AnteBellum

July 29, 2007 at 10:02 AM | Posted in Journal | 4 Comments
  Most often, I write these beforehand, so I can edit.  This is a little more from-the-hip.  In the cool of the early morning breeze coming from the air conditioner duct near me, and the filtered, indirect light…
  A chance for reflection.

  My divorce is final.  It’s been basically a year since we split up.
  –And that is glossing over it, making it politically correct, and not saying anything about whose fault it is.  It’s been a year since I left.  Since I walked out.  Since I got the nerves, the balls, the fortitude to make a change in my life.  I remember the screams, the sobs, the pain and the pleading from my ex.  Funny, but only occasionally do I remember the days and nights and months and years and years of her chipping away at my manhood.  Little by little, piece by piece, squeezing the manhood right out of my testicles.
  And not in a good way.
  In that year–and it has taken a year–I have found that she has learned to move on.  Good, I’m glad.  I . ….Look, I feel sorry for her, okay?  She is a bitter old woman, betrayed once again by a man, and her prospects for getting another one at this age are pretty bleak.
  When I met her, at least she was pretty.  And she could suck start a leaf blower.  Maybe she doesn’t want another man in her life, maybe she gave up on that.  She may yet find someone, I don’t know. 
  The family–the only people I still have to answer to–they still don’t  ….
  Geez, this is a little more fragmented than I wanted.  You wanted free-flow, you get it, and all the false starts that go with it.
  I wonder how much the family gets it.  How much they understand.  Not my family.  My family is like the Corleones, they back me 100%, no question.  I mean her family.  And our kids.
  For the past 19 years, it has been her family.  Not mine.  She never liked my family.  Well, to be fair, she never liked her family–or anyone else–or anything–that much to begin with.  But her family she had to accept.  But it was always her family and functions that occupied our familial social gatherings.  Holidays, birthdays, graduations, weddings.  My family?  "I suppose–if we have to go."
  I liked some in her family.  Not all, although I came to tolerate and get along with most.  I liked her sisters, and in the tradition of most horn-dogs, I would have liked to bang Tina and Alisa.  Even Susan, the lesbian.
  And of course, her brother John, who died last year.  Sweet guy, never married.  Her oldest kids considered him a father growing up.  But her other brother Mike, kind of a dick.  His wife?  A complete cunt.  I believe she wrote the handbook.  Alot of the nieces and nephews were nice.  Alot of the nieces were cute…
  And Bob, Tina’s husband.  Good guy.  And their kids, Brian, Kevin, and David.  I liked them. 
  I just wonder what they all think of me.
  Not that it matters of course, not really.  I mean, they’ve known Linda their entire lives.  Either they know how she is, and all of her secrets. . .
  There’s no punctuation, by the way, to indicate when you raise your eyebrow.  Did you know that?

  I talked to my son a few days ago.  Her son.  Our son.  Her oldest, and not mine in the real sense. And only 8 years younger than me, but he calls me dad.  When I first went through all of this, he and his sister helped act as mediaries.  And they didn’t completely shun me.  It upset Linda to know that they could see both sides.  To her, there was just the one side, the side where I left her for another woman.
  But recently Mike told me that he remembers when this happened before, when his dad left.  They had never married, they were young.  Linda’s version was that he liked to fuck around.  I always bought that story.  Mike was young, around 4 or 5, but he remembers the arguing and fighting, and his mom. . ..
  Driving his father away.
  Revelation comes with a price.  The price of mine was divorce and alienation from my in-laws, separation from my children.  I may not have written this yet–I’ve told only a few people.  I told Detroit, in case it went to court, I couldn’t tell her yet, but now that it’s over–I can.
  As part of the divorce process, because children were involved, we had to go to mediation.  Cheaper that way, rather than have lawyers hash it all out.  But I still had to pay 75% of the 200 bucks, and she paid the rest.  The mediator is a 3rd party impartial lawyer, trained in this type of thing, used to all sorts of situations, and able to work things out with practically everyone.
  45 minutes into our two-hour session, the mediator (and let me remind you, a lawyer) was ready to give me a refund and give up.  Ponder the sheer wonder for a moment:  A lawyer ready to give a refund.  Oh, and this 2 hour session was the longest three days of my life, as well.  I left the room, she (the mediator) talked with my ex, then came out and talked with me.  I convinced her not to give up, and we tried a new tack.
  At the end, we left.  I hung back, not wanting to be in the parking lot at the same time as my ex, with her behind the wheel of a loaded vehicle.  The mediation was harsh.  I let her speak when it was her turn, but everytime it was my turn, she would interupt, interject, moan loudly in disbelief at everything I said.  The mediator had to correct her like a 3rd grader.  After she left the mediator and I talked briefly whilst I waited for the coast to be clear.  She said, "I know that I am supposed to be impartial here, and not take sides in this issue–"  she sighed heavily and rolled her eyes.  "But Christ, I can see why you left her."
  This from someone who had met her for two hours.  A divorce lawyer who has seen all manner of good and evil.  Vindication comes in small, concentrated packages.  Just add water.
  We managed to work out most of the issues of the divorce, but mostly by me giving in and giving her every motherfucking thing I ever, ever had.  Everything.
  I call that a bargain.  The best I ever had.

