Sour, Spoiled Glory

If it felt like ten below outside and I didn’t want to walk the extra half mile to the best coffeehouse in Bushwick or if my work morning was taking longer than expected to get ready, I’d just make my coffee at home. Before I learned that the FDA was approving a chalk like substance, used as a mineral source of calcium, in my two percent milk, I was a dollop of dairy in my coffee kinda’ gal. Now, I’m one of those straight up, black coffee consumers that my late grandpa would be proud of though he’d take it sans the ice.

Oftentimes, that coffee with a splash of two percent wouldn’t be entirely finished and I would leave it on the kitchen countertop or the coffee table. By the time I got home, its okay to consume time had expired and I would simply wash my dishes.

I’ll never forget the evening David curtly asked me and mind you, this is the guy who rarely hung his clean clothes, who would wear dirty clothes by turning them inside out and who sometimes didn’t brush his teeth for days – he said to me and I paraphrase, “Can you please rinse out your coffee cup before you leave in the morning because that milk just sitting there all day is really nasty?”

I suppose the thought never occurred to him that he could pick up the coffee mug and take it to the sink, turn on the water and rinse it out. But maybe milk was radioactive to him or he had a fear of it like he feared blood. At the time, I think I was just resentful of his audacity because where did he get off telling me to rinse out my coffee mug when I’ve asked him repeatedly to get his clothes off the bedroom floor so that we at least look like we’re living like adults? Never mind the countless dirty boxer shorts I lifted between forefinger and thumb off the wooden floors into a nearby hamper.

His request was, quite frankly, laughable but I complied. I made sure to rinse out my coffee mug, among all the many other dire things I needn’t forget before work in the morning and if I, sometimes likely, did forget, I would send a text message apologizing for my minor offense or major from David’s warped perspective. I need not mention that his entire wardrobe remained on the bedroom and the closet floors.

Fast-forward a few years to my first night in my new apartment in Toluca Lake where I was to live alone with my two fur babies. I was fresh off an animal attack that rendered my left arm useless, my bedroom mattress was in the living room and there was yet a working heater or water heater on a cold, late October evening, which meant no hot shower.

Even amidst all of the chaos, I lay there on the sheet-less mattress, smirking and relishing in my newfound freedom, the space to call mine and mine alone, the closet that I vowed would always be organized and the hours old, half drank, coffee filled mug sitting on my countertop that would welcome me home in all of its sour, spoiled glory.

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Cheers!

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In Time

As I sit at my computer right now, I am unsure of what I am about to write. I only know I wish to share something of depth, something that will instill one to contemplate. I have yet to exhaust the exhausting storytelling of my history or to near the finish of revealing some of the unkempt corners of my soul. In time, I tell you, my readers and myself – in time.

And then I ponder how foolish you are, Lindsay! How foolish you are to think there is such a thing – time! Ha, I scoff at my audacity. I am consistently reminded of mortality, of the shortness of not only a breath but of this bitch we call life. This life that excites me, thrills me, insists I get up every single day and strive for more, more, more – that leaves me short of breath after a struggle, that leaves me at a loss for words at its beauty, in awe of the unknown and constantly seeking, sometimes fearful but always courageous, taking it by the helm.

I have never been more self aware and observant in my thirty-one years of existence and every day that I wake up, I am grateful for the opportunity to learn something new, to learn more – not only about myself but the world around me, the people I love. The chance to listen rather than the chance to speak and the opportunity to experience an adventure and share that experience with another human being – And the humility to recognize and feel upon my fingertips that it could all end in the blink of one’s eye. This keeps me grounded and anxious for more, sometimes impatient though aware of the limitations that my impatience imposes.

To a happy New Year everyone – make it what not only what you want but figure out what you need and make it that, too. Much love!

 

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In Memory of My Buddy, Ali Dellevas

You’re always in my heart, Ali.

A Righteous Revival

Take me,” I often find myself bargaining loudly in my head every time someone dear to my heart has untimely, unfairly been taken from this world by that ugly six-letter-word: cancer. And I say “every time” because it, unfortunately, has been quite a few times and one, in my opinion, was one too many.

