Dealing makes me think of poker. Dealing with divorce makes me think of the total lack of humility, empathy and tact on behalf of The Genius. Which is why I am so freaking grateful to not be his wife. Sadly, there’s lots still to deal with in order to torch this fraudulent marriage once and for all. The rest of life I can deal with and am fully stoked to meet the challenges like a champion. The occasional petulant appliance, the responsibility of being a single mom, the total and complete uncertainty of nearly everything in my world, I can deal with it all.
But what if no one can deal with me?
Mr. Jackpot’s comment from our conversation last evening stuck in my core for most of the day today:
You are one of the most intelligent and intuitive people I have met in my life, but I can’t figure out how to deal with you.
While he’s the first person that has said that to me, it’s not the first time I’ve felt it. Not the whole I’m so intelligent part, but rather what the comment suggests about the way I’m choosing to live my life and how that might be challenging to deal with for some people. Maybe most people. Maybe most men.
The comment came about after going head-to-head about Yachats, again. He’s apologized profusely and repeatedly for his actions during the trip. Apology accepted. Profusely and repeatedly.
But the topic keeps coming up.
When Mr. Jackpot works through what happened on that trip he talks about the 3D. How the stresses of work came to a zenith just prior to our departure. How the change in plans, twice, due to The Genius soured him on the whole experience. How The Genius’ discovery of HGM during our trip distracted me and left him unsettled. How we were each focused on different events happening in our worlds.
How we were totally disconnected.
I know. I was there.
We’ve talked about Yachats on that level several times. Now, when Mr. Jackpot begins with, When you cancelled the trip or I did this and you did that, I shut down. I can’t rehash the logistics or go happening-by-happening through that trip again. If I’m forced to, my ears will bleed. Which will distract him from the 2 pimples I have on my face. Perched on each cheek like the dots on a clown’s painted on smile.
I look ridiculous.
I’m drawn to understanding the Why. Why we, as individuals, created that experience. Not the hows but the Why. Some people say, Who, What, When, Where, Why and How and others say, Who, What, When, Where, How and Why. Mr. Jackpot is in the former group and I am in the latter.
The placement of How and Why is not accidental. It’s where we place our energies. Our focus.
Why did I create Yachats and why does the conversation surrounding the events of Yachats keep happening?
On our Wild West adventure, the boys and I took a tour of the mill at Bodie, the ghost town in “arrested decay” nestled in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada Mountains. Michael, town resident (a skeleton crew has the privilege of living there to protect the priceless) and State Park tour guide, was spirited in his tales of life in the mill as men pounded quartz into gold. I learned how they extracted the quartz from the vertical mines that dotted the hillside using first a hand drill and later a powered jackhammer of sorts, and how they crushed it down to expose the precious metals using massive iron stampers that had been carried to town by a team of 80 mules. How a man with a paint brush used Mercury to capture the valuable dust that might have otherwise been lost, a job that had high turnover, for sure. How GE and Westinghouse dueled it out to create a solution for their massive power needs. How the water was pumped up from the mines and stored, gallons used by the thousands hourly to operate the mill. How a town sprung up over night, organized itself, then rebuilt after two devastating fires. And how the eerie silence of Sundays, the only day off for the mill workers, left the babies in town screaming.
All those Hows and I was left wondering Why.
Why does Michael want to live in a town that has long since passed on; a dirt road and miles of highway separating him from modern day civilization? Why doesn’t he believe in ghosts? Why did I feel overcome with emotion, left misty-eyed while walking down the main street? Why did I feel surges of romance while surrounded by broken down homes with shredded wall paper hanging like torn nightgowns from walls upon which paintings still hung, but askew. Canvases torn by falling beams. Tables littered with dusty bottles, chairs tipped over, the doors of wood-burning stoves left open, their bellies empty.
The golden nuggets I seek are the answers to the Whys.
