Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Dear Diary: Day 3 (fiction from the attic)

      I trust by now that you can keep a secret. He’s dead.   I expected him to put up much more of a fight, like they do in the movies; but no, one well aimed bullet really does kill a man.  It wasn’t as dramatic as I expected.  But it was more blood than I had planned for. Not enough to be a deterrent, he was already dead by then, but enough to make me think I should have done it differently.  Maybe next time, if there is a next time, I will use a different method, a poison perhaps.  I hadn’t even planned to do it, not that night any way.

      The night started out as any other night.  He wanted to talk about the state of our relationship, again.  The last time we had this talk, he had decided he wanted to work things out and completely end his extra marital relationship.  This time he didn’t feel that he could end the relationship cold turkey.  Apparently, he was addicted. He had to be on something to have suggested we could work on the marriage while he sorts out his feelings for his girlfriend.  

     He had finally succeeded. I was hurt.  To have allowed me to believe, no matter how briefly, that with counseling, dedication, commitment and trust we could perhaps come out of this whole thing with a strong relationship, only to pull that away.  To make me feel when I had stopped feeling; to make me hope when I had stopped hoping; to make me want what I had stopped wanting. 

     Slowly, for if nothing else I had time, I climbed the stairs leading to my bedroom.  I went directly to the lock box, hidden in the nook underneath the dresser. With steady hand unlocking the box using the key I kept in the locket around my neck, I decisively reached for the gun.  Pausing only to admire my reflection in the mirror, I descended the steps.  I almost expected to hear music to accompany the deafening bass of my beating heart.  Surely, I thought, he would hear me approaching.  In the time it took me to join him in the living room, I saw the entire scene played out in my mind: his suspecting my intentions; attacking me from behind; struggling for the gun; a sharp report; a flash of light, the blood, the dead body,  but who’s?

     It turned out to be much less dramatic. I would be lying if I denied having had second thoughts. All indecision disappeared as I watched him sitting there on my couch; unlit cigarette in one hand; glass he had no intention of washing in the other; with cell phone ringing.  It was ringing and he was planning to answer it and it would be her. He would talk to her, make plans with her. In my house, in my face with the look on his face which clearly said, “So.” This honestly was fine with me.  What I could not take was the total lack of regret.     

     After a few minutes he hung up. Instead of the apology I half expected he asked, “Now, where were we?”

     I shot him. No hesitation, little regret.  There was just the muffled sound of the bullet entering his body and the change of his facial expression.  It was almost anticlimactic, but not quite. There was so much blood. It was on the couch, the wall, the floor, even in his glass. I couldn’t help but think, after all that I still would have to wash that damned glass.

     Despite the temptation, I cleaned up the blood before disposing of the body.  You hear of people getting caught by the most minuscule details, like blood splatters on the ceiling or something.  I would not be caught due to lack of effort. I mean for hours I was scrubbing on hand and knee lest the blood stain the carpet. I cleaned the entire living room, laughing as I thought of investigators combing the area for evidence.  Anyway, I decided to throw the glass away.

     As for the disposal of the body, my first thoughts were rather gory and morbid. I couldn’t decide between chopping him into little pieces or burning him and scattering his remains throughout Baltimore. It was quite the dilemma until I remembered the more complicated the pattern, the more likely it is to unravel.  Don’t ask me where I read that.

To make a long story short, I dragged him out in to the backyard and buried him deep below the untended garden, covered by the piles of leaves he had been promising for months to rake.


Monday, February 27, 2012

Nobody Likes a Rhymer

I don’t speak in clich├ęs or sayings; at least not on purpose.

“Nobody likes a rhymer,” my son reminded me this morning. 

Maybe I do at times speak in circles, parables, rhymes.  At times it seems the most direct way to talk to a six year old is through stories, songs, misrepresentations and fabrications.  I tend to prefer conversing with my children in terms I think they can understand—which isn’t to say that they always understand what I’m saying—just that I think that they do, or will, or should.

I also realize our communication is not always governed by the truth but by representations of the truth (usually mine). I find there are many intangibles and parameters.

“Are we going to the rec center before we go home?” My littest asks, again.  We discussed this already, only moments before: after we run errands we will stop by the rec center to see what time he can play there. We discussed it while running from one store to the next store and again while strolling down one aisle after another.  So when we got in the car I was surprised at the question.

 At 40 there are many stops between now and in a minute. At six there are less.

To communicate effectively my son and I need to define how many stops “one more” really means and how long “in a minute” is.

After all, nobody likes a rhymer—unless they’re telling a rhyme.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Dear Diary: Day 2 (fiction from the attic)

The wonderful thing about marital problems is the sacred shroud of silence which protects those within them. You can talk to people about them, but sharing limited amounts of information is acceptable, even encouraged.  That was how I was able to conduct guilt free conversations letting close friends know things were not going well, without telling them just how bad they were. I never discussed his affairs or mine for that matter. As far as family and friends were concerned we were working on improving the marriage. This delusion was necessary for my sanity as well as the execution of my plan. Believe me, this was not my first course of action, I sincerely looked at all angles, but this seemed to be either the most logical or the most effective, I can’t remember which.