The bargaining swiftly turns into unequivocal anger, then some degree of shock, then back to the bargaining, “Take me this time, instead, you bastard,” anthropomorphizing the disease as if it bares ears that can hear my useless plea, a heart that can fathom compassion and the control to alter the circumstances, to take me instead of the good ones it seems to never spare.

Yesterday morning was no different.

Ali died this morning, dude,” our close, mutual friend, Amanda uttered over the telephone line from thousands of miles away.

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The Magic of Christmas

The holidays were magical in the presence of my mother and her grand Christmas tree, her abundant decorations and collection of hand painted Santas from around the world. The past five Christmases, since she was diagnosed with terminal cancer in December of 2010, have never been the same. Every ornament hung, every Christmas card addressed, every cookie baked – it no longer carries that magic. These festivities are conducted within a great void that is heavier than any Nor’easter snowfall and as certain as the Earth is round.

Her favorite holiday was Christmas and that was evident upon entering her home mid-December.   Jimmy Steward in It’s A Wonderful Life could be heard harping in the background while the scent of baked goods wafted from the kitchen. Christmas tree shopping at Vitali’s Christmas tree lot was a tradition followed by the decision of which excess of ornaments weren’t making the cut this year. My mama had so many ornaments even the fattest noble fir couldn’t yield the space for them all.

Every year, I could expect to unwrap an ornament from underneath the tree as my mother insisted her children begin their own large collection of non-traditional, bohemian or oversized ornaments. Most of these unique gifts hang in memory on my trees today amongst my own traditions of twinkling red, green and white lights – how intentionally Italian of me!  And what’s a tree without my favorite hanging from one of its sturdy needled branches?

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favorite ornament since my childhood

As a child, I could hardly understand why the tree had to come down so soon after Christmas day. As an adult, I get it and I wish I could let her know that. My mama passed so many traditions, morals and values on to me, and how to celebrate this time of year was definitely handed from mother to daughter.

I have adopted many of my own traditions over the years, many of which I’m sure she’d approve of, but the heart and soul of this particular holiday is rooted in my mother. She was my Santa Claus, my Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, my Frosty the Snowman, my George Bailey – she was the magic that ignited the 25th of December, my birthday, with magic. She was what and whom I believed in.

Merry Christmas to you, mama. I miss you with an unruly fierceness and a primal longing and I love you with all my heart and soul.

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Home

The deafening, tresillo-rhythmed reggaeton blaring from the video store in my mother’s ear through the telephone was her immediate indication that I was “home.” Home, in this case, was not of the warm and fuzzy variety so much as it was basic shelter – a place to cook my modest meals and rest my head at night. It wasn’t a place synonymous with solitude or sanctuary and it certainly wasn’t quiet. Between excessively noisy downstairs neighbors and the video store, home was simply some overpriced thin walls, a few large windows and a door.

The vibrant, bustling neighborhood of Bushwick in Brooklyn was a far cry from the palm tree-lined avenues of West Hollywood that I’d arrived from and the winter season was in stark contrast to the mild sixties and perpetual sunshine I had become accustomed to on the west coast. For the first time in years, I was obligated to invest in snow boots. Slipping on the ice and falling hard a few times made me miss living in flip-flops, a southern California mainstay even in the midst of January. How was I ever going to make it to spring, my bruised ass silently questioned whilst meeting the concrete.

My daily walks to and from the subway were rarely uneventful and usually included some sort of harassment. An evening hike home from the Jefferson stop off the L train was regarded unusual if it didn’t include at least one, “Hola mami, cómo estás” because my Italian heritage was often mistaken for one of Spanish descent. My Spanish language knowledge is decent but their meager advances were often met with no response.

I was once cat called by a boy of no more than ten years of age while his father stood by chuckling at the audacity of which he probably considered to be a revered product of his exceptional child rearing. All I could think was, “Where is your mother,” though the words didn’t escape my mouth and the simultaneous, “I want my mommy” thought followed. If my move to Los Angeles at the age of eighteen from the Midwest provided me with a dollar of culture shock, then this was priceless.

