Posted by: shelliejelly | November 6, 2009

The way it is

You would think, since it was me who did all of the work to get the divorce finalized, that the reality of the situation would not have been lost on me. Filling out paperwork, writing checks to a lawyer, appearing in court—all good indicators your marriage is over—were all somehow done on autopilot.

My brain was doing the work while my heart sat in the corner with its eyes tightly shut. Divorce? What’s that? I can’t hear you.

I’ve had moments since the start of this mess that have left me breathless. Sitting on the edge of the bed in the dark, still undressed, defeated, as O. tells me for the second time that he thinks our marriage is finished.

It’s like K. dying all over again, and all I can think to do is move my body, never stop moving my body. I walk around the block three, four, countless times as I talk to my mother, thousands of miles away, telling her that I’m getting a divorce. The word tastes so bad in my mouth I nearly choke, but the more I say it, the easier it comes. The cool night air on my face, sneaking in my collar and racing down to my belly feels good. Right. Outside is the only place to be at the moment—being inside feels too much like I’m suffocating. I might die.

I’ve once again reached a breathless moment. Since Sara, the reality of my divorce  has once again crept up from behind, hammering me over the head. Like a cartoon character, stars dance around my head and I’m dizzy with the effort of looking straight down my life’s road and seeing only one set of footprints.

I see an older couple holding hands while I’m walking to work. His leather-gloved hand cupped tenderly around her bare hand, insulating and comfortable. My mind races headlong toward what was once my life; his hand always reaching for mine, hugs that would thaw the misery of a day or encourage the happiness. I smile at them, but really, what I want to do is push them down and shout, “It wasn’t supposed to be like this. It wasn’t supposed to be like this.”

The ache spreads from my heart to my feet, webbing outward so I’m continually entangled. I know it’s temporary, but I sometimes see only the depths, the looking and looking for anything familiar. And I’m not sure why I’m here again. Why, after all of these months upon months upon months, I once more feel raw and useless.

But there it is, and here I am.


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