     Honestly I think he gave me the idea with his constant misinterpretations that I was reacting out of bitterness. Not to implicate him as an accomplice, unless one can be an accomplice in one’s own murder?

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Dear Diary: Day 1 (fiction from the attic)

     I swallow the bile taste of hypocrisy as I suggest marriage counseling. I want us to go to counseling to repair our marriage so I can be the one to leave him. How dare he have an affair. Sometimes I want to scream out “You’re not the only one having an affair!” There are times it threatens to bubble up unbidden, to rip out of my chest. Of course I could not allow such a thing, how would it look in court? 

     Marriage seemed a lot easier during the wedding.  All of this attention to detail, if I was that good at taking care of details I wouldn’t  have gotten married in Las Vegas.  In retrospect I probably should not have gotten married in the first place, but like they say, you live and learn. Apparently it is true that marriage requires hard work and communication, who knew? When we started having marital problems I quite frankly did not know how to handle them.  There was never just one thing I could put my finger on, but often something just didn’t feel right.  I won’t say it was entirely his fault and of course it wasn’t all mine. To hear him tell it, it is a problem of my own design that is my sole responsibility to fix. Using his rationale it is definitely something I could change, if I chose to. But do I?  Who would I be if I did?

    I don’t know how long things were going badly before I noticed. When I did notice a change, I suspected he knew, or was at least suspicious of my extra marital relationships. I waited; never having been one for confessions.  I have had affairs in the past, they don’t involve my heart, most things don’t.  I was careful not to project my infidelities onto him, that’s a rookie mistake any way.  One way to tell a person is having an affair is when they accuse you of having one.  I was careful to make realistic, minor adjustments to my routine.  I was even able to mimic the feelings I used to have for him.  Without the passion, but then again, we never had passion.  When I am feeling lonely I long for the way things used to be, then I think who wants that again? I want things to be better than they were before, before when I was the one plotting to leave him.

     I realize it is a matter of perspective.  If I stop to look at this differently I can cope with it. It really is no bigger or smaller than I am. It does not have a life of its own.  I don’t actually lose sleep over it, but it seems as if it should really bug me, and for that reason it does. I guess I care more about perception than I care to admit. Not only what other people think but more specifically what does he think? I mean really, it is almost laughable that he considers himself as still living with me even though he has a girlfriend and spends much of his time with her.  He must think I am some sort of fool. Who would go along with such a thing? Honestly. More importantly how long had it been going on before I found out?  

     I think he realizes that this whole situation does not bother me nearly as much as it should. Perhaps that is why he tries to hurt me. Not physically, but emotionally. He knows better than any one that he is not equipped to engage in emotional battle with me. Yet I suspect malicious intent in some of his comments, where before I suspected none. Every word now appears to be an amateur attempt at sarcasm.  I replay conversations, when I have nothing better to do, and I become agitated.  It makes me wonder, is 3 AM an appropriate time to call your husband at his mistress’?  And how exactly am I supposed to feel about that whole thing any way? 

     I don’t worry so much about how I contributed to the sour chord the relationship is on, as I do my inability to feel towards it.  I know I should be angry, hurt, bitter, and betrayed. I was, for a while, for as long as I was capable of.  How long do you mourn a relationship anyway? I know there are expected responses but I feel as if to give them would give him some sort of satisfaction. My days of satisfying him are over.  Does my emotional state over the state of the marriage, reflect my inability to be an emotional, passionate wife? Am I able to change that? Am I willing?

     My marriage all but over and there I was with an unplanned pregnancy.  Despite the marital turmoil I was elated about the baby for much of the two days of my pregnancy. When I told him I was pregnant he said “Congratulations”.   It sounded more like, “You’ve done it now.” In retrospect maybe he was saying, “I hope you and the child’s father will be happy together.”  I don’t know.  I was alone when I lost the baby, meaning his physical presence lacked emotional attachment. At least that is how it seemed at the time. I’ve never been good with emotion and I know I pushed him away but I should have had to push harder.  The marriage would have ended that day.  I stayed because he told me how much he hurt and I needed him to hurt.

     There are several available options to rid myself of this relationship, the logical one being divorce. Our attempts at reaching a settlement agreement which is beneficial to the both of us are not going well.  The implication is that I would get more money by not going through an attorney; as if this is some sort of an automobile accident.  I realize he needs to consider me a certain way in order to justify his affair, but that doesn’t mean I have to go along with it. I also realize the potential for this to get ugly, the potential for this to not go as smoothly as one might hope.  That potential alone was enough to make me form a contingency plan, my Plan B. 


Backstory: Reflections on this Month's Theme for Stories at the Storey

Meeting deadlines is as soothing to me as a creamy cup of flavoured coffee. Checking a project off of my mental to-do list settles me. ...