Here I am, all set to blog, actually looking forward to the experience, and fucking Blogger decides to take a day off to watch porn and huff glue, a combination that could get awfully messy if you don't know what you're doing. Speaking of messy, cell phones that fall into bowls of soup (Split Pea with Ham) don't function very well afterward. Just a tip.
Anyway, screw it. It's baseball season. I've never needed one more. Finding comfort in the fact the Mariners got shut out for nearly three full games by the vaunted A's pitching staff and knowing even I won't go that long without scoring. Hearing the unmistakable and life-affirming sound of horsehide hitting the sweet spot, nodding knowingly to myself and muttering, "Good wood." One can never be lonely with the Extra Innings package, not when one tends to comment at the TV with regularity, and if it's only to call Rex Hudler or Joe Morgan a "jackass" for the millionth time, well, that's enough.
Yes, this is my special kind of "re-birth."
I had the pleasure of taking in a game on Sunday at Stupid Anaheim Stadium with Pauly, change100 and AJ. Pauly's Bronx Bombers throttled the home 9, reducing the red-clad crowd to a quieter and stupider version of its usual self. I used to enjoy going to games there so much; the politeness of the O.C. faithful was unerring. Then they went and won the Series in 2002, turning each and every one of them into self-important a-holes. You know, like Yankees and Red Sox fans, except lacking the requisite baseball pedigree/knowledge. Now they trash-talk my 4-year-old who couldn't possibly look any cuter in an A's cap. So, he and I went capless on this day, preferring to root against the Stupid Angels in relative quiet. That will not be the case when the A's come to town.
I had to take a few innings off and let AJ run up and down the ramps after his cotton candy went right into the bloodstream. Too bad, too, because the dark-haired MILF in front of us was digging it. Well, she was entertained by my boy's non-sequiters and irresistible smile. Plus, I, unlike some douchebags, don't date married women.
Plunked down some hard-earned cash on a new apartment this weekend. It's a nice place, in a mega-complex typical of the area I'm moving to. The best part about it is it's a "carriage" apartment, meaning there's nobody above or below me. The ground level is the garage, with direct access to the entryway and stairs, which rise to the apartment proper. Two bedrooms, two baths, nearly 1100 square feet, a walk-in closet for me (crucial) and I'm only on mild Tilt that it will cost me almost as much a month as my mortgage did. Small price to pay for a fresh start.
My state of mind has been pretty good lately. I'm letting go. As I know, you know and the American People know, the likelihood of X having a change of heart is pretty strong. For a while, I consoled myself with this fact, knowing the day would come where she came back to me. I never played it out much further than that. Simply looked forward to the day the Douchebag Poet gets what's coming to him. I always took for granted that I'd take her back, even with all that's gone on, for AJ's sake, that his needs are more important than mine and that I could overcome all the hurt--with time.
What a fool.
Because, the absolute truth is, I don't want her back. I won't overcome the hurt enough to see ever her in a positive light, to love her as I once did. Not a chance. My only shot at happiness is elsewhere. I know I can tackle the self-rehab process and leave her in the past. If she continued to loom in the future, I'd be more hard-pressed to heal. Furthermore, what ails HER is far more detrimental to our--any--relationship than even her betrayal.
One of the more comical (and I mean black, absurdist comedy) things she's said to me in the last few months is how "important" it is to her that we remain "friends," as if merely stating that desire could make it so. I've pledged to be civil, for AJ's sake. I've promised not to bad-mouth her in front of my boy. But friends? How can I be friends with someone who did that to me? And has scarcely offered an apology for the act, let alone tried to make amends? To be sure, she's been agreeable to the guidelines we've agreed upon regarding AJ. She's shown a willingness to be flexible, which is a contrast to her recent behavior. And I appreciate it. For AJ's sake. Not for mine.
But the bottom line? I just don't like her very much. How she acts as if there were nothing between us. I suppose that's simply another trick she plays on herself, convincing herself that our relationship is fine, that I'm fine, that this decision of hers has not affected an entire extended family, has not caused immeasurable pain. She makes no mention of the Douchebag, addresses me with nothing but contrived good cheer.
Let me tell you a story: X and I had been married about three months when we went to a party with my soccer team. You think poker bloggers can tie one on? You should meet Scribes FC. The evening was winding down as they always did, with the entire group in various stages of massive drunkery, when I suggested to X that we'd better head home. Nothing seemed amiss until we got into the car and she just lit into me. She was hammered and was making little sense, but it was very clearly an attack on me for "forcing" her to leave the party so early. Her diatribe continued the entire drive home as I parried her with incredulity. I'd never seen her like this: completely illogical.
Back at home, she calmed somewhat, at least began listening to what I was trying to say. And in the morning, we talked it out and everything seemed fine. At its root, the fit was caused by homesickness. The party reminded her of her motorcycle club in Sweden, binge drinking and camaraderie into the wee hours, and she simply had an episode. I would periodically tease her about "going psycho," but I never held it against her.
Probably the thing that initially hurt me the most about all this is that she never came to me with her unhappiness. Me. The man who loved her above all others. How could she not trust ME with her feelings?
Well, one of the issues that has shaken out over this whole affair is that she withheld her feelings from me pretty much since the beginning, since she went "psycho" at that party six years ago. She told me she promised herself that day that she would never reveal her inner self to me like she did that night, that my reaction made her feel like I was going to send her back to Sweden. (Let's not get into the discussion of drunken tantrums vs. real communication between husband and wife. You'll have to trust me that it's a dead end. I've tried.)
X and I hardly ever fought. If we did, it was brief and always ended right there. No grudges. No blemishes to be brought up again six months later. I thought this was the perfect symptom of our excellent marriage. Guess I had a bad read. The reason we hardly ever fought is because she'd never raise any issues with me. If she had 'em, she kept them to herself. So when I asked (repeatedly) if I was playing too much poker, she'd say "no," while at the same time thinking, "yes."
So, when you think about it, a) I never really had a chance and b) it's surprising we lasted as long as we did.
In Japanese, there's a term for what X is: "black stomach." It basically means she's always pretending. She is a facade and the true her will never be revealed, except in drastic, life-altering events. And what pushes me forward is the knowledge that particular trait will no longer afflict me.
She can't say the same.
So I suppose understanding that has been the catalyst for the biggest change. Instead of idealizing my marriage--and exaggerating my own short-comings--I've come to grips with what it was. Do I still think this entire affair was preventable? Of course. I would have done anything for her. But dealing with our problems is not longer an option.
I have some exciting possibilities on the horizon. I'm looking forward to tackling some goals and getting back to my old self. It's slow going some days, but I'm not going to beat myself up for taking a few hours off from life here and there. Call it a Mental Health Time-Out. But as long as AJ's okay (and he's coping pretty well to this point), then I'm okay. Onward.