My alarm went off at 6:00 AM, and normally I am out the door by 7:00 so that I can get a cup of coffee and sit and write for a while. I know I’ve told you this is my schedule on weekdays, but I try to keep it up on weekends, too. This morning, I stayed in bed and listened to podcasts until 9:30. On Saturdays, I have nowhere to be at any certain time. On Sundays, church does not start until 10:30. Being at SBUX early in the morning is a constant, a need for an ADD person. It settles my mind and my body and just allows it to relax. I have said this before, but I need to do some research and go on a diet. Not to lose weight. I’m doing fine in that department. At the doctor’s office, I was 126 with my clothes and shoes on.
No, this diet needs to be researched to see what the superfoods are for brain health and the things I need to stop eating. I’m guessing McDonald’s is at the top of the list. “Forgive me, Father. I know not what I do.” It’s just that with All-Day breakfasts and those little Fillet-O-Fishes with their Old Bay tartar sauce, sometimes the mind is strong and the heart is weak.
It reminds me of when Dana and I were thinking of conceiving, and the way she was so cute at designing my pregnancy diet, and a diet for the baby (babies?) once he/she/they were born. It is just one of the many things I miss about my beloved Dana, and I choose to remember the things that make me smile about her.
For instance, because our OB/GYN told us that since I was 35, it would be considered a geriatric pregnancy, I was convinced that I’d have to use Clomid and thus end up with multiples. I didn’t think I was going to be the “OctoMom” or anything, just that the percentage of having twins or triplets was higher with my age because of what needed to be done to get me pregnant in the first place. Dana was officially Not. Impressed. She didn’t think I was going to have twins, and I didn’t want it to be a complete shock to both of us. With Clomid, twins happen.
Although the way Clomid works, it releases more than one egg at a time for fertilization in hopes that at least one of them implants. They would have been fraternal, as different as night and day, but they looked real in my dreams until Dana and I realized that since our jobs had changed, so had our money situation, and even if we’d managed to get sperm absolutely free, it was unfair to bring a baby into the world in poverty. We could barely manage ourselves, much less another person along for the ride.
I’m thinking about that journey today because Samantha and I were talking about babies and I told her that at this point in my life, if I wanted to have more than one kid, I wanted to have twins. Let’s just get all the diapers, bottles, etc. out of the way all at the same time. Twins don’t work that way. You can’t just magically ask for them without spending lots of money, but one geriatric pregnancy is all I really want to handle. After that, I want to drink my Ensure, take my Centrum Silver, and buy a TV without a remote, because hey, I have twins.
We had names picked out, we read all the books, and we watched and waited. It’s a good thing that we waited, because the last thing I ever would have wanted in this divorce is a custody battle.
But that whole going through a pregnancy thing is slipping through my fingers, and I’m not sure that it matters anymore. I think it will depend on how bad my next partner wants children, and how old we are when we get together.
And oh, how I dream about her. I don’t know what she looks like, but I know that of all the Washington jobs, she has an exciting one. Maybe she’s in Iraq or Syria or Egypt and that’s why we haven’t found each other yet. Maybe neither of us have been invited to the same party where we have a chance to see each other across a crowded room. And finally, maybe it’s because I’m not looking. You can’t win the lottery if you don’t buy a ticket.
My marriage to Dana lasted almost eight years, and she was my best friend long before that. It’s not something you get over easily or quickly, and I fear that meeting someone new is just dragging them into the morass of my own grief, because when that person comes along, I want to be able to dream into the future without looking at anything in my past, because it’s already been dealt with, blessed and released so that it doesn’t keep coming back to haunt me.
In short, in order to get what I want, I have to do my own work, first. I have to know that I can stand on my own two feet, that I have a network of friends that are as important to me as any significant other, and money to my name so that there is not a class imbalance, either. This is because if the relationship doesn’t work out, I need my friends. And being stuck in that loop where one person has to pay all the time creates resentment, quick, even if it’s polite.
So I save all my pennies for the future, and I keep exploring myself for all my flaws and failures in all of my relationships, not just the most recent one. The only way for it to be different is for me to be different.
