I don’t know what to do with still another influx of chaotic emotion so I mentally scrunch it up like a trash-bound piece of paper, smaller and smaller, until I can just throw it away. It’s how I’m handling most things these days and whether that’s the healthiest approach is certainly debatable — but I don’t care. For months now I’ve listened to my music so loudly it rattles my soul and I expect to pull away bloody earbuds. I’ve gone on epic bike rides and kept pain at bay by pushing myself physically. Whatever gets me through, man. Whatever gets me through. Balling up emotions, deafening music and beer. Lots of beer. Oh, shut up. Let me medicate myself without your judgment. Like I told a friend the other day; I’m probably due for some sort of awesome public meltdown. For now, all this is working.
Even though it’s for the best, the loss of my life teammate, someone to share goals and troubles with, feels like a messy amputation. I keep trying to use the missing arm. Money troubles? Share the burden with Serge. Except they are no longer his troubles. My troubles are mine alone. The only thing we share now is our children.
He filed sometime last week, abruptly whipping the white papers from the bowels of his Honda and proffering them for me to sign, had a pen at the ready and everything, like some slick music exec trying to get the next big thing to sign on the dotted line. I signed on the hood of the car and quietly handed them back, strangely attempting some kind of meaningful eye contact with the man who held my shaking hands, gently squeezing them in comfort, as we said “I do” in the home of a judge in Salt Lake City, Utah ten years ago. But there was no eye contact. “Business Serge,” I call that guy: the no eye contact, all kid-related associations, nothing else, not even small talk.
It’s not how I want it to be but I understand it’s necessary at this particular juncture. There has to be a disassociation of sorts or we’ll always be in limbo — not married, not divorced. It’s time to move forward. Time for me to really contemplate the fact that I’m on my own now. And so is he. Time to acknowledge there may be other women in his life. If not now, soon. I’m aware of a few of them, hovering in the periphery; eagerly pressing send on Facebook messages designed to get his attention, crafting clever Instagram comments. I know you’re there, ladies. I’m coming to terms with you. It ain’t easy, but I’m doing it. I’m doing it because I need to be on the best terms possible with this man, the father of my children, who I will love until the end of time for not only being their dad but for who he is. A good guy. Just not my good guy.
And so I watch us, me and this guy, the one I’ll soon call “ex-husband,” repressing most of our emotions — both love and anger — for the sake of positive interactions and it makes me sad as hell. Sad that I’m not a part of the day-to-day events in his life. That what was once shared is now a solitary endeavor. Money troubles, DVR’d episodes of Bourdain’s Parts Unknown, smiles exchanged over kid shenanigans. I don’t know how he spends his days now, what he watches, who he talks to, how he feels. It’s all gone now. We are becoming strangers.More On