a drink.

'i'm home. i'd really like to buy you a drink.'

waiting. seemed like forever. really, it was only a few minutes.

'i'd like that.'

excitedly, i packed a few items into my bag. just in case.

i drove into the city that wasn't really a city.

parked, walked too quickly. nerves getting the best of me.

i don't remember the first part of the conversation. there was a big hug when we were standing together again.

there was a corner booth in a bar that wasn't well lit. there was a flickering candle on the table, a tealight that only caught his eye every so often.

i made a shitty joke about his girlfriend being mad about me taking him out for a drink. it posed as a joke, but really i just wanted to know if he had a girlfriend. as if that was some kind of a gauge on how i could or would or should act towards him.

there was a delayed response on his behalf. i think i genuinely surprised him, because he looked so confused when he said that he had no girlfriend.

for a split second i thought to myself...oh, my god. does he have a boyfriend? is that what this was always about? but i talked myself out of that.

after small talk, i took a deep breath that i disguised in a laugh at something he said that wasn't nearly as funny as it seemed by my reaction.

the smile on my lips tightened into a straight line.

'you know? i just wanted to talk to you. it's such a funny thing to say, because by saying it, i am talking to you. but there are just too many things in my life that feel unsettled. and i wanted to try to settle a few of them.'

his eyes widened a little, and i tried to put him at ease explaining what i'd been going through since i last saw him.

'when i saw you, you would never have known what i'd been doing the three days before that. i had been essentially getting my parents' blessing on ending my marriage.'

his mouth dropped open. he didn't even try to hide it.

'i know. and you kept mentioning it to me. and i just wanted to scream at the top of my lungs. no! it's actually almost over. please stop talking about it. it was the biggest mistake of my life. and i'm trying to undo it. but it's going to take some time.'

he just stared at me. the words flowed like a warm rush of vomit. out of my control entirely.

'and then i came home for a couple days to tell them that it was over.'

he nodded.

'and now i'm here. trying to just get away from it and everything that it is doing to me and to my life. and i'm starting over in a way. but i'm also coming back to everything that i always knew. so in a way i'm not starting over at all.'

he shook his head in disbelief. it felt like he was still processing the first couple sentences. i had flooded him.

if i thought he cared enough about me, i would have thought that there were the tiniest hints of tears in his eyes. but there weren't. it was just an illusion.

'you know what else?'

he said 'no' aloud, but in a way that was barely audible.

'i just can't help wanting to go back to the time in my life when you were my friend. and when you used to curl up with me and listen to sad music with me and stare at the stars with me. life was so fucking simple then. and i don't know how my life got so carried away that it was so far from reach. i just wish i could go back. and appreciate it. and have more of it.'

i stopped for a minute to drink. quickly.

'those years were just the best. i know it was college. i know that i had a lot of really great friends. i know that i was learning and living life without really worrying about my future and about adult responsibilities. but those were the best days of my life. and it makes me sad sometimes to think that the best days of my life are behind me.'

he nodded. i didn't know if he was relating or if he was agreeing.

'i just knew that if i was really happy in my life, the life i had chosen for myself, that i wouldn't feel that way. and when i was out of it, i immediately felt relieved and happier and better.'

i drank more. i kept waiting for him to interject. or to say something. anything. but he just sat there, listening. letting me talk it all out.

'getting older doesn't have to mean getting old. or giving things up. at the root of it all, i'm the same person. wanting the same things, with the same interests. the same passions. i'm just in an older body, doing other things with my time during the work week. but i still feel the same way about writing, about music. i still watch the same movies when i'm sad. i still listen to the same songs when i'm sad.'

'i didn't bring you out for a drink to talk your ear off. i want to know about your life. i want to know what you have been doing. i guess i enjoyed the sliver of time i had with you this winter, and thought it would be nice to have some more of that.'

he started talking slowly. he commented on some things that i had said. how he related them to his life. how he could say the same things about some things in his life.

he told me how time had changed him, slightly.

and he talked for a while. and paused, like he was passing the ball to me.

and i just came right out with it. i'd had enough to drink to not worry about it anymore.

'why didn't you ever kiss me?'

and his immediate response was, 'i don't know.' which i was not going to settle for.

he did pause to think about it for a minute. i just sipped. not a word.

'i was just scared, i think.'

'what were you afraid of?'

