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Jab Me with a Pen

Every day now, we creep a little closer to that finish line, to the day our divorce is final. The end date is in our windshield, but it will be in our rearview before we even know it. Ninety-one days in Pennsylvania—that’s the short sale, the quickie divorce. But I guess that’s only really for the luckier ones, only if you’re able to take the short and easy road.

There’s probably a cooler, more ‘street’ term for this increasingly popular day by now, I’d think, but I’m not sure what it might be. It’s tough because some people are thrilled to be getting that final document, and fair enough. But for a lot of folks, I reckon it’s not always a happy day. And even if you are all giddy about that one particular point in your life, that split second in time when the state formally acknowledges that the two of you are now slightly damaged/slightly distrustful/slightly jaded citizens what’s the big difference, really, you know?

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You weren’t really married in the eyes of the state, you dorks. The state has no eyes! The state, it turns out, is just another eyeless idea cooked up by the ... wait for it ... wait for it ... (hold your mind/gonna blow it up!) ... by the state!

Crazy, huh?

Love, the hands-down most epic/awesome/wonderful/beautiful thing about being alive in this particular lifetime: She is a straight-up, stone–cold anarchist whack job with high cheekbones and one of those pointy Madonna bras from the Vogue era.

You start sniffing your way back down that little transcendental trail, and trust me, my friends, you are gonna crawl out of the bushes and slip right down the hillside, right into good old Walden Pond, y’all. That’s what I’ve been doing anyway. Love recognizes no state. Think about that for like three solid seconds of your day and you will get what I mean, I just know you will.

Love doesn’t give a squirrel’s turd about nations or laws or politics or this whole shaky attempt at "civilization," at getting people to live amongst other people in the "civilized way." Oh hell no. Love is a a very sexy woman who sh*ts in the woods. The way I see it: Love, the hands-down most epic/awesome/wonderful/beautiful thing about being alive in this particular lifetime: She is a straight-up, stone–cold anarchist whack job with high cheekbones and one of those pointy Madonna bras from the Vogue era.

Love, especially young love, intoxicating love—the kind of love that drives you insane in the beginning and then hibernates for a while and then wakes up and either massages your weary heart for the final two decades and change of a marriage, or just drives you f-ing insane again on the road to breaking-up—she’s like that Xena Warrior Princess chick, but even more crazy. All decked out in grubby wolf skins and clattering elk bones, carrying a little satchel of kidneys to snack on (God knows where she got them!), love comes wandering down out of the tried and true uncivilized wilderness with an itchy saber wrist and a savage curiosity.

She comes slipping down out of the woods and she wanders through your backyard or up your stoop in the middle of the night, or in the middle day, or whenever the hell she feels like it, and she waltzes right in while you’re checking your cellphone again and she cuts your goddamn head off with her Isis mallet (that’s right, a mallet!).

And then that’s it. You lose your head, pretty much forever. And it’s so great. Until maybe it ain’t. Until maybe it sucks.

I don’t know.

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I guess I wonder about weird stuff. But, you know, I’ve known love and I’ll probably see her again, too, so I don’t really have a head anymore, right?! Ha! I get a pass. But I wonder what I wonder and lately I get to wondering whether this whole marriage thing and this whole divorce thing, maybe they’re really just street signs turned the wrong way. Maybe the system or the state or however you want to identify the legal ties that bind or separate, maybe they’re kind of like a bunch of bratty kids messing with people’s minds, making them go right when they should have gone left.

How can there be just one single day when you say it’s over, officially? How does that actually make sense when we’re talking about all this Warrior Princess power and stuff? I mean, I get it in a way. We need signed documents. We get off on them. We need pieces of paper to show that the world recognizes that we are officially in love. And we then need other pieces of paper to show the world that two now slightly damaged and distrustful citizens are legally entitled to hurl themselves back into the search for love again.

Papers, light as feathers, to link us to another person forever. And papers, heavier than headstones, to allow us to walk away from it all, to feel that frightening thrill of possibility again.

Permission to love again, Captain?

Permission to slip back out into final frontier, hopefully for the last time?

Permission to peer down into the black hole of Tinder without feeling like a middle-age creep?

What a world, huh?

What a freaking world.

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