I didn’t know this for some time, but on the evening of March 4th when I met Mr. Delicious, he was living the unraveling of his engagement, with the discovery of infidelity imminent but its existence already suspected. We talked briefly about the blog as part of a What do you do conversation. While the wounds were raw back in March, I was optimistic that I would turn The Genius’ betrayal and our divorce into the best thing that ever happened to me. He sensed that as I clumsily described the nature of HGM. I wasn’t bitter, I was grateful. I wasn’t angry. I was confident that what was happening to me was exactly what I needed to have happen. I expressed to him that my quest was to find out Why. And HGM would be the treasure map. And the log of my journey.
Several weeks later, while meeting for the first time since our initial encounter at the Sand Dollar, he told me his tale. He discovered her affair, which was the ultimate deal-breaker. There had been signs. They separated. Engagement off. He was devastated.
So I blurt out,
I’m happy for you.
Seriously. That’s exactly what I said. I’m happy for you.
I thought his beckoning blue eyes would squirt out of their sockets and land in our shared plate of sauteed Mackerel. For a man who is an ace at poker face, he showed his surprise.
I have my head in my hands right now, laughing as I reflect back on how I tried to express why I felt happy for him. He must have thought I was bat crazy.
I’m happy for you because you know. You’re not in the dark anymore. Now you can figure out why you created this situation, this opportunity.
It was as I said why you created this situation that I thought, I will never see Mr. Delicious again.
While he wrestled with my take on his state of affairs, I pondered with fascination the fact that, like Mr. Jackpot, Mr. Delicious was dealing with a broken engagement. A betrayal. What are the chances? It’s not like I’m meeting people at a broken hearts club, our stories whittled down to elevator pitch perfection.
Why has he crossed my path?
It became clear to me why I felt Wow when I met Mr. Delicious at the Sand Dollar. It wasn’t just because he’s engaging, quietly confident, accomplished and possesses a pout that is almost distractingly beautiful. (If he and Angelina Jolie had a baby, she would give birth to lips. Just lips.) Or that we had several shared passions. It was because I encountered a teacher. He will help to shed light on all the Whys that need answers.
Tonight he helped me to uncovered one of the reasons why I have been feeling a little upended lately.
I felt uncomfortable with writing about him before personally letting him know that I was going to do it. I was hoping to have the conversation a few weeks back on a hike, but our plans were postponed. I don’t yet know why, but I felt like I wasn’t being upfront with him, as if it was a responsibility of mine to let him know. Whereas, I’ve never discussed, nor felt the need to discuss with Mr. Triathlete his role in HGM.
I texted Mr. Delicious to see if we could talk, that I had a question. (It was really a statement.) Because in this day and age one texts first to see if the total intrusion of a phone call is acceptable. I get all nostalgic thinking about real live actual phone conversations that happen spontaneously.
Call you in 45?
When the phone rang I was out on the patio looking at the stars. I heard it in the distance, realized it was mine and then concluded that I had no idea where I had last seen it. I answered on the fourth ring.
My heart was beating a little harder than the norm. I didn’t know how to begin. I felt for sure I was at a disadvantage given that we weren’t in person. While I wanted to share a great laugh over his HGM moniker (he doesn’t yet know), I wanted to be certain that he understood how seriously I take my responsibility as a writer, and that his privacy would be respected. I told him that I needed to write about him and wasn’t comfortable doing it without letting him know.
That was the second time that I felt I might not see Mr. Delicious again. He would say he needed to think about it. And then in a few days he would graciously bow out. Instead he said,
I trust you.
I exhaled and trees in Yosemite felt the breeze.
I’m a muser, not a muse. I ponder. I don’t have much interest in the Who, What, When Where and How beyond culling them for clues as to the Why. Logistics bore me. But all this intense focus on the Why has left me winded. It’s chipped away at my patience, leaving me unsettled and off balance.
I have a suspicion that my mind is getting too involved in this quest. I’m not letting the signs show me the Whys, I’m trying to deduce it, beat it out from the bushes. I’m trying to mind-solve the riddles when my heart wants to let the answers bubble to the surface when the time is right. Instead I’m breaking an internal sweat trying to fit all the pieces in the puzzle together.
Now I know why my refrigerator failed.
I need to chill out. Or I’m going to have a hard time dealing with me.