THE THOUGHT OF HIM
I’m lonely tonight and I miss him. Well, not him exactly. It’s more like I miss the thought of him. The good him, the man I married with my heart a-flutter; The man who always made me feel safe, until he didn’t and it all went south with us. I am lonely and tired.
There is so much to do around this 100 year-old house we bought. We thought that restoring it would save our floundering marriage, kind of the same impulse people have when they think that having a baby will bring them back to the loving place, but without the diapers and midnight feedings. So now, I have custody of the Victorian band-aid that never seemed to heal the open wounds which festered within the confines of these walls.
The roof is leaking voluminously in a couple of spots, which kept me awake most of last night, clutching at the covers in a nervous, insomnolent state, listening as pieces of ancient plaster fell from the living room ceiling, the forbearer of nothing but bad news and a desolate future. But that’s the problem with living alone. He’s not here to calm me in the middle of the night and to help me gather the towels and pots to catch the deluge of rainwater.
Divorce is harder than anyone lets on. And it’s really the little things that take center stage. Like missing him in a vulnerable moment, yet knowing I would never take him back. Like missing Sunday afternoons when he patiently explained the ever-changing rules of football to me, even though I never cared for the game. He used to trim the hedges, which I never knew could grow so tall and unruly.
In the end, I know I’m the better for this divorce, but I feel like I failed in the basic life skills department. I know that he definitely failed the husband part of the test; let’s face it, he never really wanted to be in the game in the first place. But knowing he failed doesn’t bring me any peace of mind, just bitter recrimination and anger whenever I think of him, except for times like tonight, when I miss the thought of him.