It Never Rains. . .

July 19, 2007 at 10:47 PM | Posted in Personal | 6 Comments
  It never rains in Missouri.  Man, it pours.

  I guess I’ve been neglecting my blog a bit.  For a couple of reasons, okay?  First of all, I’ve been freakin busy.  Secondly, I don’t think anyone except Rita has been reading it.  I need more attention than that, people.

  If you read Kim’s blog, and I’m sure you do, you know about what’s going on, mostly.  Let me give you my perspective.  First of all, I would only wish what I’m going through on a couple of people.  It might be more politically correct to say I wouldn’t wish it on anyone, but I’m not feeling that loving, caring, or generous.  There are still some people I hate.
  Let’s start with the car.  My son bought a car, it had a problem, I’ve been working on it.  I have it all put back together finally, after a month (when do I fucking have time to fucking work on a fucking car?).  But, yeah, it doesn’t work.  Hopefully the neighbor, who is a mechanic, can solve this.
  As a consequence, I gave my son my truck to use, so we are down to one car.  Not much of a problem with Kim not working.  But it will be.
  My rentor–who I had thought was a friend–moved out of my rental property with no notice, owing three months rent, and had some utilities shut off on her for not paying.  Will I get my money?  Doubt it.  Will I pursue it?  Doubt it even more.
  Then my sister comes to me and demands that I leave.  She wants ME to move out.  I moved in to help her out.  After much discussion, and an intervention by our brother, I agreed.  I had actually already agreed, because I won’t stay where I’m not wanted.  She thinks we’ve made up, but we really haven’t.  We’ve only made peace.
  They have appeased me, somewhat, with another deal.  But the fact remains that we moved ONCE already because of her, and now we’re moving AGAIN because of her.  She says, well, you didn’t have to move in the first time.  Well, yeah, we did.  It’s what Dad wanted.  He knew you were incompetent.  He knew that you were a teenager in a 40 year old body, immature, lazy, and irresponsible.  And not the sharpest crayon in the box by any measure.
  Detroit did all the work, when we moved in.  My dad was getting old, and not caring much about cleaning.  My sister has always been a slob, and it got worse with no one to tell her she might want to fucking pick up after herself once in a while.  The house was trashed, it was a disaster.  Oh, not piled high with clothes and trash–at least not the main floor–but everything was dirty, and there was stuff that should have been thrown out 20 years ago.
  But the basement, where my sister lived–hid out–what have you, was a complete disaster.  Dishes with old food and trash, piled high.  It stank.  Plus, assorted trash, garbage and junk all over, and a path to walk through to her room, which was more of the same.
  Kim cleaned the upstairs, decorated it with our stuff, and my sister had her cliche to lament to her friends, like she’s writing a script for the fucking Lifetime Channel:  "I feel like a stranger in my own home!"
  Whatever, idiot.  It had to be done, you were supposed to help.  Instead you hid in the basement, got high, slept all the time, and didn’t lift a goddamn finger.  Then three months later, when you emerge from hibernation, you’re shocked that the world has moved on without you?  Stupid.
  The original fight that started this was only two days after I thought we had things all worked out.  So, she was just–what?  She has never had anyone tell her what to do.  She lived at home, did what she wanted, no pressure to grow up, so she didn’t.  Then we come along and want to impose a little order, like:
  Don’t play your music so fucking loud at 2am.
  Don’t talk so fucking loud on your phone ON SPEAKER at 2am.
  Don’t invite someone to live with you (and us) without checking with us first.

  These and other things.  She’s just childish and rude, and she has always gotten her way.  Seems she’s getting her way again.
  And that pisses Detroit off.  She’s seen me get walked over by my wife, and now, by my sister.  But I have a different view.  First of all, my family.  They know what she is doing to me.  By the same token, anything I do to her, they would know about as well.
  My parents provided a house for my brother.  Later, they bought one for me also.  Now it’s her turn.  Kim sees my sister as having done nothing to earn it. . .
  But neither did we.  She did less than nothing, of course.  For the past 20 years she has been waiting for someone to give her the chance to prove herself, not realizing that you just have to go out and do it.  Dimwit.
  So the law would look at it one way, where she and I are the sole blood heirs, and would split the estate.  But it is common knowledge within the family that she was supposed to be provided a house.  My whole reason for moving in was so she wouldn’t fuck it up.
  But she got herself a boyfriend, and she talked to all of oher friends, and now she thinks she can live the sitcom single life.  She thinks it’s going to be like Friends.  Whatever.  Like I said, they made a deal that almost appeases me, so I’m going to take it, and if it pans out, I’ll be fine.  She can have the house, sink or swim.
  The hell of it is, it’s paid for, so it’s going to be hard for her to sink, you know?  But I have confidence in her.  I know she’ll drop to the bottom, like an anchor.
 