Coworkers of mine, who were natives of Bushwick, that is to say, they had grown up in a much tougher Bushwick than I had resided in, would warn me of its rough edges, validating that perhaps it wasn’t so much culture shock as it was just the harsh realities of an inner city Brooklyn.

One week night, upon walking home after a long, stress inducing day at work, I was met at the corner of Knickerbocker and Troutman with yellow tape, forbade to cross the line and walk the short twenty feet to the steps of my apartment. I found myself sleepily sipping craft beers at a hipster hot spot until the wee hours of the morning when authority officials had wrapped up their investigation into an illegal gun sales operation. A twenty-something year old man had been killed in self defense, on my street, right next door to where I rested my weary head every night.

Eastward gentrification, however, was becoming evident in the costly Japanese grocery store whose prices could rival Whole Foods and the numerous gastro pubs and bistros setting up shop on otherwise empty corners that once resembled industrial lots. The corner of Troutman and Wyckoff became the seen and be-seen hub of the neighborhood with the new age beatniks of Williamsburg spilling out onto the sidewalk awaiting a coveted table to sample the “New American” cuisine of Northeast Kingdom. The neighborhood was visibly transforming, much to many long time residents’ dismay.

Even the name of the neighborhood, Bushwick, could be seen in places conjunct with Williamsburg, creating Bushburg. At every noticed sighting of this, I would reflexively roll my eyes because you can put up your fancy cocktail crafting bars with obscure alleyway entrances and your organic farm to table restaurants that significantly raise the rent for poor, working class families but there’s so much in a name. Hipster transplants living in Bushwick could be overheard confidently calling their “hood” East Williamsburg. It made it personal, somehow, and even though I wasn’t a Bushwick native, or a Brooklyn native for that matter, I felt protective of it.

Come Spring, I was consciously aware that the family of six downstairs would only be forced to move further east or into neighboring Bed-Stuy until the cons of redevelopment inevitably changed the face of their new home – until the characteristics that define each Brooklyn neighborhood become history, pictures in a photo album or a book and memories in our minds.

Alongside some of the things that made me despise my first year living in Brooklyn were some other things that gave it its charm and made it stand out. Bushwick was the sore thumb of American neighborhoods – maybe it didn’t feel great all the time nor was it very easy on the eyes but it certainly demanded one’s attention. It undoubtedly dragged me out of my comfort zone, giving me a swift, much needed, unexpected jab to the gut from time to time.

Beguiling were the wrinkled Puerto Rican grandpas at their folding tables and lawn chairs, in the humidity of summer, battling each other in multiple games of chess on the sidewalk. Involuntarily, I found myself recognizing beauty in the weathered faces at the checkout line of the Associated grocery store on Knickerbocker Avenue. The coffeehouse on the corner of St. Nicholas and Stockholm motivated me to walk the extra half-mile, in the coldest, early mornings of winter simply to savor one of their delicious mint mochas on my thirty-minute subway ride into Manhattan.

Sitting in my third story apartment window facing west over Knickerbocker delivered some of the most fascinating people watching one could imagine, not to mention, a lovely New York City sunset every now and then. From the Asian run Laundromat across the street that destroyed a load of my clothing once to the adjacent liquor store with its bright, blinking neon sign to Kennedy Fried Chicken and Pizza, an after hours savior for those drunken nights, there was never a dull moment in my introduction to Brooklyn living. People of every size, shape, age and color walked parallel down the litter-ridden sidewalks; to-go Fortunata’s pizza boxes in tow and their metal pushcarts full of groceries adding to the symphonic sounds of consistent one-way traffic.

To this day, I can still recall my now deceased mother’s knowing inquisition after hearing the approaching bass thumping, musical staple of Puerto Rican culture, “You’re home, huh?” And I was – Home, that is.

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My Tiny Rodent Heart

Okay folks, so this is just gonna be one of those brutally honest, fly by the seat of my pants, non-edited blogs – one where I ooze uncomfortable honesty and vomit vulnerability but at the end of the day, this is my therapy. And I need it right now – I mean I really need it.

