mediation & impact. january 14th and 15th.

well, it's over. not the divorce, or the negotiating, but the mediation.

it was in some ways worse than i thought it would be, and in some ways better.

in some ways ever was exactly what i expected. and in some ways he was better. and in some ways more disrespectful.

this is going to come out all mixed up and scattered. because each part makes me think of another part. sorry for that in advance. this is not chronological at all.

so i went 30 minutes before he got there, to talk to lawyer and tell him what i wanted out of the mediation. both of us wanted him to sign the divorce papers, and the property settlement agreement. a modified version of it would have been fine. but those things didn't happen. so that is why it's not over.

and he didn't pay the mortgage for december or january yet, because he says that he doesn't have the money and can't, so we will be in court on tuesday. with under two weeks until foreclosure proceedings.

so after telling lawyer angrily(i was pretty irate by the time i got there) that all i care about is getting him out of the house and off the mortgage, paying back my parents, and getting the money for the credit card. and that i really don't care about anything else. i told him that my money was on him not showing up. but lawyer said that he'd called and said he was taking the train to the bus there, since i took the car when i left and he doesn't have one. and that he thought he'd be there.

i felt gross. like dried out cottonmouth from stress all day. i hadn't eaten. i couldn't. i popped an ativan when i got to the law office, after checking my pale face in the mirror in the bathroom. i had been nauseous from probably 1030 on. i actually was impressed with the length of time after i woke up at 6, got up at 8, and worked, that i didn't worry about it. i mean, feel the physical worry. the shaking and feeling like i was going to throw up.

but i wanted to look cool and feel cool, so i just faked it. told lawyer before and after that i felt pukey and nervous, but that i was ready to get it over with.

so we waited ten minutes, and then ever showed up. i was looking out the window, we were in a conference room on the second floor overlooking a cobblestone street. when i heard him come in, i turned to sit down.

and of course, he came in with a big stupid smile on his face, 'heyyy, how are you? good to see you.'

with his scary face. i've only seen it when he's on the verge of a freakout, or about to punch someone, or in the middle of a panic attack. his face is super red, his bloodshot eyes are big wide, his pupils pinpoints, and his smile is this forced exposure of gold and platinum and empty spaces mixed in with yellow teeth. i hate that i ever kissed him.

and i know i looked at him like he was insane, because he looked insane, but also because i had just seen him last wednesday at the bank.

and i used my favorite bitchy monotone after screwing up my eyebrows and said, 'good to see you, too.' maybe i said it more like a question. maybe i laughed.

i'd pay for a tape of the meeting. too bad i didn't think to ask lawyer to make that happen. nut who wants to relive two hours of that, really?

i had told lawyer that i didn't want to do any of the talking. or as little as possible, i guess. that he knows what i want, and that i was comfortable with him being the one talking.

so i guess we got right into it. he told him the parts that he had argued in various emails and calls, so we started talking about the house first, i guess.

he basically said that he can't afford the mortgage payment, because he has no rent coming in, because he has no roommates. at that point in time, i knew i'd bust him before the end of the meeting on it, because two weeks ago the house was filled with other people's things.

let me just say now, that telling the story now is going to get all mixed up. all out of order. because the way it comes back to me is not the way it happened.

the thing i'm fixated on right now is the bit about my parents' money. i explained that it wasn't a loan. that the down payment was a gift (i had to, because there are documents stating that it was a gift, which is how we were able to use it at all). and reminded him, in case he had forgotten, that we were about to lose the house and default on our loan, because we ran out of money $20k before the work was done on the house according to the bank. he agreed. that it's not a loan, so much as a return on an investment. and not even that, but basically paying them back their investment when we cash out on the house and walk away with money.

and he said that he refuses to sign anything that has the money being returned to my parents included in it. he said, 'this is a family matter. they are my family, too. i've stayed in touch with them and talked to them about it, and i will pay them what i see fit, when i can. but i will not have that included in this divorce.'

to which lawyer said that the divorce is a family matter, and that we want it in the contract.

after over an hour of discussion, we ended up telling him that we could eliminate that portion of the settlement agreement and create a separate document. and he refused that as well. that it was between him and them.

