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Love Gone Wrong Is Writing Itself

My wife. My ex-wife. My estranged wife.

My strange-ass wife.

I don’t know what the hell to call her anymore.

There are no words that seem to fit the situation, really. And before we go much further, look, it’s completely understandable if, as a reader at this juncture, you kind of wanna know what the situation is exactly. I get that. I really do.

But the hell with ya, because guess what? I can’t tell you! You know why? Because (ta-dah!), there are no words that fit it, remember?

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Man-oh-man, it’s been almost a year now since Monica and I broke up. Ugh. See?! What is that? ‘Broke up’? Even ‘broke up’ seems a peculiar twist of phrase to apply to my own life. What am I, 15? I’m a 42-year-old man for God’s sake. Can guys my age ‘break up’ with their freaking wives?

I want to shoot straight with you here. That’s my job, after all. I want to paint a heartfelt little picture of what is happening. I like to root around with a coffee spoon inside my bones, you know? I like to think of myself as this writer guy, this self-aware, unabashed, brave and frontiers-y broken-hearted wordsmith who all the world will read and fall in love with the moment they pick up on the fact that he is writing with such spectacular openness.

All of these things I’ve been living through and feeling this past year are basically bigger and harder, with more ups and more downs, than a guy like me can possibly get any kind of a handle on.

I’m sitting down in front of my laptop and thinking about my wife, my marriage, the "break up," the kids, the feelings, the blues, the tiny speck of dim idiotic daylight flickering around out there at the end of the proverbial tunnel of darkness I’ve been railroading through for way too long now. It feels like it ought to be getting at least a little bit more, I don’t know, what’s the word, natural for me at this point. I’ve been writing a lot of stuff about it. About us. About what happened and why we grew apart. Or if we actually even did grow apart or if we both just kind of went insane?

But c’mon. Let’s get real here, too. People want to know what the fuzzizzle is happening with the characters they’re reading about on the Internet.

Am I getting a damn divorce already? Am I seeing anybody else? Is she? My ex, I mean? Or are we still just coasting, you know, just cooling our humming human jets out here in the 3 a.m. dewy fields of post traumatic what-ever-ya-call-it?

The words are not enough. The words fail me at every turn, both because I’m an idiot and a lackluster scribe, but also, and perhaps more importantly, because all of these things I’ve been living through and feeling this past year are basically bigger and harder, with more ups and more downs, than a guy like me can possibly get any kind of a handle on — writer-wise or otherwise.

And, that’s what I wanted to tell you, I guess. I wanted to tell you about that confusion, that maddening feeling of total and utter emotional chaos that came along and slammed into my ridiculous soul in a flash of momentary acceptance, back around March of this year, that precise feeling on a rainy Saturday afternoon when I finally put out a certain cigarette — a cigarette I had lit as a man still hoping that things would change just by me wanting them to change; a cigarette which I’d stamped out with my boot on the concrete floor of the garage at the old house where we all lived as a family and ended its short burning life, smoldering there on the late winter floor, and I sped away in my car, heading to my mom’s, fully aware that I had somehow crossed a line in the last minute or so.

I left.

I’m gone.

I don’t know how well I’m documenting any of this. I’m at a loss sometimes to describe the hurt or the humor or the oddball crap that comes with two people who were once in love, now trying to come to terms with the fact that maybe the love has shape-shifted and morphed into something else entirely. Maybe we weren’t meant to be. What’s the goddamn word for that whole notion, huh? I sure as heck don’t know. And I can’t tell if that’s because I’m not being creative enough or writing well enough to get the job done or if it’s this other thing that holds me up and keeps me from Karate Kid fly-pinching the exact words I need out of all this morning ether where I tend to hang out.

Maybe no one knows what the hell is happening to any pair of fairly freshly banged-up hearts because they haven’t stumbled upon the right words yet.

Because in a lot of ways, I’m an indomitable spirit, you bastards. Born into this world to chase my own tail until I finally chased something brighter and better down. And I thought I had done it, only to find that maybe she wasn’t into it anymore.

But then again, maybe she is. You don’t know. I certainly don’t know. Probably no one knows. Probably not even her.

When you think about it, at least when I do, it’s like, hey, maybe no one knows what the hell is happening to any pair of fairly freshly banged-up hearts because they haven’t stumbled upon the right words yet, huh?

And then things start to make a wee bit of sense. Then we see that maybe that’s why I’m still here: hanging around, sniffing around, dabbling in these Dark Arts, in this writing, a dude waiting for the perfect words to get born, seemingly out of nothing and nowhere, words he can pluck right out of el skyo so he can finally, final-f-ing-ly, write the ending he has in mind.

Now.

Come to think of it, there ought to be some words that could get drunk and swing their arms around each other and sing themselves into this raucous, beautiful term for that whole twisted glimmer of promise I’m always feeling, that’s always there, under my skin and moving through my cells and my blood, drizzling down all over my own damn writing, a good thing even on the worst days.

But there isn’t as far as I know.

Well, not yet, at least.

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