Excavating the Ruins of a Marriage

It's weird going through the the accumulations of a life you're in the process of leaving behind. 

The first time I got divorced, I literally picked my clothes and walked away.  Not that we really had much else, but what we had, I didn't want anyway. This time is more complicated. There's a house to sell, and a house full of stuff to sort through. Sure, a lot of it is obviously mine or his, but we also have  a lot of stuff that 'we' acquired together. 

There's art and wine and flatware and glassware, kitchen accoutrements, Christmas ornaments, beds, other furniture, random memorabilia from vacations and events, and did I mention the wine? Boy, do we have wine.

Then there's the stuff in the hall closet that I can't figure out why we ever saved and that kitchen drawer I'm petty sure we can dump in the trash in its entirety. I look at it and can't think of the rationale for stuffing it away instead of pitching it. Yet I'm sure there were reasons for it at the time. 

I have to admit, though, the clearing out and dividing has made me feel better about the marriage that was. We had happy times. We laughed. We had fun. If it hadn't been so long since any of that has been true, I might even feel sad about the fact that it's over. But since it has been so long, I'm glad of the reminders. I'm glad to be able to remember the good, because for a long time, I could only see the negatives.

I found a series of CDs Matt made for me in the beginning of our relationship. The urgency to share what we loved with each other was great. I had forgotten about those CDs.  That I forgot does makes me sad. I also found the ticket stubs to our first concert together in LA. The Police at the Hollywood Bowl. As it tuned out, the show was lackluster and disappointing, but we had a great time anyway.

I'm not sure what I'll end up keeping. Now that I've unearthed the memories, I'm not too attached to the things.  I will take some wine, though, because wine is pretty delicious.

What Do You Do with That?

Almost ten years ago, I broke up with my best friend of many years, Nella.  She chose a life path that I could not condone and could not follow her down.  I also couldn't watch her flame out.  I don't put conditions on love, but I do put conditions on friendship.  I still love her, but I can't be friends with her.

When I last communicated with her it was via email, because she wouldn't take or return my calls at the time, and I was at my limit.  I would have preferred to have a conversation with her - ideally face to face - but as that was impossible I tried for the phone.  I wanted to have a conversation.  I tried.  I called and left messages until I couldn't take any more.  I sent an email expressing my concern over her choices, and over what I perceived to be a huge personality shift in her.  I was honest, but not mean.

That was the last communication I had with her.  Until last Monday.  While I was trying to finish the first half of my summer classes, I got an email from her.  I can't explain the foreboding I felt upon seeing her name in my inbox.

Wilbur is still in touch with Nella, albeit sporadically (when something is really wrong).  I don't generally inquire about her, because I don't really want to know most of the time, but I know that if something big was going on, Wilbur would fill me in.

I chose not to open Nella's email while I was dealing with finals.  So I opened it yesterday.  The subject line was:  still there?  It was three lines.  "I guess we really aren't friends anymore.  Wilbur told me you're getting divorced and I didn't even know you were married again.  I was going to call you because I'm thinking of killing myself, but I don't have your phone number anymore."

What?  Seriously.  How do I respond to that?  It's childish and desperate and sad and maddening.  As I don't have her phone number anymore, either, I called Wilbur to run the whole thing by him and get Nella's number.

Wilbur seemed shocked by the whole thing and, sadly, couldn't say whether or not she was serious about the killing herself part.  Wilbur also said, though, that he had given Nella my number.  Armed with that comforting bit of information, I called her last night.  When I got no answer I left a message saying that if she wanted to talk she could call me.  She sent me a text about 5 minutes later.  "If you really cared, you would have tried to call me before now."

I know this sounds utterly compassionless, but I wanted to punch her in the face.  Repeatedly.  This isn't a game.  We aren't 16.  You can't dangle prospective suicide as some kind of dramatic joke or sick ultimatum.  When I ended our relationship almost a decade ago, I hoped that we might end up friends again someday.  Now I know that that's not possible.  Now I know that the person I knew and loved is gone.

It's horrible to know that.  It's a huge loss - not just to me.  Nella was fun and funny and creative and had a lot to give the world.  Now there's just this fucked up simulacrum of her left.   What do you do with that?  I guess I do nothing.  I say goodbye again, this time with the knowledge that it's for good.

And then I go on with my life.



