Notes From a Walkman Junkie: Escape From Connecticut
Divorce is a drag. Even if you think, “no It’s fine, I will just have a breezy/fun dissolution of marriage”, it rarely works out that way (and sometimes sharp weapons are wielded and eggplants are thrown). I have been divorced now for a few years and the memory of it has dulled a bit, but some recent events have brought these faded memories bubbling to the surface once again. Two of my dear friends are currently embarking on the unpleasantness that is divorce. Their situation, however, is a little different (neither of them have found the need to flee the state equipped solely with the clothes on their back and a handy package of false variously-styled mustaches) than my recollection of the process was.
As of late, I have found myself recounting the epic tale of my escape from my marriage (and Connecticut). Things between my former spouse and I had gotten particularly charged and alarming (I won’t go into too many specifics here, but will say that pizza knives and pantomiming the consumption of household bleach may have been involved) one evening and ultimately propelled my decision to end my marriage and get the hell out of there. My plan was simply to get up in the morning and go to work as usual like nothing had happened (slowly backing out the front door, whistling nonchalantly — then sprinting to my car) with the knowledge that I would not be returning to my house for an indefinite amount of time (if ever).
When I arrived at the school where I taught, I asked the director, Margo, if I could speak with her privately to discuss my personal dilemma (hell). Once in her office, I immediately burst into tears — highly uncharacteristic of me as I rarely show any type of emotion and/or animation (my lack of verve was displayed recently when a friend of mine tried to surprise me on my birthday at work by yelling, “happy birthday!” and throwing confetti in my direction. I just sat like a stone as the unbroken wad of confetti bounced off my forehead). After conveying the necessitous (snot and tear riddled) details of my troublesome situation, I told Margo that I needed to get on a plane and leave the state until I felt it was safe to return. Margo was very understanding of my harrowing plight and agreed that I should go, but asked me if I could “please set up the snack cart first — it’s ‘ants on a log’ today.”
The good news is that this is all behind me now and for the most part everything has turned out pretty well. I have been sharing some of my past divorce extravaganza with my friends that are currently in the splitsville trenches themselves in the hopes of helping (but, more likely horrifying) them through this somewhat shaky time. I was telling one of them about the “closure” letters that my ex, Felice, had sent to me after returning to his hometown in Sicily and that it took me a while to be able to read them — “I just could not read them at the time.” My friend paused for a moment then quipped, “Why, were they in Italian?”
I am attaching a wonderful acoustic version of “The Past Is A Grotesque Animal” by Of Montreal. I know it is long–possibly longer than my marriage — but certainly worth the listen.