i said, 'you called my dad on his birthday in september, and you called him a week ago. you didn't discuss the house or the loan. it's not really staying in touch with them, and you didn't discuss anything related to the divorce or the house.'

and he didn't have anything to say to that, i guess. or lawyer changed the subject. i don't remember.

the whole meeting, they were both sitting there with their sheets of paper, with numbers all down the column. i fucking hate that. i have now seen it four times. five, including ever's yesterday.

i saw it when i met with the crazy $3300 lawyer, when we met to talk in june. and with this lawyer this time.

it's standard, i know.

it's a his and hers column. it's an asset and a debt sheet.

ever is hellbent on including the car. even though it is not his. it's not in his name. he didn't have a car coming into it. i said all of that. regardless, if we went to court it would be half his, so i didn't bitch when he got $3k in his column for the car, with the understanding that that was the value three years ago. surely it's depreciated that much in the last three years. but when lawyer mentioned this, he said that his equipment would have depreciated, so if we were doing it that way, we needed to apply it to both. he also alluded to the fact that he had sold off a bunch of equipment. which i don't believe.

lawyer said that we'd go by taxes, because he could have literally thrown things away or moved them, knowing this would happen.

he gave me a hard time about the business, of course. we went through listing shit out so he would see what i'm leaving off the agreement, what i'm walking away from. lawyer said that for all he knows, he could be about to make some huge deal with the business. or the bullshit about the reporters and documentary could be because something huge was about to happen, and that if we didn't exclude the business, then i'd be entitled to half of all of that as well, so that it was in his best interest to leave the business out of it, not mine.

he wanted to know where i was coming up with my figures. the $18k in inventory, the $20k in equipment. he wouldn't accept the computer as being business equipment. the one we bought in 2008. because i took the laptop that we bought in 2003 that was broken. i said what i wanted to say about that, and he said, 'well i could say that the computer is broken, too.' asshole. i should have said, 'oh, okay. i'll be by to pick the broken computer up later.' instead, i said that i left it because you depended on it for the business. FUCKER. he knows this.

he demanded that i list out equipment and it's value there. so i started listing stuff. and said that i couldn't remember specifically, that we were just estimating. but he was like, 'what else? what else?' like he was going to come up super short. after saying that there were only four pieces of equipment i could remember that totaled up $17k, he seemed pretty pleased with himself for knocking off $3k. one look around the house will remind me of more that takes it up over $20k. which i said.

he also didn't believe the estimated inventory. and didn't seem to care about the fact that no income was being figured in, because according to him, he took a $15k loss last year, which i honestly don't remember. he has made $5k twice, $9k once, and broken even once that i can remember from past taxes. i don't know how i forgot that he took a loss. but i'll have to look it up.

all of this was our way of valuing his (nonprofit) business, saying that half the pile of business shit in that house is mine, but i'm not trying to take it.

so in the end, the business was $35k minus the $15k loss (if that's true), so i was walking away from $10k by not including it.

in thinking about it today, the mediation was basically me paying the lawyer to lose ground. because thinking about it today, the car made it onto the list, despite my demanding that it didn't. the business didn't get included, but instead of being $20k i was walking away from, it became $10k. and the parents being taken off the list of debts.

yeah. so whatever. none of it really matters, because that was about the time that i made the pitch.

what's funny is that, after the meeting, lawyer said, 'i don't mean to offend you, but he's really not that smart is he? or is that just a game?'

and i said, 'oh, that's a game. he sucks at math, but besides that, he is crafty. and him playing dumb was his way of making the mediation as expensive as possible for me, and making you think he was slow.'

so. the pitch.

he had said, 'just so i'm clear, let's list out the options for the house.'

it's simple ever, really. you can't buy me out, i can't buy you out, so all that's left is to sell it. so we have to sell the house. but he needed columns on his paper, and to cross them off after one by one saying that they weren't possible.

he was so content to argue values and selling the house, and i cut in. i couldn't take it anymore. i felt like the two of them would argue numbers until the sun came up.

so i said, 'there is one more option.'

and i think that was probably the only time the entire time that he was genuinely caught off guard. i said that i could give him a chunk of money now, to walk away from all of it.

of course he wanted to know how it was possible, and all i said is that i can get a loan. i didn't mention that my parents, who he is refusing to pay back, are willing to throw more money at him to get rid of him.

