The night I threw my soon-to-be-ex-husband’s clothes into boxes and hauled them out to the garage, this song from Marianne Faithful’s album, Broken English, blared away on my sound system.
When I stole a twig from our little nest
And gave it to a bird with nothing in her beak,
I had my balls and my brains put into a vice
And twisted around for a whole fucking week.
Why’d ya do it, she said, why’d you let that trash
Get a hold of your cock, get stoned on my hash?
Ryan lay on the operating table, partially sedated and dazed from rushing across
town in an ambulance. His problem was heart failure brought on by a congenital heart defect. The surgeon touched him gently on the arm and said, deep compassion in her voice, “I never operate on anyone I don’t know. My name is Mary. Pleased to meet you.”
Ryan looked in her warm, caring eyes and said, “We’ve already met. I’ve held you in my arms.”
The expression on her face shifted, the compassion replaced with distaste.
He added, “We’ve danced together. At the
Arthur Murray studio. My best dance is the mambo.”
You’re on the brink of a nervous breakdown. Your long marriage and settled life lie in broken bits at your feet. No amount of glue is going to fit that mess neatly back together.
What do you do?
Join the Y.
Or a gym. Or a yoga studio. Or a dance class.
Put down that glass of wine. Turn off the TV. Get up off the couch. Move. Get those endorphins going.
The first time in my life I ever joined a gym was a couple months after I initiated divorce
proceedings. It’s one of the steps that saved my sanity.
Can you pick me out in my Zumba class? I love this class.
The Last Day of Our Acquaintance
Sinead O’Connor from her album I Do Not Want What I Haven’t Got
Alan kept this CD in his car. When we drove long distances, he’d slip it in the player. We’d sing along, loudly and off key, glorying in the passionate imagery of the lyrics and the pain and purity of Sinead O’Connor’s voice. We’d sing happily, united in our love of the song. Her pain wasn’t ours and would never touch us. Or so we thought.
Until the day arrived when we sat together in the office of a marriage counselor. The
day when I knew our marriage was beyond repair. The day when he was still in denial.
We were living apart, hadn’t seen each other for a week. I turned to him and said,
“This is the last day of our acquaintance. I’ll meet you later in somebody’s office.”
That was it. We met later in somebody’s office to finalize the details, but those two
sentences marked the death of our marriage.
I never imagined until that afternoon how perfectly Sinead O’Connor expressed the end of my love, or what solace I would get from blasting out those lyrics in the home where I now live alone.