  Much as I want to, I can’t abandon her completely.  Detroit wants me to.  I can’t.  Call it family obligation, or whatever.  We have a tie.  We’ve been through the death of our parents, and it’s rough.  We’re never going to be close, I’m never going to trust her with or for anything.  She has no idea, she just doesn’t get that she did me wrong.  She is too fucking stupid and stubborn to think or admit that she screwed me over.
  Blame it on my forgiving nature, or call me a sucker, whatever.  Our family is alot like a mob family.  In fact, we have ties. . .But it’s a double edged sword.  They see what she has done, but they will also see what I do to her, how I treat her in return.  I will have to be civil. . .but there is going to be some cold distance between us for a long, long time.
  If you prefer, try to think of it as this–I’m taking the high road, just to be an ass.  No one is a bigger ass than the self-righteous.

  On a brighter note, at least, Kim’s son Alex has come down to live with us.  I know you may be wondering how I feel about it.  I’ll tell you how it feels.  It kills me that I can’t have my kids with me.  I miss my son, I miss my daughter.  I can’t wait to get the visitation part of the divorce, and see my daughter a bit more.  It breaks my heart, I feel like someone dropped a cinder block on it.  It hurts–
  And I know it hurt her to not have her son here.  They were very close, they are very close.  With all that we are going through, I hope that this gives her some happiness, some hope for the future, because she’s going through so much right now.
  And I like him.  He’s a good kid.  Smart, friendly, sensitive.  He likes alot of the same stuff my son does–I wonder if they would become friends.  I want to take care of him.  It would help the gaping hole in my heart, I guess?  I don’t know.

  But I can handle it.  I can handle my own pain.  My own family, my own crap.  My own stress.  My own legal, financial, and other difficulties.  My own heartache.  I can handle mine.
  I just want Kim’s to be better.  I think it will be soon.

Daimler-Chrylser

July 8, 2007 at 10:01 PM | Posted in Journal | 1 Comment
Tags: ,
And when you say “Daimler-Chrysler,” don’t say it like you say “Chocolate pudding.”  Say it like you say “You son of a bitch!”  Cause that’s what they are, that’s what they is, that’s what it be.My son, as a rite of passage in the world of angst known as Being a Teenager, got a car.  The car was promised unto him by me, conditionally on the sale of another vehicle.  That occurred, and this money was burning a hole in his pocket, even though I actually had the money.
He found a car.  Decent enough it seemed,  and big enough for him to get his six foot eight retarded mass into.  He checked it out, I checked it out.  It seemed okay.  I bought it.
Children, it’s a 99 Dodge Intrepid with the 2.7 liter engine.  If I had any way of
knowing–if there was some device or some service whereby I could search vehicles by make and model and find out more information about them–if there was some way to do research before hand, from the comfort of my own den. . .
If only.  Woulda-shoulda-coulda.
I’ll finish in a bit, when I come back.  I have to run to the store.  But Christ, not in THAT car–
Anyway–
I ain’t a mechanic.  But I have to work on this thing.   I have names for all of my vehicles.  My truck is Fred.  Solid. Reliable.  American.  My little Mazda, a foreign car, needed a foreign name.  He’s Nigel.  This car–right away it started causing me problems, I know I’ll never get out of it what I put into it, and it
seems to require constant attention.  I get a sense of impending dread just thinking about it.  I named it after my ex-wife.  Linda.
I borrowed it from my son to take care of the licensing and inspections and so forth.  On the way to take it back to him, it breaks down.  I have to have it towed back to the house.  By the time I have it towed, it starts, of course.
My next door neighbor, a real mechanic, explains the issue.  Ugh.  In a nutshell, for all you non-technical types, the guy who had it before fixed it, but tried to find a cheap way out.  The replacement part is not the same apparatus as the original.  So get one from the junk yard, fill with putty, and serve. .
.Meaning, sell to the first sucker that appears.
He explains what part I need–a dealer part, of course–and it takes a few weeks to get the money for it. I get it, finally, yesterday.  I spent all day today
trying to get the old piece out to get the new one in.  The problem is, the design of the car.  High-tech, cab-forward, blah blah freakin blah.
Makes for clean lines and tidy styling, but if you want to have to work on it, anything simple requires stripping down the entire fucking engine to get to this ridiculous piece.
As I said, I’m not a mechanic.  Sort of a jack-of-all-trades, master of none.  My dad taught me to work on cars, and the importance of regular maintenance, which falls on deaf ears until you’re my age.  I do my own brakes, always, and most things I can handle.  I changed the engine in my 4WD Jeep about 10 years ago.  So, I know my way around a tool box.
I work on it, I take a break.  I go back and work on it again.  I take a break.  I’m in the garage (my dad’s garage), and using his tools and mine.  I guess their all mine now, but I still know whose are who’s.  My neighbor comes over, checks on my progress.  Not bad.  He explains a few things, tells me to call him if I have problems.
I end up calling him three or four times, to have him talk me through some obscure procedure.  The last time I called him, it was to tell him I got everything out of the way, and still can’t get the fucking part out–can you please come have a look?  Not today, or tonight, but tomorrow, the next day, I don’t know–
He said sure.  All I have to do is get the old one out, put the new one in. . .and then try to remember how it all goes back together.
This thing made me feel stupid (again with the wife metaphor). . .and it made me miss my dad.

And the fucking thing still isn’t fixed.

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