I have to sell my house. The house that The Genius and I bought when I was still under the impression that we were married. The house we bought to raise our children in for their school years. The house we might have grown old in if we didn’t decide to retire to the coast and live in a two bedroom cottage with a view of the sea. We poured everything into this house, deciding that a family community and excellent schools were the priority. And now we can’t afford to keep it because I never anticipated The Genius having to support two households on his income.
Did he anticipate it? Pft. Talk about living in denial. How anyone could enter into such a huge financial contract under lies, total lies, is beyond my comprehension. Out of all the muck he has dumped on my path, this move ranks as the most outrageous. The affair is appalling, despicable. But to go ahead with the purchase of a home hours after the Pocket Call was the epitome of a selfish, unconscious, and perilous move. To negotiate with a banker while having dinner with your mistress, phoning your wife to give her updates, and then a few hours later, post-Pocket Call, denying adultery and voicing love and dedication and loyalty to your wife…and letting her go and sign on the dotted line, committing hundreds of thousands of dollars under a plastic sheet of deceit…I don’t even know what to call it. Narcissism? Madness? Beyond scummy?
He’s not only destroyed our family, but now he has left me in a most tenuous situation at a time when all focus should be on creating a peaceful childhood for the children and creating space for me to rebuild my life. His life? It’s insta-perfect. He has a house, he sees the boys 50% of the time, he’s got his girlfriend. He’s all settled and life is grand.
Me? I have to sell a house on my own, find a home to live in close enough to the boys’ school so that I don’t have to pull them out midyear, create a revenue stream to provide for the needs of the boys and me for now and the future, come to a place of peace with the fact that I’m years away from being with a man that I can trust with my heart and with the boys, and somehow still take care of me. Create the time and space to write, de-stress so I don’t create dis-ease (that’s where hiking and swimming come in), and be a Mom. A real and present Mom who is capable of focusing on her children because she takes care of herself and the rest of her life is fairly settled. I’m not looking for perfectly settled, but decently settled.
I don’t have jack settled. And now I’m even more unsettled with the realization that I will have to sell the house. Move #3 in two years.
Man, sometimes I just want to punch a wall.
But I know that won’t feel good.
Before sitting down to write tonight, I went outside to look at the stars, and the clouds that now fill the skies over Marin. The chill in the air makes me long for cuddling and centered peace. I’m feeling more alone than ever. Not in a woe-is-me way, but it’s simply an apt descriptor of my life. I have family, yes. Friends, yes. (Not many here on the west coast, alas.) But I don’t have a partner to sit down with and create a master plan. Someone I can turn to for help or to join hands with as we take on herculean tasks. I have to sell this house on my own and figure everything else out on my own, too.
As these thoughts were knocking me in the head like Ali in his prime, I became insanely thirsty. My throat was dry, the inside of my mouth big and puffy, my lips stuck to my teeth. The need for water was so gripping I almost took a header as I tripped over the hose, inches away from smashing face-first into a cactus I’ve wanted to donate since the day I moved in here, as I made my way to the door. I grabbed my glass from next to my laptop and walked six agonizingly long steps to the cooler, and filled it with icy cold spring water. I was ultra-efficient with my moves. I couldn’t wait another second. As I raised it to my lips, I looked down to the bottom of the glass.
There was a floater weighty enough to have sunk.
Probably a tortilla chip from the tall dude. Before the Pocket Call I would have been squeamish and tossed the water. Now I’m just grateful I have water. My bottom lip hugged the rim of the glass and my top lip plunged beneath the surface of the water and I began to gulp.
I drained it.
Nothing compares to the quenching of extreme thirst. Being parched is not something easily put out of mind. The desire for water wipes away any and all other needs. I could think of nothing else as I barged into the house seeking the holy aqua grail. As each gulp saturated my mouth and throat I gave thanks, and marveled at how something perfectly clear, odorless and tasteless is not only the most basic and necessary of our sustenance needs, but it’s also the building blocks of our bodies. And our world. And it is ambrosial when needed most.