I realized as of late that I spend less than two hours a week expressing myself wholly and as thoroughly as possible. And those precious minutes are ones I spend with my therapist behind closed doors, in a very small room that could be pronounced as a walk-in closet for some and in a professional setting – not with a close friend or a loved one. I mean I’ve been seeing my therapist for nearly three years so I suppose friend is a word one could use to describe her though I don’t observe our relationship as such. Don’t get me wrong – I like her but I like the boundary, too.

The truth is I don’t feel comfortable reaching out to most people anymore. I feel as if everyone has more important things to be concerning their selves with than my redundant depression. In therapy, we call this the voice in my head that “keeps me safe,” while constantly putting me down.

Just writing all of this out is creating this sense of grave anxiety – like what the hell am I thinking putting this out there, for any and everyone to read and know about me? I think the only faith I still maintain is the faith that I’m not alone. If that ever goes, I am unsure of what will become of me.

With that being said, I am lost and ironically enough, feeling utterly alone – longing to be somewhere where I can speak freely, openly without feeling insecure – longing to be with my mother. That is not to say that I wish myself dead – I just want my best friend and her unconditional love back.

Yes, yes, it’s the holidays. * roll my fucking eyes * It’s that time of year and yes, that fucking intensifies whatever feelings I may have been feeling prior and believe me, I was feeling this shit prior. The so-called “holidays” have never been easy since 2010 and have increasingly, seemingly gotten worse for my psyche each year.

I find myself hating everyone and every thing, lacking hope. Every day, world war three is congregating in my brain. There is this constant struggle between rationality and emotion, hate and love, wrong and right, just and unjust. They overlap, they intertwine, they contradict and they drive me fucking mad. Then begins the quest to dissociate, to block it out followed by the newly learned, oftentimes confusing notion that attempting to block it out inevitably worsens it.

I always liken myself to a hamster, in its little cage, on that stupid wheel, spinning ‘round and ‘round but not making any gains – a fucking rodent! – My tiny rodent heart pounding with every miniscule leap and bound on the plastic wheel, beating toward its imminent death.

 

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Q&A with a Bonafide Army Brat

On December 7th, 2004, I completed a college English Composition assignment to interview one person about their childhood. The person whom I chose was my dad. I recently came across the Q&A in a pile of the belongings I brought back with me from Kansas City this past September.

Whenever I think about how I wish I had known more about my dad, I think about this assignment and how it is probably one of the most, if not the most, intimate conversations about his past, his history, that we ever had. I always wished I had expanded upon this conversation post college English assignment. At the time, I guess my grades were the good excuse needed to conduct a well-rounded, structured conversation with him and I do hope you’ll enjoy what I uncovered.

Q: You were an “army brat,” correct?

A: Yeah

Q: How long were you an “army brat?”

A: From birth to sixteen years old.

Q: Name all the different countries, states and cities you have lived in.

A: Spokane, Washington, Colorado Springs, Colorado, Fort Watchuka, Arizona, San Antonio, Texas, Vicenza, Italy, Honolulu, Hawaii and Kansas City, Missouri

Q: Were there any places that you were going to live or be stationed in but were not?

A: Okinawa, Japan – Dad didn’t like the weather there because he was there and went through a typhoon and didn’t wanna bring his family there.

Q: Out of all the places you were stationed in, which one was your favorite?

A: Vicenza, Italy

Q: Why?

A: Because I got to learn the language, the customs. I got to see the beautiful country, plus we got to see our family a lot more because they lived in Caserta.

Q: How long were you based in Italy?

A: Two times in two years. I was about four and five years old the first time and eight and nine the second time.

Q: What can you tell me about Hawaii?

A: Very beautiful…

Q: Come on dad, elaborate…we all know that…

A: We would climb coconut trees and pick coconuts. One time, my brother John picked a hornet’s nest thinking it was a coconut and he dropped it on the ground near me. (pause) I was scared half to death of flying cockroaches. They were about 1 ½” long and ½” wide. They were crunchy when you stepped on them.

Q: Any other experiences in Hawaii you would like to share?

