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Next Time You See Me, I’ll Be Laughing at Divorce

Once in a while, when I think about this new reality, these final weeks leading up to my last required signature and the very last twists of my wrists that will lead to my divorce being final, I start stumbling and losing my groove, you know?

I don’t know what it is.

Maybe it’s just me missing my old life for a sec. It’s so hard to let go. It just is.

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But I get it. Probably it’s more likely me thinking that I miss it all. Whatever. It doesn’t matter, I guess. I lose my breath because I lose my groove. Divorce is so big you can’t fathom it all at once. But sometimes I try and when I do, that’s when I feel the Earth spin out from under me. When I try and take it all in, layer upon layer of everything at once, I just spin out. I end up eye-to-eye with the daydream curb.

--

I get to feeling dizzy, to feeling the world moving in to watch me like people crowding up on some city street heart attack.

What’s he doing?

Is he moving?

Is he dead?

Yo, that mother**er is dead, yo.

Street heart attacks are tricky, like divorce, really. You can’t win no matter what you do. It’s got to be Manhattan, too, you know? You don’t want to drop down in a heap in the middle of some lame-ass Salt Lake City evening. Believe me, no one will see you because there’s no one there. Maybe two bums and a bishop, but that’s about it. Don’t waste your time, my man.

When you imagine yourself in the worst possible scenario, at least do it up right, OK? Promise me you will imagine your blues to the hilt. Get your heart to explode inside your chest outside the Sbarro in Times Square. There will be all kinds of people standing around out there to watch you, trust me.

People hang out there, kind of hoping for coronaries.

And the thing is, some people walking home from work in the cold January drizzle, they want to see a downed man raise his hand, touch a paramedic’s arm. But others, well, they might be having a shit day, or maybe they’re just sniffing the darkness for whatever reason. And with those people, behind their faces, they’re kind of secretly hoping that they get to walk away from a dude who didn’t make it.

Day-uhm, they’ll say to themselves. He didn’t make it.

And they’ll head up the block feeling wildly invigorated by the fact that they’re still alive. I mean, let’s face it: Nothing makes you feel more alive than watching another man die.

Try it sometime. Or don’t, it’s up to you.

--

Stumbling around in a sad daze is not that funny. But stumbling around in a sad daze and recognizing that I’m stumbling around in a sad daze as I’m doing it? Funny.

So that’s my jam now.

I’m struggling with so much, but I think most of it is ego. I can’t wrap my head around the idea of someone who wanted to be with me forever not wanting that anymore. Isn’t that weird? Think about it. It’s high comedy if you read it right.

Laugh at the most inappropriate times and chuckle at my own actions, at my foolish fleeting thoughts about a girl and a marriage and a dude down on the ground heart attacking in the most ridiculous place to heart attack on Earth and suddenly I’m smiling at my own dilemma, from the safety of the crowd, which is where we kind of all belong anyway.

--

Part of me is dead now. It won’t grow back. It can’t. You lose parts of yourself in this life because that’s the way it’s supposed to be. You lose your teeth, you might lose your hair. You lose your stamina and the back alleys of mind over time. It sucks but it is what it is. You lose the ability to piss right, to whizz hard and fast like a racehorse or a circus elephant. You lose pieces of your sweet and silly heart and it’s all part of your story.

--

What I suppose I’m recognizing with each passing day, with each hour rolling by me and her moving further and further apart in the tiniest massive ways, is that I’m still here.

I’m still living. I’m still alive. And I think I’m going to make it. I think I’m going to manage to do what I need to do, what I’ve been doing now all along, all by myself, and get up off the street and dust myself off and walk over to the ambulance to get checked out.

And they’re going to tell me the whole effing thing was just wild indigestion.

“It ain’t a heart attack,’ the medic will mumble, bored to near violence with my resurrection. He’ll look down at the mustard crust in the crooks of my lips. “How many vendor hot dogs you eat today?”

“Six,” I’ll say, sheepishly.

“There you go.”

--

Death and divorce aren’t all that different. It’s like the other person died in a way, and you have to keep on going. They’re not dead, obviously, and that’s a good thing, but if you’ve tasted big breakup you catch my drift.

When I dream of dying, I dream of dying clean, like a cowboy in a movie.

“Go on without me,” I want to whisper to three blue-eyed maidens I’ve just saved from doom. “Go on without me and run to the hills.”

They begin to weep. He’s so brave. They want to make love to my fading vessel.

I close my eyes, blood streaming out of the bullet hole in my chest that would have killed any other man the moment it happened. But not me. I take my time, say goodbye in my own rough way.

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“Take the high trail out past Carson’s Wash,” I whisper. “You’ll be safe up there. They’ll never catch you.” They all lean in and kiss my cheek at once. Handsome bastard. Handsome brave dying son of a bitch. Then I die, out there in the red rock desert. A hero. A real man.

Isn’t that funny? God, I’m an idiot. But it’s all good. I dig it. I dig me. I dig me even now, even after dealing with my crazy self for so long this past year. I dig me even as I kill my old character off on this plain old winter morning.

A heart attack on the street/a gunshot in film: This divorce is all of it and more. So I’ll be here in my little corner of the galaxy, dreaming my little dreams and laugh at myself for now. Because that’s my only way out, I think. I’ll be over here chilling/laughing at my own demise.

And I have a feeling I’m onto something very, very big.

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