'well, i was afraid of you. i didn't want to hurt you. i knew that if i kissed you, that it wouldn't be what you wanted it to be. your eyes were too full of love. and i just couldn't. but believe me... i wanted to.'

'is that why you didn't ever try to take me out? why didn't you ever come to see me? i only ever came to see you.'

'i don't know. i think i just thought that if i did any of those things that you would fall. and i was afraid that it just wouldn't end well.'

i shook my head with tears in my eyes.

it was true. my suspicions. my fears. i had scared him off before i ever even had a chance to.

he was right. in every possible way, he was right.

'well, thank you for telling me that. it bothered me that i never asked you. i was always too afraid to ask you. i was afraid that you would think it was silly that i even wanted to know.'

'no. i think about it, too. i mean, when i saw you, it was all i could think about. i couldn't remember why i never was with you, as something other than your friend.'

'yeah. i knew at that point that life as i knew it was over. and i had so much fun that night. and so much fun with you that night. it made me wonder why i didn't try harder with you. and it just proved to me that i was the same happy person i always was. and that i just needed a fresh start.'

'you wanna take walk?'

'sure.' i needed a cigarette anyway. he had quit.

he linked arms with me. it felt familiar. he had that same excited bounce in his step.

we walked around a lake, staring at boats shaped like swans and a little fountain that sat lifeless in the middle of the lake.

'so what are you doing now? what is your life like? and when are you leaving?'

i talked with such ease that i don't remember what i was saying. until i said that i was leaving in a week.

'well, what are you doing tonight?'

and it stopped me dead in my tracks.

'this is what i'm doing tonight. i just came here. i didn't think beyond that.'

'well, would you like to come over? watch a movie or something?'

a smile crept across my face.

'i would love that.'

anniversary. march 23.

today would have been my seventh anniversary.

but instead, it was just a sad day.

it was a quiet day of music, spent running between stores, and driving to another state and back again.

i have been pretty good about making lists and accomplishing things and marking them off lately.

except for some of the big picture items.

i emailed an attorney and heard back.

$275 per hour. i am in the wrong business.

and that's probably the least expensive it's going to be.


ever took a minute out of his busy day to text me that he is pissed that i abandoned our marriage today.

i texted him back that i'm pissed that he waited until i left to clean himself and the house up. but that it is what it is. and that i wouldn't be dropping by the house as i had planned to.

and then he said that he loves me more than anything, but that he was hating on me today.

i don't know.

i bought a lot of beer today. and a carton of cigarettes. because they're cheap and i'm going to buy them anyways.

so i may as well save some money.

i don't think i've had fewer than two beers a day since i moved into this apartment.

about half of them are beers at home. the other half are beers out.

either way, i'm starting to pack on some empty carb pounds, and i'm not too stoked on that.

and need to do something about it.

but how can i smoke like a chimney and drink like a fish AND get skinnier?

answer: i can't.

and every time i smoke, i think 'well, can't start back at the gym today.'

sometimes i think that i am kindof abusing myself.

only it doesn't always feel like it.

because most of the time i am having fun. and i definitely know my limits with drinking.

i don't take it too far.

but i am going to have to curb this taste for craft beers if i'm going to be on the lake and poolside this summer.

maybe i can have one a night on weeknights.

i remember a few weeks ago when i could have been overheard saying 'i don't drink on worknights'.

now it is completely irrelevant.

now i can be overheard saying something like, 'know what would taste good with this pizza? a beer...'

i am perfectly aware that this is a coping mechanism. that i am using alcohol somehow to make me feel better, even though it's a downer.

and just like i know that smoking is a nasty habit, it changes nothing.

pretty soon, something has got to give.

back to today.

i don't know what my problem is, really.

i mean, i think i am fine.

i do occasionally have these sudden pangs of anger.

they're always directed toward ever. mostly when i wonder how long he was perfecting lying to me.

and sometimes i do get sad. i mean, sunday was the first time that i almost cried.

and then today.

part of me wanted to go buy a bakery cake. the kind with my favorite whipped icing on it.

and sit down with candles and light them. blow them out. make a wish that would probably involve coffee somehow. and eat the whole thing myself. like an anti-happy anniversary party. or better yet, a happy anti-anniversary party. all by myself. because that is how i am now.

and as much as i wanted to do that, and as good an intention as i think that it was, i am glad i didn't. because i think that once the stomachache started, i would have started to cry. and maybe not stopped until, technically, tomorrow.