A: I was throwing rocks at cars one day, with friends, and the first car I hit was a cop car. Mr. Cop Man took me home.

Q: How old were you when you were in Hawaii?

A: Six and seven the first time. Eleven and twelve the second time…Oh, in three days, I lost both of my big toe nails riding a bike when my foot came around and caught on the asphalt. I sat in and recouped and went out the next day and did the other one… (pause, thinking) Every time we got transferred, within the continental United States, to another station, there was thirty days of vacation in between, so we’d just travel the country.

Q: Was there any place that you wanted to go and be stationed, but didn’t get the chance to?

A: Another foreign country woulda been cool.

Q: Continue with anything else you can think of…any anecdotes, stories, happenings, etc.

A: We were in Yellowstone one year and dad flicked a cigarette out the window and we were driving down the highway when we started smellin’ something’ burnin’ and it turns out, it (the cigarette) flew through the window and landed on a sleeping bag. Another time, up in Spokane, we lived in army housing and me and a friend of mine went out in a big grass field to watch the B52s and we were playing with matches and we started the whole big ass field on fire.

Q: What happened?

A: I got my butt beat.

Q: Let’s talk about Texas…How old were you when you lived in Texas?

A: Thirteen.
Q: How long did you live there?

A: About four years. Actually I guess I was about twelve.

Q: Is there anything significant you could tell us about San Antonio?

A: That’s where I started playing the drums. Me and some friends got a band together.

Q: What was the name of the band?

A: The Click.
Q: Out of all the places you lived, if you had to choose one to make your permanent residence now, which would it be?

A: Hawaii

Q: Why?

A: Self-explanatory – beautiful, warm weather, ocean.

Q: What would you say is the worst part about being an “army brat” in your mind?

A: Moving around too much. You just get to know people and then suddenly you’re gone, ya know?
Q: What was the best part about being an “army brat?”

A: Got to see the world or a big chunk of it.

Q: If you could change one thing about your childhood during these experiences and that time, what would it be?

A: Wouldn’t wanna be stationed in Fort San Houston in San Antonio, Texas.
Q: Why?

A: Because it had one of the major hospitals for amputees and stuff.

Q: And you saw a lot of that?

A: Yeah, they were all over the place. Dad taught ROTC and then he became a cryptologist for the Nike Hercules missiles, which means he had the codes for launching the nuclear missiles. 99% of the time, we were stationed on air force bases even though he was in the army. My dad also worked, one time, at the NORAD in the mountains of Colorado.
Q: And what is NORAD?

A: That’s where they watch the entire air traffic for the world.

Q: You, of course weren’t allowed inside?
A: No, they wouldn’t let us in there, though I was standing at the front gate one time.

Q: In conclusion, can you tell me about one life changing experience or event?

A: War sucks. After living in San Antonio and seeing people in wheelchairs and seeing people without arms and legs walking around – that was pretty rough for a thirteen, fourteen year old kid to see everyday. So, yeah, I’m opposed to any current and/or future wars.

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One More Game

Growing up, I watched A League of Their Own repeatedly, excessively. It’s one of a handful of favorite movies that I can recall character names and lines verbatim.

THERE’S NO CRYING IN BASEBALL!” I’ll do my best impression of Tom Hanks as Jimmy Dugan when someone complains about, well, just about anything.

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I daydreamed about, one day, being a part of the new all American women’s baseball team. In middle school, when my physical education teacher encouraged me to try out for softball, I promptly declined. Softball was just that – soft. If I was going to play any ball, it was going to be hardball – baseball.

Baseball was in my genes. It was a part of my family, not to mention America’s favorite pastime. Some of my most treasured childhood memories took place at numerous Kansas parks on summer evenings, cheering on my cousin, alongside my mother and aunt, as he basically grew up with a baseball bat glued to his hands.

Infinitely cherished were the summer outings to Kauffman Stadium with my dad to cheer on a team that most likely, in the early nineties, was going to lose – the Kansas City Royals. But that didn’t matter – it was tradition, or at least that’s how I recall it as an adult. The truth is it probably wasn’t traditional in the most literal sense but the summer that my dad declined my desire to witness at least one Royals game live – “Come on dad! We go every year!” I pleaded – That rejection sticks out like a sore thumb in all of those summers of my youth.

