Life as an Extreme Sport

Neil says hi, by the way

I know this is going to be an odd entry; I’m bubbly and bouncey and tired and in a great mood overall. So you’ll have to forgive me and trust that I will be back to my regular melancholy writing soon enough.

I had the incredible pleasure of meeting Karawynn and the Polygirl Poolies (sounds like a band name, doesn’t it?) tonight. I had a great time – they were all friendly, sweet, nice, raunchy and yes, even dirty. (You know who you are.) We played pool for a few hours, during which time I amazingly did not suck the worst of the group. After that (when the place began to fill with smoke and sleaze) we adjourned to Cutters for dessert, coffee, water, drinks and lots of conversation. Beyond that, I’ve been asked to a party and lunch, not to mention another night of pool.

I will admit, one of the things I am more pleased about is my entrance. I never really know what to say – being shy kind of limits your ability to have some witty or clever entrance. I was hoping to sort of siddle up next to the pool table, wave, and have the associations click.

Instead, as I’m walking down the street to the billiards place (which, for those of you keeping track of such things, is directly across from Mars’ apartment), I see a woman step outside to use the cell phone. I didn’t see her face, but the back of her made me think “Karawynn?” I walked by her, and as I did heard her saying something to the effect of: “Could you? I don’t know. Yes, it’s something like loosh@redplanet something …”

My first reaction was to laugh, but I managed to contain it. Instead, I just turned around and said “”. Karawynn turned around, looked at me, laughed into the phone and said “nevermind, she just found me.”

That is a good entrance.

Perhaps best of all, however, was waiting for me when I got home. Neil Gaiman asked me to say hello to Karawynn for him. Ladies and gentlemen, I have become a Tori Amos song. *bows*

Tears, Words, Coffee

… I’ve got a lot of reasons but a long way to go I’ve got a lot of feelings but they’re still hard to show I’ve got a lot of senses and still I didn’t know…

I’ve been crying a lot lately.

I cried on Friday, first when coming back from the airport. Something in the Poe song just hit me, and it hit me hard. I cried all the way home, actually. Then I cried Friday afternoon, after finding out that Mars had filed for divorce, and just not told me. I cried on and off Friday night while I came to terms with that.

I cried Saturday night, but that was pain from losing my stomach after too much alcohol. (So I don’t think it counts.)

I cried Sunday night when everyone was saying goodbye to The Swede. I cried while trying to fall asleep. I started crying Monday when they announced The Swedes plane had begun boarding, and I cried as I kissed and hugged him goodbye, as I left and then ran back to repeat the hugging and kissing goodbye for a final time. I cried as I left the airport; the tears stopped somewhere on the way home.

I cried today at work, and am still teary right now.

… I know a lot of people but still I’m alone I’ve lived a lot of places but I’ve never had a home And I’m afraid to call you on the telephone…

I called Mars.

I asked him out to coffee. I could hear him blink in surprise. Could hear it in his voice. I told him I had thought about it, and decided to act like an adult instead of a spoiled child. He laughed, said yes he would like that – then, then he asked why. Why I had sent that eMail, why I had changed my mind.

… Cause I can’t predict the tings that I’m going to say And I don’t have the power to take them away…

I fumbled my words. I wasn’t expecting that. I thought, issue an invite and get out, quick. And then, then something took over.

I told him. I told him everything.

I told him that I still loved him, and I realized that after the Sit & Spin. I told him that I had still been angry and hurt, and was acting out of those feelings and emotions when I told him I couldn’t be his friend. I told him that I missed him, and that I wanted to try, if he was still willing. That I couldn’t promise I would succeed, or be a very good friend, but I wanted to try. That I had been a bad friend and a worse wife.

He started crying sometime during that – so did I. I read him my apology, we talked about the divorce papers (he had forgotten to mail them to me); I was honest and told him that yes, part of me hopes we can be friends and then a lot more.

We talked about when things began to fall apart, and how things were so badly broken by the time we got here.

I asked him when he stopped loving me. It was the night I told him that I didn’t know if I loved him. The night before he walked out. The one thing I regret saying to him.

I told him I lied that night. I told him why.