Now, I could have had a glass of water before getting to that bone-dry state. But then I wouldn’t have had the 20-second experience of quenching the ultimate thirst, which is right up there with…it blows any other feel good to the body experience out of, well, the water.
There is an extra surge of satisfaction that comes from getting something done, and done well, in the nick of time. The pleasure that comes after the pain is heightened by the zero hour achievement. Drinking a glass of water when it’s available to you is absolutely not the same as drinking one when you are spitting cotton balls. Making it to the gate before the plane door shuts is a thrill, even if the run there was brutal.
I thrive in that environment. I love the rush of meeting a need when it’s gone unmet for far too long. Knowing that something absolutely must get done helps me to focus, and when I focus I’m unstoppable. (My gratitude to my parents for teaching me to shoot for perfection, even under pressure. I mean that sincerely, not in a Thanks, now I need a therapist way.) But this is a brave new world. Or a new world and somebody, meaning me, better remain brave. Now is not the time to stumble. I have pitched more muck out of my way than a Mom wading through a teenage boy’s bedroom after six months of phobic avoidance of the door to hell.
I absolutely cannot let the need to sell this house (on my own sans realtor, I’d take a loss any other way) derail my progress. If I choose to let it stress me out, the boys will stress too. I cannot let that happen. If I’m stressed I will avoid writing because I can’t possibly be funny when I’m stressed. An all un-funny HGM is one step away from a Bravo reality show. I do not want to be bitching in neck-plunging taffeta with pancake makeup on while balancing a drink and an inane conversation.
I’d rather mate with an Orb spider.
Finding the joy can sometimes be exhausting. Thinking about the fall out from The Genius’ magnum opus, right down to the repacking of boxes and endless hunts on craigslist for a new home, doesn’t feel good at all. It’s utterly exhausting and life draining. I’ll take beat and shimmery over beat up and shriveled up.
I just have to accept that life is a little on the edge these days, and I’m going to have to get a lot more production out of the old ginger engine to make it all work without blowing a gasket. I kind of like that feeling or I wouldn’t dive off a boat into the San Francisco bay or fly a plane with 5 minutes notice. I like a touch of the unknown. A touch. Not the terror of where am I getting my next meal, but a little unsettled weather makes for a magical sky.
Yet, never have I handled this much at any given time. Before, when work was all-consuming I didn’t have children. When the children were all consuming I didn’t work outside the home. In one year’s time I’ve gone from being a stay-at-home mom in a happy marriage, still unpacking boxes after a cross-country, realize our dreams move to being on my own, healing from betrayal, moving yet again, not having the boys for 50% of their lives, and valiantly trying to fulfill my needs and realize my dreams, which in turn will allow me to take care of the future for the boys and me.
I consider the view from the edge to be pretty spectacular. And a little unnerving. Both good feelings. I like being there, but I probably wouldn’t like it much if I was hit with a plank swung by Pablo Sandoval and sent smarting, right off the edge. Now is the time to get more grounded. Surer footing. Stable. Simple. Slow. Deliberate. I am not in a position to go all last-minute on the major tasks I have in front of me. It simply won’t work. There’s going to have to be progress on all fronts at all times.
I can’t miss this plane.
This means the deadline for the book is going to be pushed back to make room for the new job I have – real estate agent. But it doesn’t mean the writing stops. This also means I’m going to have to post twice a week for awhile. Tuesdays and Thursdays seem best but I’m open to suggestions. I’ll update twitter daily, without driving you mad. Please follow me. I’d love to see a community that can interact real time with as much support, wisdom and decadent sarcasm as we have here at HGM.
And because I don’t have enough to do, I’m lobbying for a job. A paid job. Not one that’s going to reduce the need for support from The Genius (my ultimate goal is to sever that need as quickly as possible) but one that will fulfill me like only a bestseller can. And leave me equally as vulnerable.