Friday, September 27, 2013

One Bite at a Time

I’ve often thought of the months that followed our exodus to my brother’s house in terms of a year.  It was really a little over 3 months but I had so much inner turmoil and mental thrashing about going on that it seemed longer before I ended up getting my shit together.  My brother was mad at his girlfriend and they were locked in a constant struggle and I invariably ended up in the middle of it. He came home much sooner than anticipated so we were all there in his house and I know he didn’t particularly enjoy the intrusion so I did my best to feed them well since Helena didn’t really cook and do my part to clean house, etc.

I spent my birthday there with them and despite all that was going on they tried to be there for me, to make me feel better. I continued to get phone calls and letters from Tucker. He begged. I cried. I tried to figure out what I was going to do and how I was going to do it. I was still getting phone calls from randoms telling me that I’d better watch out because Rangers or Feds had been asking around about this and that.  I tried to push it all to the back of my brain and just figure out a way to exist.

I started feeling like myself a little bit more every day but constant contact with him in the form of visits and phone calls left me feeling as if nothing had really changed.  I was biding my time and trying to figure out how to get divorced and what they would do with him, where he’d go once they’d charged and released him. Luckily for me all his bonds were revoked everywhere. Once he cleared his mess up in that county he began a county to county trek from jail to jail to answer for his transgressions. This meant I didn’t have to deal with him face to face any time soon and that was good news for me. I wasn’t strong enough to tell him no to his face.  His con was too good and I knew I’d give in still.

I alternately ignored his phone calls and took them.  After they transferred him to another county, I quit going to see him and I took my wedding rings off though occasionally I would look down and find myself wearing them and not know how they got back on my finger. 

Helena one day pointed to my finger and said, “I thought you weren’t wearing those anymore.”

I lifted my hand and gave a half smile, “I’m not. I have no clue why they’re there.”

I slipped them off and into my pocket and shook my head at myself. By the end of the day when I was getting undressed, I noticed had them back on again. I took them and put them in a ring box and put them in the bottom of my jewelry box so that they weren’t readily available to slip back on. I sat on the edge of the bed and stared at the jewelry box willing the sneaky little suckers to stay put.

I finally found a place to live close to my work and dished out the cash to get moved. Staying with my brother had helped but I knew it was going to be tough trying to cover every bill on the $11.86 an hour I was making.  I was still getting through to finish school and without a degree, it just wasn’t getting any better. Harlow and I had a place of our own nevertheless and with my mom’s help we got moved into a tiny 2 bedroom 1 bath cabin looking little house with a backyard for the dogs and a view of the trailers in the trailer park.
I felt accomplished and sane if only for a short while.  Bills piled up immediately and I thought about what I’d have to do to get through them to get by and started feeling that overcome, chokey, drowny feeling again.  Just like the day of the move though, I told myself one thing at a time, one day at a time. I don’t remember who told me first but I’ve always remembered when I start feeling like my head is going to explode...How do you eat an elephant?

One bite at a time. 

Wednesday, September 25, 2013


I met TBone on a dating site. When we made our date, I had every intention of meeting him for a drink and leaving.  The moment, however, that he rose from the table and towered over me smiling his dazzling smile, I was lost.  He was charming and good looking and that particular night snatched me out of the way seconds before a water leak caved the ceiling in.  He had been my knight in shining armor and we left the bar because he said, “I can afford to take you some place better where the ceiling isn’t going to fall on you.” We spent roughly seven hours together that night, the last of which were spent in my bed.  He was tender and sweet and attentive if not exceptionally skilled. I still thought he was wonderful because you know after all first times aren’t always magical and maybe he was nervous and it’ll be better next time. Boy oh boy did I want there to be a next time. He was just so good looking. I was overwhelmed by merely looking at him and it blinded me to anything else that was there. 