… I’ve got a dozen reasons the other sides should be known I can outcry a baby but I seem like a stone I can watch you slam the door but I can’t let you go…

I was honest. I told him about my mother yelling at me – how could I still love him, wish I was his wife, and yet refuse to be his friend. (We got stuck on the Mom yelling at me thing for a bit. He was surprised.) I told him that yes, part of me held out hope that there would, one day, be more. He didn’t know what to say; finally he managed that he was happy to try being friends, that he appreciated my honesty and upfrontness about “ulterior motives”, and he was concerned I would be hurt because of them.

I told him I wasn’t ready for a relationship, with anyone, even him. That if he were to show up on my door, I’d probably scream and close it from shock. That I need time to heal myself and continue expanding myself. That for the time being, I’m focused on the small and simple step of going out for coffee. I also pointed out that I took what Mom said to heart. That I need to see if I can be his friend, and go from there before I know if I truly want more. And that the more could come in six months, or six years.

He seemed to like hearing that. A lot.

… I’ve got a lot of time I’ve got a lot on my mind…

We talked about less serious things, and more serious. We talked about seeing each other, and our reactions – that we were both sad because it seemed like the other person had cleaned up and moved on, without remorse or regret. I think we were both pleasently surprised that it wasn’t quite so.

I can’t take back those words I so strongly regret. I’m not sure I would if I could – he and I both had to grow so much to get where we are now (able to talk and not be screaming at each other). I don’t know what will happen… but I do know that I talked to Mars for an hour, crying with him for most of that.

And I feel great.


I’d like to start off by apologizing. Looking at my mental list, there’s an awful lot I need to apologize for.

First, and foremost. I’m sorry I wasn’t your friend and partner last summer and fall. Instead of supporting you when things were getting rough, I ran. Instead of fighting and trying to work with you to save our marriage, I hid and sulked. Instead of holding your hand and encouraging you to try the new things you wanted, instead of doing all the things I had put aside, “if only” and “someday”… I didn’t act like a friend. I certainly didn’t act like a wife.

I apologize for January 9. For telling you to not call me, that I couldn’t talk to you. For being hurt that January 10 didn’t mean anything to you, and that you hadn’t thought to spend it with me. January 10 was only a day, a date. By placing such immense meaning on such an intangible thing, I was unable to see and be rational, especially about how well things were going.

I apologize for not calling you, all those nights I looked at the phone and talked myself out of it. For not making the first effort. For not admitting I was wrong. (I was wrong.) For being so goddamned and godawful stubborn.

I apologize for not telling you how confused I was, when we talked at the Sit & Spin. For not simply telling you how happily confused I was at spending time with you, how much I enjoyed seeing you and hopeful I was that we could keep talking. How wonderful it was to hear your voice.

I apologize for flipping out the next week, for panicing and not understanding and generally not being all that with it. I sent you a true but hurtful eMail in this time frame; I felt like I needed to exorcise something, but instead of talk to you about how I felt, I tried to cut the ties again. Running away isn’t solving anything, and it’s not making me miss you any less.

It might be too late now, and if it is, I wouldn’t blame you. But Mars, I miss you something fierce – would you let me try to be your friend?

falling to pieces, picking back up

…originally posted on Karawynn’s Pool, posted here for posterity and referrence…

Thank you, everyone. The stuffing was leaking out of me pretty badly Friday afternoon – I feel a lot better now. A lot more peaceful. (More on that in a bit, I think.)
Both Rich and Karawynn asked, essentially, “why”. I’m afraid I don’t have that answer – I know I asked him, once, but I don’t think I understood the answer to be able to remember it.

He walked out on me. I came home to find his wedding ring and a note on the dining room table. A few weeks later, we started talking briefly again… and then moved to separate apartments. Then we fell back into each others beds, and talked about working on things. For me, there was such a thing as separation. For him, to be able to leave me, he had to divorce me in his mind before actually walking out.

I didn’t understand this until January. (He left his ring on a table in September.) I finally ‘understood’ this when, on Jan 9 I called to find out if/what we were doing Jan 10 – what should have been our three year anniversary. He was puzzled; he had plans with others, why would he and I be going out, the date no longer had meaning did it for me, etc.