i explained how it would work. i said that he could call gmac and take his name off the loan. dave interjected that he would have to sign a quitclaim deed (which i found out about at that specific moment in time). it means the house is mine without taking out a mortgage. he would have to move out the end of february, after paying for december, january, and february mortgage for the time he lived there. that he walks away from the house and no longer gets access or has interest in it. and i asked him what he would want to walk away from it.

i said that i would come through this weekend with my realtor to have her valuate the house. because i knew he was lying about people living there, and that was the perfect way to catch him in it. one day later, to not have time to do anything drastic to make it look like an empty house, sans roommates.

lawyer said, 'you don't have any roommates, so it's just you moving out of the property, no leases to deal with, right?'

and he said, 'the one lease i had is done. i have three roommates lined up to move in, one for -'

and i couldn't help my reaction. i mean, i could have. but i fucking did it anyway. i didn't laugh, not exactly. it was more like a huh! sound of a big rush of air coming out of my mouth. and the look on his face was priceless. like i actually hurt his feelings or surprised him or something.

it was the one time he got genuinely defensive, when lawyer had to kinda break it up, as loosely as that can be used.

he said, 'i'm not going to talk to you if you're going to laugh at me.'

and i said, 'i'm not laughing, but i have heard that before. you'll have to forgive me for not believing you. go on. you were saying... you have three roommates lined up, one for...'

and he refused to go on.

so i repeated myself, 'three roommates lined up, one for... what? one for february?'

he wouldn't go on.

i guess i hurt his feelings. poor ever. that's what happens when you use the exact sentence 'i have three roommates lined up' in a 2 am conversation in february when i decided to move out. that was the specific conversation where i realized how easily he could lie to me. and how manipulative he was. he just used the wrong string of words in the mediation, and i couldn't help myself. it was mostly reflexive.

this happened after he asked me, by that point, to not talk at the same time as the lawyer at least twice. he said, 'let him talk, i can't understand when you're talking over him or talking at the same time.'

which was a personal dig. because he complained for a long time that i never let him finish sentences, that i'd jump to conclusions before he had a chance to say what he was trying to say. so anytime i tried to explain something while the lawyer was either saying it differently that i wanted him to, or incorrectly, ever would give me a look and ask me to not talk over him.

but back to the fact that he has no roommates now. back to the fact that he has three lined up.

lawyer said, 'well you haven't signed leases right?'

and he said right.

and he said, 'then you haven't taken money from anyone.'

and ever got caught in the second lie.

he said, 'yes. i did.'

and lawyer said, 'then you should return that right away. especially since they haven't moved in yet.'

and i knew, sitting there, that the money was already spent. and not on paying the mortgage.

and ever had to explain that he was letting someone stay there right now. the girlfriend of one of the dudes, who has a kid. that she was in an abusive situation, and that he was helping her out by letting her and her kid stay there.

pretty funny how a few minutes before, poor ever had no rental income and no one living with him. and now the story changed. only because he knew he'd be busted when i did a walkthru the next day.

so lawyer said, 'well, you'd have to explain to her that you will no longer be her landlord and that it would be up to tea to let her stay or ask her to leave. you know tea better than i do, but we both know that she isn't the type of person to put someone out onto the street.'

and ever said, in his best personal attack of the day, 'i don't know her at all.'

and i said, 'well if (our friend) would like to communicate with me about it, then that's up to him.'

and ever, on a bit of a roll with little jabs, said something like, 'those people have nothing to say to you after you jumped ship. they don't want to communicate with you.'

and i said that was on them, then.

i tried not to act upset. but of everything said yesterday, it hurt me the most. because i have tried a couple times to get them to write me back or say something, email me back, and none of them have.

so as much as i don't want to believe him when he says that, and i do think that this is like all of his other lies that cash in on my sensitivity, it probably is true.

a close second, on digs, was when we told him he'd have to move out before we could list the house, and he said, 'well i have to find a place to live that takes dogs, so i'll need some time for that.'

to which i replied without any emotion, 'obviously.'

but wanted instead to say, 'oh. she doesn't come with the house?' i was glad that the mention of the puppy daughter didn't make me cry. because talking about her recently i got choked up. time isn't making that pain go away. i do a pretty good job of not thinking about her and that situation the majority of the time. but when it comes up, it chokes me up.