I am a pro(fessional)crastinator.  Now, I don't procrastinate a lot of things, but what I do, I do with aplomb.  Currently, I should be writing a lengthy, academical-type paper on the appropriateness of current criminological policy regarding hacktivism that is due on Wednesday morning.  It's a subject that interest me.  I've done the research (which I actually do enjoy).  Now I just have to synthesize the ideas into something that goes like this:  This is what I think. Some policies are this way.  Other policies are that way.  Research shows that policies that are this way seem to do something, while policies that are that way accomplish less.  Here are lots of examples.  Here is some verisimilar sciency stuff.  Other things that effect policy are various facts.  Various facts need to be mitigated to form well rounded policy.  Here are some alternate ideas. Again, I think something I said 35 times before, which I've showed is, in fact, the right thing to think with all of the sciency stuff I put in the middle.  The end.

I don't know if you can tell or not, but I DO NOT WANT TO WRITE THIS PAPER.  Research papers are boring (to read and write) and largely useless in the scheme of life outside of academia.  So I'm here instead.  Procrastinating like a boss.

In lieu of writing my paper, I'll share a list of things that I have done in order to avoid this paper for so long:
- Installed a new garbage disposal
- Seen more movies that I'd seen in the whole year before this paper was assigned
- Compared and contrasted dozens of recipes for Peruvian ceviche
- Read up on the best places to buy sashimi-grade fish in Las Vegas
- Reconfigured the hard drive of my work computer
- Read about how I can make a small fortune every month working from home
- Did logic problems
- Napped extensively
- Cleaned out a file cabinet
- Listened to hours and hours of podcasts
- Polished all of my silver jewelry
- Re-organized the bathroom cabinets
- Took apart a co-worker's computer to fix her track pad
- Ordered facial cleanser online
- Bought summer shoes
- Culled my music collection

I'm thinking next I'll go get a pedicure.  Then I really have to write this thing.  Unless I do it tomorrow...



I'm so cranky right now I can barely stand myself.  I feel like my skin is too tight and and I can't unclench my jaw.  I have no real reason to feel like this so I'm attributing it to the crash after the post-breakup high.  Whatever the reason, I'd like it to stop, please.  It makes me want to throw myself on the floor and kick and scream.

Also, Cranky Birds is the perfect expression of my feelings.



Bloody Hell

WARNING:  This post is all about my period. If you don't want to read about my period, stop now. 

Today was the kind of day that makes me yearn for menopause. First thing you need to know is that I've had my period for 12 days. 12 FUCKING DAYS!?  What the fuck?  At 10 days I called my gyno  and she told me not to panic. Given my age and the fact that my life has been a little stressful lately, that it's probably nothing. If it goes past 14 days call her back. So there's that. So here I am on day 12 and I woke up this morning and the minute I stood up, bled everywhere. It looked like a murder scene. So I pulled the pillow case off my pillow to try to prevent a blood trail across the white carpet and got to the bathroom to clean up. Which I completed successfully only to clog the toilet because, you know lots of wet wipes and toilet paper...  So the toilet was clogged but still running and I really didn't want to have an overflow so I went to turn off the water and (and if you're still reading and not totally gagging yet, give it a second) my hair went right into the toilet. Joy. So there I was with befouled hair and nothing but a roll of toilet paper and a trash can in my immediate reach. So I picked up the trash can and held it around my hair while I got to the shower and turned it on and finally got all the way washed off, only to have to address the still-clogged toilet and blood-soaked pillow case when I was done. 

So, pillow case first - I threw it away. I couldn't face trying to deal with soaking and wringing and bleaching. Which means I had to throw the matching case away, too, because mismatched cases are lame. 

On to the toilet. I admit the whole pillow case thing was probably just an avoidance tactic because the toilet was scary. Still filled to the brim with bloody water and no sign of anything happening spontaneously. 

First order of business:  find the plunger. I knew there are two in the house, but exactly where was more of a puzzle. I finally found them securely wrapped in garbage bags in the garage. And by this time, I was just annoyed. I almost considered just leaving it until later, but then decided why not get all the stupid done for the day and take care of it. 

The next problem was how to plunge without splashing the gross water all over. I solved this by filling the trash can with some of the excess and went for it. I must have worked for a good twenty minutes to no avail. So now I had a trash can full of bloody water and a toilet full of bloody water. 

Fortunately, I have a snake. So, I went for it. I fed at least ten feet of that thing down the toilet before anything happened, but it finally unclogged. Then I had to reel it back in. 

Oh. My. God. What was attached to the end of that thing was so horrifying that I will say no more, except that it got on me due to the whipping of the winding action. 

At this point, I cried. Because what the hell?  And then I threw the snake and the trash can away and poured a bottle of rubbing alcohol over myself and took another shower. 

And the take away is, always close the toilet seat lid when you're leaning anywhere near the toilet. It's the smart thing to do.