No offense to those who make a living in the service industry, where they no doubt deal with all sorts of unsavory scenarios with great care, but if given the option of selecting the mistress who would help to destroy my marriage, I would pick a lead singer of an Indie rock band. Someone kind of renegade and hip, and hot. Not a woman who wears mom jeans.
My cheating husband stood in the kitchen of our home and said, “I’m so relieved I don’t have to lie anymore.”
I was busy summoning the strength to launch shards of glass from my eyes, directed at his face. I wanted to watch them pierce his skin, ripping it from the bones. I wanted to watch him unload his burdened soul on our kitchen floor while I had the pleasure of seeing him bleed to death. And then I wanted to put protective baggies over my new suede, thigh-high wedge boots and stomp him until he was the consistency of chili. The way I like it, minced and ground up. Not the way he makes it, chunky.
My first question: How long has this been going on?
According to the man I wanted to kill, it started in the fall of 2010 as we made the decision to move to the West coast. (Cuz that’s what I do when I don’t know my husband is cheating on me. I move the entire family closer to where his mistress lives.) He was at a convention. She was at the convention. One thing led to another. Again, if I could have written the script I would not have selected a convention hall floor for the opening scene of the adulterous story. It would have either been at the bar of Chateau Marmont or during a tango lesson in Argentina. For some reason men prefer conventions.
Besides using her as a pogo stick, he also used her as a vendor in his line of work, hence her attendance at the convention. As he babbled on about their early days as a couple I was hitting Mach 5 in my brain, ripping through my stored images of people and places, narrowing down to those women whom I’ve met who said hello with their mouths and I hate you with their eyes. There she was. I met this bitch. And when I met her I said to myself, This bitch has designs on my man. The key word being man. (Mom, please pardon my rough language. It was called for. I know you concur, even though you are forever a lady. Except for that time you called The Genius a scumbag. But then your other daughter asked you if you knew what that meant and you didn’t. You retracted when she explained it. Kind of…)
I thought I had married a man. Not a boy who was frozen in time at age 14 with one hand on his penis and one hand on his joy stick, concerned not an iota about values, morals, commitments or anything other than me, me, me. And penis, penis, penis.
I slept on the couch that night and flew back East for a planned trip to see my family the next morning. I did not speak to him at all after he answered my one and only question. At the airport I got out of the car and walked away without a word or backward glance. He was vapor to me. Not there. Not visible. Not human.
If not for my children I would have changed my destination to Buenos Aires, signed up for tango lessons with a man named Javier and disappeared from his life forever. (I know you don’t know me, but those that do would not doubt any part of that statement.) Instead, I headed into the arms of my family who gathered around me like a tribe of warriors.
I had one week to be loved like I had never been loved. And then, after a long return flight where I dreamed of escape, I stood in front of a person who hated me like I had never been hated.
This was a very unexpected plot twist.