the third lie ever got caught in was a pretty funny one. he was doing the thing he did this summer, when he told me that i basically showed him all my cards by telling him what i discussed with the lawyer, that he had three lawyers all telling him blah blah blah. that he had info that i didn't, and that it would help him.

the one he pulled yesterday was when he said that he'd had his realtor come through the house twice. what i think he was trying to make me think was that he had her come through recently, and also when i left, giving him an estimated appraisal on its value then and now. and that he had info i didn't have.

but once lawyer explained that the value when i left was irrelevant, i think he abandoned the idea that he had the upper hand when it came to the house. and then said that she hadn't given him amounts at all.

right. then why the fuck else would you have her come through? not once, but twice? so when i made the plan to come through with my realtor this weekend, lawyer asked if he could do the same to get an estimated value. and he said that he didn't know, that his realtor was probably out of town or something. right. totally likely. i didn't tell him that my realtor knows his. and if i wanted to, i could fact check him.

he took a cigarette break at a point, after i pitched the idea about paying him to walk away. and lawyer said i beat him to the punch about the pitch. and i said that he would have sat there wasting more time with numbers and that i didn't want to waste any more time talking about all of that shit, when they weren't even the option i wanted. an hour in, we hadn't talked yet about what i wanted to spend the most time talking about.

about an hour and a half in, i was so maxed out on listening to ever and dealing with ever, and watching the two of them who can't do fucking math, add and subtract incorrectly. and lawyer sensed it. i was literally staring at the table, i had completely checked out.

and he said, 'well, i think we're done here for today.'

and ever said, 'what, have we reached our cap? are we out of time?'

that is how i know that he was making it as costly for me as he could.

so i said, 'there is no cap. but we are done here. we could sit here and crunch numbers all night. but you won't sign the papers, and we're not getting anywhere, so we are done.'

the last thirty minutes of the two hours were spent discussing plans to come up with offers over the weekend, to have an agreement drafted by monday, to meet up at court on tuesday. and that if we can come to an agreement and have it signed by tuesday, that we would wait our turn for the courtroom and have it entered onto court record that we were canceling the hearing because we had come to an agreement. to make it even more legally binding.

smart lawyer. i chose well.

i had already said that i wasn't going to cancel the hearing unless ever paid the mortgage current over the weekend. and he said that it wasn't possible. but lawyer said that one way to get around that with a new agreement would be to take the mortgage out of the chunk of money being paid to him.

and i know that ever thought my lawyer was retarded for two reasons. one, he said, 'use the calculator on your phone, tea.' because my iphone was sitting on the table, when they were crunching numbers and splitting things in half.

the first time was when he incorrectly spouted law at him regarding the appraisal when i left. and ever said, 'you know the law about this'. and lawyer corrected him.

but it was pretty funny to see him corrected while his dumb ass was trying to correct my lawyer. that whole bit was about the equity being based off of what the house was worth back when i left, versus now. to which lawyer said, 'actually, you're wrong. it can be done from its value now, or when you sign the papers, not from the date of separation. do you want to see the law? i have the book in my office down the hall...'

it was pretty funny. it shut him up.

the other time he got shut up was when lawyer told him that if we went to court to settle the property, that i'd be entitled to half of the rental income because the house is still mine. that it's $500 a month i've been losing since i left, and that we'd absolutely include it if we go to court. in addition to having the business valuated to include income.

and the third time that ever let his disrespect for my lawyer be known was at the last possible minute, when lawyer made a drunk joke that ever obviously didn't find amusing. i kinda shook my head, knowing that he was trying to crack a joke and lighten the mood right before we left, and it was just embarrassing. it wasn't funny. and it really wasn't a good joke to crack to ever.

he said something about having a friend who is a realtor who could probably go through the house on short notice if ever couldn't get his realtor to go through this weekend. he said, 'i'm sure he could do it. if he wasn't drunk. because he wouldn't drink and drive. but he could probably do it.'

ever just stared at him.

it's like the delay of processing this fully yesterday made me wake up teary eyed this morning. i was up until 330. and i woke up at 930 this morning and couldn't go back to sleep.

