Yesterday started off well. I deposited Franny at the Y for her Saturday morning yoga class, then headed off to start my long weekend to myself. I met a friend for coffee, took a jog, and was about to launch into some writing when I got an SOS call from Luca asking me to pick him up from his dad’s.
I had previously told Luca that if things got hairy at Prince’s, he should call me immediately, and I would fetch him. Luca had insisted he couldn’t do this because he was afraid his dad would confiscate his stuff. Since Luca was now risking the confiscation of said stuff, I knew something ugly had gone down at Villa di Machiavelli.
I pulled up outside the house to find Luca waiting in the driveway with most of his wordly possessions: surfboard, longboard, remote control airplane, suitcase, duffel bag and backpack. Prince came outside, looking a bit shaken, and announced that he would be e-mailing me about the “perameters” of Luca staying with me for awhile. He then handed me a newspaper article about children and busy streets, in case I hadn’t heard that they shouldn’t play in them.
I closed my car door and glanced over the top of the surfoard at Luca. He and I and all his stuff were packed in my Prius like sardines.
“So what happened?” I asked.
“My dad told me I was being disrespectful. We got in a big fight. I told him he and Sarah said mean things about me and you. Then Sarah called you a ‘fucking lunatic.‘”
“Well, I guess she proved your point,” I said, driving around the corner and up the winding hillside that would take us home.
“Then when I said things were so mucb better at your place, she screamed, ‘then why don’t you go live with your mom?!’ So I said, ‘okay,’ and went back to my room and started packing.”
“What did they say?”
“They were all –” Luca bugged out his eyes and waved his hands around his face. “I don’t think they expected that I’d go to your house, like it was no big deal.”
“Sarah really called me a fucking lunatic?”
“Yeah. Oh, and get this! “She told me, ‘your mom doesn’t love you quite enough to get a 3-bedroom.'”
Luca started cackling.
“What?!'” I sputtered.
It’s one thing to call your stepson’s mother a fucking lunatic. Poor judgment, and not classy, but awful things are blurted out in the heat of an argument. It’s another level of awfulness, however, to tell your stepson that his mother doesn’t love him because she can’t afford an apartment with a bedroom for him.
It’s conceivable that Prince, whose silver spoon is permanently lodged in his mouth, can’t fathom how a therapist would not be able to afford a 3-Bedroom apartment in one of the priciest cities in the country. But Sarah has worked her whole life. She’s an executive at a large company and makes $250,000 a year. She has to know how I’m struggling without child support.
So the fact that she would attempt to feed Luca such complete and utter bullshit is heinous. Before this, I had allowed myself the wishful thinking that Sarah was a decent person with a really big blind spot. But any woman who would spin something so patently manipulative, who would say about the worst thing you could ever say to a child — that his mother doesn’t love him — deserves a blue ribbon in the Evil Stepmother competition.
“So where was Franny when Sarah was caling me a fucking lunatic who didn’t love you?”
“In her room. I don’t think she heard anything.”
“Right,” I said, drily.
* * *
As I write this, it is Sunday morning. Luca is asleep on the chaise, along with the cats. I’ve been up since 4:30 a.m., chanelling Gandhi, and trying to sweep away the fantasy of whacking Sarah upside the head with a two-by-four. I have not yet received the e-mail explaining the “perameters” of Luca’s extended visit, but it promises to be entertaining.
To be continued…