Friday, August 10, 2012

Things lost in the fire

After the split and the divorce, I was accused of not giving myself enough time to heal before I moved on.

Books and magazines (particularly women's magazines, I think) make a big deal about needing time. They said I needed time to grieve, needed time to get my shit together before I was going to be any good for anyone else. I needed to find me, forgive me, celebrate me... blah, buh-blah, bu-blah, blah, blah...

I didn't need any of that. I already knew who was I was, already had my shit together and well... life only moves forward. If you're going to get on with your life, you have to ask yourself, "If not now, then when?"

I chose now. When could have been a long time and besides I met someone who lit me up like a firecracker. So, I took chances. I bolted headlong into the pool and I'm pretty happy with how things have worked out.

But that doesn't mean I got to walk away Scot free. Nope. The collapse of the marriage cost me some things. Some of them were unexpected.

The first casualty was R.E.M. They were a band I liked that my former wife adored. We saw them together twice and I bought her a couple of their latter day albums. I even recorded a live concert available on a restricted satellite channel and gave it to her.

To me, it seemed kind of fitting that they broke up after we split.

The surprise is that I can't listen to them anymore. Nothing. I hear Michael Stipe's voice and I change the channel. I punch the button for the next song. It's not that I hate the music. It's just that it bounces off me.

I lost the ability to appreciate some things I used to have on my wall. Pictures, given as gifts, and thoughtful at the time, seem out of place. I've taken them down and put them away.

Other things, like a quilt, I gave back to her when she asked. It had been sitting untouched in a closet for almost a year.

There are certain foods I won't touch or can no longer imagine me ever eating again. It's nothing important. I didn't lose meat or (more importantly) coffee, but I lost blackberry cobbler, which was one of the special things she made.

I guess I'm lucky I did most of the cooking. Otherwise, I'd be fucked.

There will probably be more things to crop up. Things that are just burned away. Things that when I see them make me feel cold inside or hollow.

I mean no disrespect to my ex, but in a lot of ways, with the break, emotionally speaking, my foot was caught in a kind of trap. I could have stood there and waited for the trap to rust off my ankle (time heals all wounds) or I could chew it off and make a run for it (Geronimo!). I chose the latter, which left me wounded, but alive and capable of thriving again.

Maybe I would feel different if I'd waited. Maybe if I'd waited six months or a year or ten years I would feel differently about blackberry cobbler and the little rock band from Athens that could.

Maybe not.

Either way, I got off pretty light. 

1 comment:

nicole j said...

you know you are a good writer when you can make divorce funny. although i am still not laughing at the idea of losing r.e.m.