this shit. it's all i can think about. it has been for days. being in a room with him, the way he talks to me, the way he looks at me. all of it. knowing that he is lying, but not knowing his tells.

knowing that he lies so much, but only admits it when he gets caught.

i commend myself for getting better at thinking of ways to catch him in his lies.

now i get to figure out what i want to offer him.

i'm so tempted to say, 'three thousand dollars'. in which case, he'd walk away with under one.

it would be a gigantic fuck you. i've got you.

i also feel like, lately, i've been catching him with his pants down. not literally, of course. but the thing about him showing up alone just shows that he was lying about the entourage. he can't pay the mortgage, so i should actually have him right where i want him, as far as cut and run goes. it makes it next to impossible for him to do anything other than use whatever i offer him to pay the mortgage, and take the rest.

because if he doesn't take this offer, whatever it is, then he will have to move out by the end of february, put the house on the market, and pay half of the mortgage until it sells (i'd obviously have to pay the other half), which could be months. in addition to living elsewhere. in addition to coughing up money for the work it will take to bring it up to being sellable. all of that to wait and see what we get offered. all to hope that he'd end up with more than i'm about to hand him for doing nothing. which is all he is good at.

it seems pretty fitting that the way to get him out of my life and get what i ultimately want in this situation, is to hand him a pile of money for doing absolutely nothing.

ever the taker. always and forever.

it's about the only thing i can depend on when it comes to him.

i didn't process much of this yesterday. i drove home from the law office when it was over. and the only parking spot i could find was near kit's. so i went up to her place for a beer instead of going home. she answered the door with a bottle opener to the cap of a beer for me. i love her.

so i decided to call my parents and tell them both the story in front of her. three birds with one stone. so my parents each got on the extensions of the house phone, and i told the whole story.

and they laughed when i told them things i'd said to both ever, and in recapping the story about landlord that i hadn't told them yet.

and called bullshit when ever said things that we all knew weren't true.

i got pretty wound up, talking fast and enthusiastically in telling the story. and when i was ready for a cigarette, kit helped me get off the phone with them to go outside.

we ended up going to a show that we'd planned to go to. and i'm glad i went. it was an early show, so that was awesome. and we agreed to meet up with the band at a club in the same neighborhood in an hour.

i finally ate. mcdonalds for the second time this week. i was already drunk. three beers over the course of 4.5 hours on an empty stomach crushed me.

so i ate, paid the cover to get into the club to pee, came back out and finished my food. we sat smoking in the car, because we were early. then she paid to get in and pee, and came back out. we finally went in.

i know i'm old. i joke about it a lot. but last night, i knew i was old because i got a little too excited about the bartenders selling earplugs. it was super loud, and we'd already been at a super loud show. it was listed under the beer. we both ordered a beer and earplugs. it was hilarious.

but the club was filled with just-turned-21 kids, and the music was a near miss. the music was really slow for dancing, but we danced anyway. and went upstairs after a while to find the people we were meeting up with.

i didn't know there was an upstairs, and it was the first time i'd been up there. two dj's were playing eighties music, but not the new wave i prefer.

it was still better than downstairs, but hot. they played madonna 'burning up', which i have been listening to a lot lately. and talking heads 'same as it ever was', which was the most fun to dance to, because the older hipsters had made their way upstairs and knew most of words and were having a lot of fun. kit went to say goodbye and they played 'no parking on the dance floor', which i also loved.

it wasn't the most fun, but there were a lot of cute boys to look at and dance between.

kit talked to her friend, and we decided to bail after being there for a while and feeling like it was kindof a waste.

i danced enough, but we were both yawning a lot, and full from eating, so it was a faulty plan, and we left early.

and i came home, and got into bed at maybe 130. nina was awake, so we chatted until maybe 3, i can't remember. i fell asleep at 330.

now if i can just get the realtor to go to the house with me today. i haven't heard from her since i texted her last night.

i need to do laundry today. and clean my messy dirty apartment. all this snow and salt is tracked all through my place, and i haven't cleaned since i got back, beyond just organizing.

i feel much less depressed today. i think it's because i know i'm making the turn with ever. and because court will be a cakewalk after yesterday. i'm not afraid of him now. i know what to expect. and the initial shock is over with.

now to take my life back.

and to figure out what to pay him to get the fuck out of it.

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