I told him I couldn’t talk to him or be his friend, and hung up on him. We had no further contact until the end of April, for tax purposes.

We met at the Sit and Spin. It was agony; I saw him and he was so different from what I remembered. And within a few minutes he was so much the same. Yes, he had changed – but in so many ways back to the artist I fell in love with originally. We talked for three hours – about our new jobs, our lives. Our lovers. (Oddly enough, only one of his many new lovers really stung to hear about. I refer to her as The Interloper – she started pursuing him while he and I were still together.) We made plans to see each other again in June, sometime.

A week of hell and questioning later, I decided it hurt too badly, and told him I couldn’t do it. I could not be friends.

I’ve regretted saying that since.

Anyhow. I suppose the above serves as backstory.

You see, had you asked me a month ago why we separated, I would have told you he was being unreasonable. Irrational. That he wasn’t working with me to save anything. That he wanted to have his cake and eat it, too – he wanted to live on his own, do what he wanted when he wanted with no thought to me, yet still have me in his life. That he wanted to not make a marriage work, but thought he could have all the benefits of a close friendship, perhaps even being lovers (as we were for a while). That he wanted to have everything his way, and wouldn’t bend or compromise with me.

I’ve had some time to think, really think this month. I’ve had input from a long distance lover here for the month. Input from my mother, my best friend, other friends.

They’ve lead me to realize that I was being stubborn. Full of anger and pride. That if I couldn’t have what I wanted, it was better that no one had anything at all. I had become all or nothing.

I treated him badly. I hid at work because talking to him had become painful – he had changed and not taken me with him, and instead of supporting the changes and learning, I treated him and his new ideas and philosophies with disdain.

I wondered where the man I fell in love with had gone, without seeing that he was in front of me, just older and different.

He asked me, one night before he left, whether I still loved him. He knew I was attracted to someone at work, and was hurt and confused – I rarely came home most nights, instead choosing to sleep at work. In his eyes, to be nearer the person I was attracted to.

He asked if I loved him, and told me that he could do anything, work thru anything, try – so long as he knew I loved him. He reminded me that I promised, as did he, to tell the other if we ever fell out of love.

I was afraid. Afraid of the changes, afraid of the difference and fights and confused and hurt and not wanting him to hurt me or to be hurt anymore.

I told him I didn’t know.

He left the next day.

Oh yes. I was going to explain why I feel more peaceful now then on Friday.

For one thing, I was able to talk to the lover who had flown in, long distance, to spend a month with me. I felt horrible for having all of this happen while he was here, and more horrible for realizing that I had to finish this, this “thing” with my husband before I could contemplate anything with anyone else.

He understood, he gave me his blessings for trying, and held me in no ill regard. That helped, it helped amazingly.

What helped/changed the most, though, was something in me. I’ve been feeling like a change has been stirring inside for a while now, and I think whatever it was clicked, finally.

All the people who were talking to me, telling me their version of what had happened between my husband and myself – I was finally able to look back and see what *I* was doing, had done, to contribute to the breakdown of our marriage. I was able to see how I had been reacting out of anger, out of a need to hurt him like he had hurt me.

And I was able to see that love isn’t contained in a piece of paper. Love isn’t a marriage certificate – it doesn’t begin there, and it isn’t bound there. Likewise, love doesn’t end with divorce papers. It cannot be severred by a pen, or blown away with the filing of some paperwork.

Yes, marriage is symbolic. So is divorce. But it is symbolic of decisions, not of feelings.

I had made the decision to attempt being his friend, before I found out about these papers. It was what he always said he wanted. He wanted us to be friends. He repeated that when I saw him at the end of April – he layed his desire there on the table in front of me, tears in his eyes, telling me he missed me. I didn’t trample him down immediately, but did a pretty good job a few weeks later (as mentioned above). A good job I regretted once I had done it.

I had decided to make an effort and be his friend because I miss him. I miss him dearly. And as my mother so bluntly pointed out to me, I cannot expect to be his lover, his wife, if I cannot first be his friend.

Knowing the papers were filed was a shock, yes. But I still want to try being his friend.