It’s hard to believe its been almost 10 years since my marriage broke up. It was a traumatic experience as my husband and I worked together on our business: in one day I lost my mate, my job and my home. I can’t really say I’ve gotten over it but the memories are faded somewhat.
Faded enough that I called him the other day to see how he was doing. He usually visits this time of year when he buys bulk honey from a beekeeper around here and it fits in with his schedule. I hadn’t heard from and him and I do still worry about him. He is his own worst enemy but still stands like a king of his domain, fighting to the death.
It didn’t take him long to start on all the “fucking assholes” of the world, this time it was the people who run the farmer’s markets, his (my old) neighbour (always) and the entire internet/wireless world. His language was foul and his tone bitter talking about how much he hated them. It was awful to listen to and I remembered I used to have to listen to this everyday. Eventually it would be turned on me for some minor transgression.
He talked about himself and what he was doing a lot. I hardly got to talk about myself because that didn’t interest him much. Only to advise me to stay on at the grocery store after I turn 65 for the extra money. He pointed out that I could work, too, and have more pocket money……as if I never thought about it before.
He told me he lost 30 pounds by giving up sugar. He said, “I’m as skinny now as you are fat!” (I used to be skinny, I now weigh 132, what I should weigh at 64)
He said he was “really looking forward to making candles and lip balm soon”. That was my business. I don’t think he even knows how that feels to me, he is oblivious of other people’s feelings.
Except he cracked, there was a hole in the dyke when he told me he went to his sister’s 70th birthday party as a surprise. He hadn’t seen his sisters in 8 years. His other sister and brother-in-law phoned him to please come. He did go and telling me about it he cried like a baby. The pent-up emotions flooded out.
When I was still living there, I used to say he would rather hate his neighbour than love me. That faded memory jumped back up when he said another neighbour offered to buy him out, house and business. That was my dream; to pay off the house (we did) and build up the business to sell out everything at retirement. But not his dream; he said to the guy, and to me, “but I would have to change my life!” That hit me like a slap on the face. I had to change my life BIG TIME and now work part-time in a grocery store at 64 years old with no pension.
Add that to not seeing his sisters in 8 years and there is proof he would rather hate than love. He never wanted to be around any family, but he’ll travel to see his caving buddies every year. He didn’t want to hear about my family at all. It’s like the love of family makes him mad.
Even though I knew he was like this, the intensity of his hatred fades from my memory when I don’t have to listen to it. I imagine him softening as he ages and maybe thinking he shouldn’t have been so mean to his wife. But he has only built his ivory tower taller and stronger.
I’m so fortunate all that negativity has faded from my life. But I don’t feel happy and dancing around; I feel sad. Sad for him, sad for me. He’s a faded memory but never forgotten. He’ll always be there like and old jacket I once loved and just can’t throw out.