So it began, we dated. He texted, I texted, we Facebooked, we saw each other once a week then twice a week and internally I got crazy about him saying he loved me.  I didn’t give him the indication but I was going nuts inside my head over it.  Looking back, I don’t know what happened to me…the warning bells had already gone off somewhat. He smoked pot and a lot of it.  He lived with his dad and took care of him but the houses he constantly said were his were really his parents’.  His teenaged boys lived with his 80 something year old mother. He is retired and gets a pension from the Navy and he doesn’t have to work. I explained all of it away to good reasons just so I could get someone to treat me like I was worthy. I grew tired of listening to him sing badly to bad music. I hated watching the news every night when I’d already watched it that morning. I hated watching him “train” my cat by biting her on the ear. (Anyone who reads the Facebook knows that's the only pussy he bites.) He knew everything about everything and was more than a little arrogant about it. He literally did the touchdown signal when he was right.  He is a homophobe and turned out to be a bit of a bigot; I had to tell him to stop using the “n” word in front of the Gurl Child. Still, I tried to see the good because there was plenty of good too.  He cleaned my house, he bought dinners and groceries.  He brought me wine in the shower, he took me camping.  He did lots and lots of nice things that made it easier for me to ignore the bad stuff.

The night that I got drunk and unleased all my frustrations on him for the things he’d said and the ways he’d made me feel inadequate, he hung his head.  Defeated.  He put his face in his hands then raised it to me and said, 

“I’m just a stupid, stupid man. I’m so sorry if I hurt you.  I never meant any of that in that way. I love you. I want to spend the next 20 years with you.” I felt so awful for him right then because I knew. I knew that I didn’t want to spend the next 20 years with HIM.  I knew that he was sincere and that he was genuinely sorry that he’d hurt my feelings by mentioning my stretch marks, making cracks about my diet, talking about his ex every second. I knew he felt bad and so I prolonged the inevitable and I let him stay.

Every time he walked through the door and smiled at me I wanted so badly for him to be what I wanted him to be.  You just can’t force it. We had differing views on TV, movies, music, religion; you name it we didn’t match up.  I think we both wanted to feel loved and accepted, Lord knows I pursued him every bit as much as he pursued me. I remember the moment in almost any relationship where the other person does or says something that triggers this skepticism in the back of your brain.  A tiny hitch that gives you pause and makes you think, “Wow, where did that come from? That’s not cool. I don’t like that.” And you quash it and go on about your business because LOVE!!!! Oh my god…LOVE, LUST, ENDORPHINS!!! 

Even if I knew he wasn’t for me, he was a warm body. Even if the sex left me frustrated and irritated, there was still someone there saying that he loved me.  It had been a long time since I had real closeness with anyone and I feared I’d never have it again.  I’ve known for some time that it had to end but didn’t have the balls to say it to him because I knew it would result in that shitty talk that no one wants to have.

Luckily for me, I’m a moron who forgot about his penchant for trolling Facebook in bed before he gets up. 

One of my besties who likes my page liked this status this morning:

Same tongue in cheek crap I always post except I’m really trying to figure out how to break up with this man before he shows up with a ring at Christmas or something. TBone sees that Bestie likes Mediocrates status and sees the word TBone which he knows we call him. He taps on it and then responds with this:

My phone light goes off I see that he’s liked…wait…what? Mediocrates status?! Then I tasted the pennies in my mouth and my hands went numb. I wanted him gone but I didn’t want him to find out this way.  We had some back and forth via text and I apologized for him having to read it on the internet and then nada.  He’s gone.

I really hate that he got hurt more than he should have from my being flippant over the whole thing but it was for the best. We’ll both be better off in the end. I’ll be alone or whatever and he’ll find some nice confederate flag wearing chick that doesn’t mind that his pillow talk sounds the same as when he talks to the cat or that the number of times that he burps, farts and says fuck are numerous and plentiful every day.

I still felt a little like crying because I knew he was hurt and I felt like a giant asshole over it but I didn’t have to have the talk and for that I am truly grateful. I am again all at once relieved and adrift. I had never factored him into my future so he didn’t leave a hole but to him…from now on…I’ll be that chick that had a blog and talked shit on the internet about him to almost a whole thousand people.