Notes from a Walkman Junkie: Divorce With A Smile
Hello my loyal reader (you know who you are), I just would like to apologize to you and say that I have been utterly useless in the department of writing (and speaking and moving and brushing my hair and eating and breathing and math) this week. In fact, I have done little more than drink copious amounts of creamy booze and sob in a corner for varying periods of time (occasionally pausing to have extremely disproportionately aggressive and lengthy discussions about some of the idiotically fuck-all dialogue “Sometimes…there is…so much…beauty…in the world…I just…can’t take it”–or some shit–in American Beauty and Skinny Jeans). So, I thought rather than producing some kind of a tear-soaked, furious new post, I would select an older one from happier times and hey, what is more cheerful than divorce court? There is some x-mas themed crap in there too. Enjoy.
“Hey fucker” was the greeting bestowed upon me by my brother, Iago when he finally called me back last night. He insisted that he had not returned my call in a more timely fashion due to being terribly busy with the new class he is teaching…plus, he is building many lightsabers. I had placed this call in the hopes of Iago remembering some of the entertaining or at least remotely funny adventures we shared when he accompanied me back to Connecticut for the finalization of my divorce in court a few years ago. Unfortunately, Iago’s recollection of that trip was limited to some nutzo phone calls he received from his ex-girlfriend and a rude/nosy check-out lady at the grocery store in Connecticut.
We were purchasing some items at the store to bring back to the hotel where we were staying. As the woman rang up Iago’s goods she held up one of his protein bars while giving him the ‘skunk eye’ and questioned him in a snarly tone, “Do these friggin things even work?” She then bluntly proclaimed, “What a complete waste of money.” Incidentally, I find these kind of occurrences where strangers at stores offer their unwanted comments and/or questions in regard to items I am purchasing to be particularly annoying. This happened recently when my boyfriend, Jackson and I were buying some sleeping-aid meds and a man behind us (standing way too close) randomly and loudly blurted out, “Bananas and milk.” After a few moments of zero response from us he again barked, “Bananas and milk” and followed it with, “That’s all you need, sleep like a baby.” Jackson generously gave the stranger a chuckle while I just stared at the guy for a minute and walked away. I told Jackson as we left the store that I thought the man had some rare sort of fruit and dairy Tourette’s.
Iago and I did manage to discuss , however, a few x-mas gift suggestions during the phone call. He asked what I wanted from him to which I replied, “I want you to say something f*cking funny about our trip that I can use in this…and a copy of Zombie Nightmare.” Iago in turn let me know that he wanted some filter thing to use in order to transfer his coffee from his french press into another container. I asked him if he knew the name of this specific device so I could find it more easily. Iago then quipped, “No, but hey, looking it up and finding it is half the fun.” I said, “Oh sure, I will just type in ‘some goddamn french press f*ck all filter thing’ and see what comes up.” Iago astutely pointed out that only a search engine created by our father would produce an accurate result using those key words.
Although Iago was unable to help me recount very much of our fun-filled ‘divorce trip’ during our call, I shall do my best to dole out some of the highlights from our little excursion. I met up with Iago in Connecticut armed with my exceedingly cheery collection of Elliott Smith CD’s and a dress that I deemed appropriate for court, something that was not too short and said ‘please don’t make me pay anything to anyone.’ My brother and I had a pretty typical pre-divorce court evening you know, we went out for sushi, watched an all-night marathon of CSI Las Vegas and managed to get about two hours of sleep. Raw fish and endless sleep deprived viewings of crime scene investigations, what could possibly go wrong?
Needless to say, the following morning was none too pleasant. We arrived at the court house with dark circles under our eyes and queasy stomachs. I felt my nerves steadily increase as we sat and waited for my lawyer to arrive. Two things always happen to me when I am extremely nervous: 1. I grin non-stop and 2. I sweat profusely. Both of these things started to happen and I noticed that a pool of sweat had soaked through my dress. I began to panic, turned to Iago and frantically stammered, “Look at my dress! The judge will see that I am sweating…and grinning like a fool…and think that I am lying…and send me to prison.” My brother calmly offered that I was possibly over reacting just a hair and would most likely not be sent to prison for my smiling-sweat fit, no longer than a couple of years max anyway.
Just as I had managed to calm down a bit, my lawyer showed up and with only moments before I was to take the stand, he breezily said, “Oh, and don’t mention that you no longer live in Connecticut, it will look bad.” I nodded numbly in agreement, stunned by the unexpected request and entered the court room. I was called to the stand, sworn in, and proceeded to answer some standard questions. When the inquiry of my current address arose, I decided to answer as quietly and vaguely as possible, omitting the city and state completely. Naturally, this (coupled with my broad smile) only drew more attention to my exact location. I was asked several times to repeat it to the point of me eventually all but shouting my entire address using perfect annunciation; with specific emphasis on the city and state.
As it turns out, my location, sweating and incessant grinning had little effect on the judge’s decision concerning the settlement for better or for worse. I am attaching “Ann Don’t Cry” by Pavement because I will always associate this particular song with that time in my life..also because Pavement is awesome and they are having a reunion tour, enjoy.