Notes From A Walkman Junkie: Ricordi When
This may be somewhat uncomfortable for you to read because, quite frankly, it is uncomfortable in many ways for me to even write. So let me just begin by expressing that no one in this little tale was physically injured — years of emotional scarring, however, are another story entirely. This is a short account of events that ultimately concluded my relationship with my ex-husband, Felice. It has taken a while, but I think we (and I include Felice in this statement) are ready to laugh about it and move on. So here we go. This is the story of the (purely theatrical) suicide attempt that went horribly amiss and the (even hammier) suicide attempt that followed shortly after — also going decidedly wrong, if not worse.
Felice reentered my thoughts recently when I was out of town and browsing around a wonderful little record store. Shopping for records was an activity that Felice and I enjoyed doing together very much. He was an avid record collector and we would spend hours upon hours in local record shops sorting through all the goodies. Anyway, it was this pleasant shopping memory trigger that ignited something that I have thought about writing down many times (some type of closure perhaps), but for various reasons (of the “It’s too soon” variety) have chosen not to. Well, it is time.
I had broached the bumpy (understatement of a lifetime) subject of divorce with Felice for several months only to be met with a solid “there is no way in hell that is happening” take on the subject from him. Our relationship and eventual marriage had gone on for about seven years, of which I would say one was pretty good (long distance) while the other six were heavily peppered with emotional abuse and oppressive spatters of mental torment. It was, needless to say, very unpleasant. I decided one fateful evening to once again instigate the topic of separation and divorce — this time, not backing down at any cost.
The evening started out in a very normal manner. I had returned home from work and began preparing a pizza for dinner. Somehow a nice casual divorce discussion over tasty homemade pizza (yes, I used to make things… and eat them) seemed like an acceptable and appropriate approach. It was probably within the last five minutes of our pizza/I’m leaving you monologue that he truly knew I was committed to “getting the hell out of dodge” (possibly due to my unmistakably blunt declaration, “I would rather be dead than stay married to you”) that he snapped and grabbed the small, sharp knife I’d been gingerly using to cut my meal and dramatically hovered it above his wrist.
Though his display seemed like a slight overreaction, and specifically for histrionic purposes, I instinctively lunged towards him to take back the knife, still dripping with fresh (delicious homemade) tomato sauce; with only the pressing thought of “I, I, I want the knife… please” a la The Golden Child.
I managed to successfully retrieve the knife and tried my best to calm him, but seemingly, to no avail. He was still emotionally and irrationally flailing about and I did not feel alright about leaving him alone in this delicate frame of mind. Here is the thing though — I really, really had to pee, and let us face it, I knew he was not actually going to do anything — so I took a brief leave of him to use the ladies.
I returned to find him kneeling on the kitchen floor with a giant bottle of bleach (with the cap still on, mind you) poised above him just so and ever so slightly tilted purposefully towards his mouth. My main reigning thought at this point (the other thought being, OK, that is about enough of this crap) was, wow, I wonder how long (my bathroom break had taken slightly longer than anticipated) he was frozen in that awkward position, waiting for me to descend back down the stairs and find him in his tragic (desperately exaggerated) state.
So there you have it, an ungainly narrative that inevitably proved to be the beginning of the end. I sincerely hope that Felice is now happy and well and can look back on our failed relationship with lessons learned. I know I have — mainly, never attempt to end a marriage over pizza and sharp utensils (not even as much as a spork), near any sort of household cleaning products. (Also, never break-up with someone while in a moving vehicle after a party where inordinate amounts of alcohol have been consumed — but that is a yarn for another time.)
I am attaching a classic 1979 live performance of The Cure playing “A Forest”as a nod to Felice’s complete collection on vinyl of everything they ever did. Felice, I wish you all the best.