And at the same time, letting go of Dana is absolutely the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do in my life, but as necessary to my own sanity as getting the hell out of Houston. I wasn’t trying to run away from my problems, but in a sense, go back to the scene of the crime. Kathleen embarrassed the hell out of me by sleeping with coworkers at ExxonMobil, so not only did I know, so did *everyone else.* But as I got further along in my recovery from that garbage dump of a relationship, I began to look at all the things I did wrong in that relationship so I wouldn’t feel so much like a victim. It’s like when a football game comes down to one field goal and the kicker misses. The losing team didn’t lose because of that one missed kick. That was just the last thing that happened.
The adultery trump card for Kathleen was not the be-all and end-all of our divorce. It was just the last thing that happened. I was seriously mentally ill because at the time, I did not have health insurance and didn’t want to go to the doctor for fear of cost. This is just conjecture on my part, but I think that Kathleen was finding out her bisexuality only extended so far, and she wanted to be married to a man. She is, now, with two kids and I hope that life makes her more happy than I ever could.
I have a lot to work through just being in this city; my memories are not all happy ones. But slowly, I am chipping away at the person I have been in the past, and trying hard to change the things I don’t like.
For instance, I don’t like it when I get angry, especially at people I love… because I’m never sure if I’m lashing out at the right person. I have the emotional right to be angry, and to express it, but not if the underlying issue is with one person and I’m taking it out on someone else.
And this is the road that leads me back to my precious Argo, always, because she was the person that got the most misdirected anger, probably because I couldn’t see her, therefore, she was not real. It’s a fucked up perspective, that’s for damned sure, but I know that our conversations would have gone differently face-to-face. That I could have told her how funny and amazing she was in person, and if we had something serious to talk about, I would have been able to see her emotions and respond to them. We talked about Skyping once, the three of us as not to leave Dana out, and for some reason or another it did not happen. I think it would have made all the difference to be able to see the facial expressions and the laughter that made her real, instead of “The Velveteen Argo.”
It also would have made a difference if she’d become friends with both Dana and me, because on the surface, she was. But underneath, I was her frien. It’s not unusual for one person to be closer to one half of a couple than the other, but Dana was threatened that someone else was impinging on her territory. She was my best friend. The way I saw it, when Dana married me, she got a promotion and the friend slot was left vacant. Dana couldn’t be everything to me all the time, and neither could Argo. They fed different parts of my brain without ever crossing over, because the things Dana and I talked about were *way* different than any conversation I had with Argo. It was at that point that I began to understand polyamory, not for myself, but as an idea. That it really was a thing, whereas before I’d dismissed it outright. Polyamory, like alcohol, is wonderful….. for other people.
I’d never had a close friend that confided in me to that degree, and so it took me a long time to realize two things:
- Any philia/eros wires that got crossed in my brain about Argo’s friendship with me were due to the fact that my very first “my parents didn’t pick you” friend crossed those same wires.
- I had a chord running from me to Argo (I used to joke that I put Red Bull in it when she was tired), and just because her philia/eros wires weren’t crossed in the same way mine were, that didn’t mean that I didn’t mean a whole hell of a lot to her and it would have been devastating to pick up my toys and leave.
My fucked up wiring didn’t allow for adult women friendship, because it had never been modeled for me in the right way. So, I did what any self-respecting nerd would do. I bought a lot of books on the subject. I knew that our relationship was faltering under an enormous weight (Dana’s jealousy, my crossed wires and inexplicably intense anger), but it was my hope that I could learn to be a good friend and that 20 years from now, we’d be sitting on a porch somewhere with coffee or Jack Daniels or both while Dana rocked the babies in transition from sleeping to wakefulness and brought them out to the porch so that Argo could coo over them and talk about how big they’d gotten since the last time she was there.
It’s a dream that’s hard to give up, because it was never my intention to rip things apart permanently, and now that I have, it is breathing through pain as if it is labor. Trauma lamaze, if you will.
In my smallest, most still voice, what I wanted was for Argo to be family. For the jealousy to go away. For me to be healthy and able to navigate my issues so that years from now, we could laugh about how silly it was not to meet in person right away. A 3D future would have changed the narrative, but there is no going back.
I just need to be whole and secure in myself before I take on a dream this big again.