It was one of the only seemingly meager things my dad and I shared and he didn’t want to do it anymore. I recall thinking if I had known the summer before, then I could have made that unknowing last game more memorable, more meaningful. It could have been enough.

Alas, my dad and I never attended another Royals game together but I know if he were here with us today, he would be so fucking proud as am I of our Kansas City Royals for winning the World Series last night. He would say, “I’ve been waiting thirty years for this” and maybe, just maybe, we even would have gone to one more game together.

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A Human Experience, Honesty and Persistence

I have discovered a human experience I might not have realized was so indelibly relatable a mere five years ago. It is that of the desire to give up, throw in the towel per se. There is great significance in its complete and honest admission, and while many have told this story before me there are always the readers. The readers listen for that part, that sentence or that analogy that enables them to feel a little less alone and a lot more human.

I have experienced the desire to give up many times but innately I am someone who keeps putting one foot in front of the other, almost like a reflex. If I were to stop moving, stop trudging forward, I would find myself doing it anyhow, as if on autopilot. Believe me, I’ve tested this theory.

I do believe that this is the case for most human beings. Some of us are tested and some of us, not so much. This is wherein the unfairness lies, however, I have had to give up any faith that we will ever live in a just world. Not because I don’t think it possible but because I don’t think it beneficial. If life was fair, I have a hunch that our compassion would be diluted with a cap and our strength would be borderline superficial.

I suppose, in summation, what I’m saying is that our differences, our varied experiences are what sometimes make the world a beautiful place. The unjustness provides a contrast from which we are able to cast a bright light on our boundless fortitude, to give credit where credit is due, to accept that credit with a humble grace and to know that we have almost all been there.

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And then There is David

He’s a jerk, Linds,” my aunt said to me tonight in regards to David and the finalization of this divorce, to which I correctly replied, “No, Nance, there are jerks and then there is David.”

There was a time where no matter what I did – be it cry uncontrollably, involuntarily drool, drip snot down my freshly cleaned blouse from a cold, spill copious amounts of food upon my lap, non discreetly snort when I laughed so hard I almost peed my pants, my ex-husband found me irresistible – he found me appealing, lovable. He still loved every inch of my mind, body and soul. There was a time when I felt it, too – A time when there was absolutely no doubt in my mind that David would love me for forever and a day.

Only a month shy of our one-year wedding anniversary, David and I were “on the rocks.” He was away, “clearing his head” in New York while I remained in Los Angeles, “holding down the fort.” I was damn near believing we were “over,” our marriage was nearing its end what with his dramatic phone call in which he resentfully stated, “I loved you,” (take note of the past tense) followed by hanging up the telephone on me in the middle of the night. I don’t have proof but I am about 99.9% certain that alcohol had influence upon these histrionics.

The following night, I went to bed as usual, anticipating David’s return later the following evening. Around four in the morning, like clockwork, I awoke from my meager slumber, walked the length of our North Hollywood apartment to the kitchen to feed the cats and walked back to my bed. As I lay there half awake, I began hearing a foreign noise, a noise one should not be hearing at such wee hours of the morning. After about twenty seconds of this noise, I fully awoke to the alarming realization that someone was trying to break into my apartment.

As I held my breath, I recognized the sound of someone throwing his/her entire weight against my front door, attempting to bust the lock. I immediately jumped out of bed, grabbed my cell phone and crawled on all fours into the hallway, my heart pounding in my ears and sweat forming upon my forehead. If my cats were at the door, I told myself, then my keen senses and instincts were correct. My head cautiously rounded the doorway in the dark and much to my fear, both of my furry companions were standing alert, at the door – my oldest, the protective one, begun to meow loudly.

I called my best girlfriend, Sandy, who offered to hurry over, gun in tow. I declined as the sound of the front door banging ceased and my oldest cat jumped up in the window, appearing to watch someone from our second floor apartment.

Hang up the phone and call the cops now. And then call me back,” Sandy instructed. I followed her orders.

