goodbye, and had to explain to him, again, that I was leaving the next day, and got in my truck to head to my grandmothers. As I pulled away, I looked back at him to make sure that he had gotten inside the house OK. He was waving his arms at me. I backed up and rolled down the passenger window. “What?” I yelled.

“You want some Clove Gum?”

To this day, he claims that someone slipped him a Mickey.

November 21, 2008

A Holiday Dilemma

Filed under: My Past, personal — Tags: , , — thetick @ 8:18 am

I need your help.

Most of the readers of this silly little blog know me, and my personal situation. For the benefit of those who don’t, I will try to summarize. In August, I left my wife. It was the result of a long period of her being wrapped up in her own world. There wasn’t any cheating on anyones part, and I had hoped that it would be a relatively friendly split and we could, in spite of the cliche, remain friends. For the first month and a half, it appeared that would be the case. She called daily for the first several weeks, but appeared to be getting it figured out that we were not going to be together as a couple anymore. But we were, for the first time in a long time, able to talk about things that friends talk about. Movies, mutual interests, so on and so forth.

Suddenly, the calls stopped. I had mixed feelings about it, because it meant she was no longer thinking this was a temporary deal, but also, on occasion, I missed the friendship that seemed to be beginning anew. I sent her a couple of emails, not saying anything important, they were just links to things that I knew would interest her. There was no response. Not long ago, I heard about a crisis in her family, and called to offer whatever support I could, but mostly just to let her know that I felt bad about what was happening and see if she wanted to talk about it at all. Also, I wanted to get some information about what had happened, because her family had been my family for about six years. I got her voice mail, left a message, and there was no response.

So, I have to assume that she has made the transition from hopeful to hateful, which saddens me a bit. Due to the fact that she has ongoing medical issues, I did not file for divorce immediately upon leaving. She needed the insurance, and I wasn’t hateful enough to drop her from it. So, due to residency laws, I cannot even file for divorce for another nine months, at least. So, we are separated, with no legal documentation showing that.

All of this leads up to the dilemma. The holidays are coming. Do I get her a Christmas present or not?

I welcome any and all opinions, either as a comment to this post, or as a email to me. Those of you who know me also know my email address if you would rather keep your opinions off of this public forum. I am not asking what I should do. Ultimately, I will make the decision myself, but I welcome any other insights and opinions.

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