i don't know. i don't know what to say. or do.

i talked to my mom today. and her perspective on things is so skewed. she thought that i feel like they're pressuring me about the house to get their money back. which is not the case. i know that they could give a shit about that money right now.

she thought that it would stress me out if she called ever. which it wouldn't.

i don't know.

i found myself, the whole conversation, saying 'no. mom. it's not like that.'

which was new and different.

my shrink warned me that i wouldn't know how i'd be feeling from day to day.

right now, i feel like crying.

but i'm also not.

right now, i know that i made the right decision. because ever telling me that he would have made all those changes if i'd just given him more time doesn't change the fact that he didn't try. that i wasn't in love with him. that he wasn't being honest with me. that i only loved him up to a point. that he wasn't selfless. that he took and took and soaked up everything like a sponge.

so i had to take it all back.

and if this is the hardest day of the year for me. my anniversary. and i made it through it by writing and being quiet and alone. by watching lost on hulu and drinking two beers in the apartment alone, then so be it.

if this is my worst day, i can't wait to see what my best days will be like.

i'm really trying to separate here.

my divorce and anniversary and ever. from everything else.

the memoir is stalled until i figure out how to move on. but also because i completely overwhelmed myself with my old life in a matter of two short days. this is not going to be easy. not in the least.

and i won't even start about coffee. maybe that is enough for another short story. because i'm very creative at night when i'm falling asleep and i could go on for days.

but today is about a death. and i want to take a page from kit and write an obituary to the marriage that died:

this marriage was born on march twenty third, two thousand and three. it died on february fourteenth twenty ten, after eight months of illness, and three months on life support.

this marriage was created based on the belief that two people would take care of each other and love each other, provide for each other and help each other. and poorer dominated richer, and sickness dominated health.

surviving this marriage is one tea, and one ever.

the memorial service is being held presently in one little apartment in a little neighborhood in a big city. it is a private ceremony.

the burial will take place in two to six months from now, in some legal offices in some big building in this big city. dates are yet to be determined.

the marriage leaves behind one big house, one broken heart, and one hopeful heart. it is survived by one sad little puppy who misses her mommy very much.

and i think that is all that needs to be said about that.

tomorrow i will start again. because that is what i do. something dies, i bury it, i start again.

and i'm going to try to not get overwhelmed. so i can remain functional. and somewhat happy. and take care of things. because that is what i do.
so i went to the house today.

and for a second, only maybe 20 at most, i was actually sad.

i don't know if he's trying to prove something to me or what, but he was cleaned up, shaven, dressed up even.

the house was clean and organized.

i was really impressed.

we talked on couches facing each other for maybe 20 or 30 minutes.

stuff about the house. stuff about bills.

he's trying to get people to move in, so that was the reason for the cleanliness and presentability. but it was still a surprise.

i wish in a way that he could have looked that good and been so together when i was still there. but then again, it wouldn't have changed any of our other, bigger problems.

maybe i was sentimental because of other things.

i have a pretty crazy reunion coming up this weekend. in 6 days.

brownies, nate, and i are reuniting for the first time in maybe 9 years. it's going to be fun, for sure.

and i know she will be the same person she always was.

but to be going through what i'm going through right now is going to be interesting when added to the equation.

nate and i will have a kickass friday night under our belts. hopefully dancing our pants off.

because i've had the itch lately.

and then saturday will be running around with her. i'll head back either saturday night or sunday am to rest up before work on monday.

plus, i have finished the novel and started the memoir, so i'm rehashing the early stuff from my adult life. and beating myself up as i always do. but hopefully it will be for the last time.

i think i need to read about how to write a memoir.

because i started just typing up journals, and that is not only going to take 8451365465 years, but also doesn't really read too easily.

it's like i need to approach it like a fictional story and quote entries from time to time.

i also really need to finish our taxes. like in the next couple days.

and i just get so overwhelmed i don't really know where to start.

i also need to talk to the lawyer. this week. get that ball rolling. i emailed her tonite, so i guess it is already in motion. i hope she can help me.

i can file for separation. on my own, most likely.

that's about it for now.

i don't know.

today did mix me up a bit. but not in the way that i think i want that back, or made a mistake.

just in the way that it made me wonder why he couldn't do those things for me when i did so much for him.

then i remember... i did so much for him.

and that is why i am a spy.