Long story short, no one and nothing was discovered. I told myself that someone was drunk and forgot where he/she lived though the significant timing of my husband being absent for days reluctantly forced me to think negatively. I felt as if someone had been watching me, knowing that I was presently alone at my home and attempted to take advantage.

That day, I had posted on Facebook about the early mornings’ frightening events and, of course, David saw this. He immediately phoned me as I was getting myself ready for work, assuring me that, “You know no matter what is going on between us, you can always call me if something like that happens.”

I guess he still loves me after all, I warmly thought to myself. Not that I ever doubted this amongst his dramatics but nonetheless, it still hurts, to say the bare minimum, to hear your husband tell you that he loved you, past tense.

In all honesty, I couldn’t wait to greet David upon his arrival home from New York that evening. I was so eager to throw my arms around his body and feel the warm security of his skin against mine. The early mornings’ events had rattled my sense of safety and it was true – no matter what we were going through, we wouldn’t wish harm upon the other.

The incident brought a sad sense of false intensity to our relationship, however. It created this illusion that we needed each other so how could we end things right then, especially with our one year anniversary approaching in a couple of weeks?

I often ask why, as humans, we don’t behave in this way naturally? Why must it take a potentially life threatening event to create a sense of urgency, to express how much we care, how much we love another person? It’s this ideal sense of loving hard and deeply, no matter what the circumstances, that have pitted me into a small and lonely space, one where I feel as if I’m the only person in the world who loves in this intense and committed manner.

As the sound of David’s footsteps became audible that evening, I anxiously anticipated his key in the lock, silently questioning whether or not he couldn’t wait to throw his arms around me either. Thankfully, he felt the urgency as much as I. The loving look upon his face, when he walked through our front door, made me walk toward him as he met me halfway. Now that I think about it, it was probably the last amazingly heartfelt hug we exchanged before our marriage came to its end, the kind of hug where the emotions are so heightened and you can tell that neither one of you desire to let go.

We agreed that we just needed to “start over” if there could ever be such a feat achieved. This fantasy lasted for about two weeks until things sped downhill once again – more like freefell. Some of the worst fights I can recall within David and I’s three year relationship occurred in the two and a half weeks between our July 9th anniversary and the early morning of the 29th when all was finally lost.

It may sound as if I’m reminiscing when in fact I actually began the retelling of this story above back in April of 2014. As I read through it, I felt the urge to edit quite a bit of it but I thought maybe it more appropriate to just exhibit the immense change that has taken place in what I have to say now.

I honestly cannot remember the feeling any longer, the love that I had for this person that I speak of every now and then, this person that I cannot wait to never have to speak of or to again. This is one of the things that I wonder if I may be dissociating from but dissociation implies that the feeling is still there somewhere and I can call on it at will. I’ve tried.

The memory of the feeling is there somewhere but the actual feeling is not. I feel like cueing the “aww” but while this may initially appear sad, it’s probably for the better. His vindictive, immature, hateful and cruel disposition made it easier for me to make the decision to end my marriage and not remembering how or why I once loved this person so much that I vowed my life to him is an ounce of relief. I won’t lie and tell you that I’m not often reminded of what a huge mistake I made and I am certain this self-ridicule will wither once he decides to figure out what is stalling our divorce.

One of my dear friends once stated accurately, and I paraphrase, “If David spent as much time on his relationship as he does on his dramatics then maybe they could actually work things out.”

It wasn’t the first time he had told me he didn’t love me anymore. The first time was in New York right before our big move to LA – only that time the sentiment was, “I’m not sure if I love you anymore.” As you can imagine a newlywed wife may feel, it was hysteria inducing.

Today, at 8:04 p.m. on October 6th, 2015, I am laughing out loud. Perhaps because the memory is just too painful and I’ve detached myself, or perhaps because I know I would never allow anyone to infiltrate and fuck with my life in that manner ever again. The extremity of the situation is comical after so much time. Or perhaps it’s a little bit of both.

I am still an idealist who loves hard and deeply but I now know whom not to love hard and deeply.

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