|Blogs > Owlwatcher > Nocturnal Submissions|
Stream of Consciousness
Stream of Consciousness
It's been over a week since I've posted. Usually the thoughts come to me while I work. It's been between 0 and 10 degrees all week during the night, and activity is slow. I spend lots of time alone in the squad car with only my thoughts. By the time I get home, they've left me and I feel I have nothing substantive to post. But last night was day 1 of a 4 day off stretch, and as I've been awake all night, I now can post my thoughts directly as they happen. Forgive me if I ramble or skip around, but I'm making up for lost time.
I just finished an online argument with some guys from my last department. We are in a fantasy football league (as opposed to AdultFriendFinder's fantasy Blue Ball league I'm in here). We trash talk, etc. One guy made a post because smebody made mention of him, but spelled his last name wrong. He took issue with it saying there are 2 completely different pronunciations based on spelling. He is wrong. I won't post his last name, but the misspelled name was a homonym for his last name. They sound exactly alike. But he argued against this. I made an educated post, explaining exactly why in linguistic terms he is wrong. I signed it - "The Cunning Linguist." Another guy, who feels compelled to argue with me at every possible opportunity, tried to admonish me for calling myself a linguist. Just because I have a degree in English, he says, does not make me a linguist, as I must specialize in multiple languages. So he tried to go semantic on my ass, which he can not do. As I retorted with the definition of linguist, one who studies the mechanics of language, I pointed out that linguistics as a study falls under the umbrella of the English major anyway. I have studied some linguistics, yes. But the "cunning linguist" pun was lost on his feeble mind anyway, so the intelligent members will see that I got him twice. Zing!
I have lots to do this week. I got a flat tire on my winter car (yes, I have 2. A sports car for warm weather, and a crappy front-wheel drive car for winter). I had to turn around on my way to work and chug home on the flat Monday night to get the good car. I was almost late for work. So now I must find my spare and take it to get a new tire soon. I'll be driving it to ISU for The Walk Friday, and I'm not putting all those miles on the good car.
I can't wait for The Walk. I just need to time my trip right. I want to walk when the town is inactive, but I also have to drive East toward Champaign. I am going to mend fnces with another friend I haven't had contact with in several years. For sake of concealing identities, I will change names to protect the innocent. When I last wrote about The Walk, I referred to a friend from the dorm floor with whom I walked and bonded. We'll call him Wayne. Wayne's roommate, John, became a very good friend of mine also.
After Freshman year, Wayne was sick of sharing a room with John, and moved off the floor. Wayne and I still maintained our great friendship, but John and I grew closer. He and I had a lot in common as far as our running prowess and non-traditional interests. After Sophomore year, John and I moved into an apartment with 2 other guys. We lived together for that year and the next, rarely butting heads about typical roommate stuff. We both stayed a 5th year in college, taking it easy with a light class load the last 2 years. Upon graduation, I was so moved at how close we had become, I took a dollar, tore it in half, and gave him half. It was my gesture of a bond between us. We'd be moving apart, taking very different roads. But the dollar could not be complete without its other half, which we'd both keep safe. We were the same age, but he felt like an older brother to me. We spent so much time in intellectually stimulating conversations, messed around on and off campus, created acrobatic tricks together as members of the university Circus. We were brothers.
We kept in touch for the next few years as he traveled to Norway, China, Virgin Islands. He came back one summer to get married to his college sweetheart, with whom I was very close as well. And John and his wife were close with my wife. They all knew each other through the Circus before I even met my wife.
So when my wife and I began having our problems, she spend more days away from the house, drinking, going out with friends, never telling me where she would be or when she would be home. She kept in touch with lots of friends from the Circus, people I thought were my friends, too. But as our marriage deteriorated, she no doubt told all these friends about how horrible a person I was. How I was manipulative. How I was controlling and mentally abusive. She got to let her perception of the problems be known to all these people as I stayed home, taking care of our dogs, doing the responsible things that needed to be done around our house. But I never got to tell any of them how I felt. How I sank into depresion because she couldn't find a reason to stay home on the weekends. How she became an alcoholic despite seeing her best friend almost ruin her life with a DUI. How I was never included in her plans for a good time, and how she avoided coming with me to my family's house for nephew's birthday party or to St. Louis for Labor Day because she wanted to be with her friends. Friends I thought were my friends, too.
So how does John figure into all this? July of '04, he and his wife came to see us at our house. We were planning on doing a small Circus Alumni performance for another friend's company as part of their employee picnic. I hadn't planned on going, but decided to go at the last minute. As I showered, my wife decided it was time to leave. She was surprised to see me in the shower so close to the time to leave. I told her I'd be out and ready in under 2 minutes.
She and they left without me. She would not wait the 2 minutes for me to dry off, and put on shorts and a shirt.
I didn't know where they were going and I fliped out. I spent the day walking, I saw a movie alone, and went to the PD to sleep. I finally went back home at around 4:30 AM and found 15 cars parked in front of my house.
She had a party.
I was missing. I was possibly suicidal for all she knew, and she let all these people into our house to party and spend the night. I almost wanted to start shooting. I was that furious. But it let me know just where I stood in the heirarchy of her life. I was #3 behind her family and friends. John and his wife had spent the night too, but I had already planned for them. Ironically, it was the morning of my psychological evaluation for my current department. I thought I'd fail for sure, judging on the suicidal and homicidal urges I had at the time. But I passed and here I am. Anyway, John and his wife had to leave early, so I spend a grand total of 10 minutes visiting with them. I've never spoken to any of those friends since that day. They all ceased to be my friends. They all stayed cose to my wife as I fought to keep the marriage alive, as she continued to go out drinking with them, no doubt vilifying me in the process. Nobody bothered to call or write me an e-mail asking how I was doing. I was going through a tought time, too, but nobody ever asked me how I was holding up, if I needed anything. Except John.
A year later, John wrote me a very short but powerful e-mail. It said, simply, "I still have half a dollar. If you ever need to talk."
I lost my half.
I was so embarassed. I was the one who loved the symbolism of the two halves. I tore the bill. I told him to keep it safe as a reminder of our bond. And I lost my half. Here he was, really my last true friend from that time, and he did care. He did extend the ear. He did want to hear my story. But I couldn't reply to him at the time out of embarassment and skepticism. But I should have never thought he would be judgmental of me. I know him better than that. And he knows me better than to just blindly believe my wife's exaggerated tales of my Nazi regime.
So Friday, after The Walk, I'll drive East toward the farm house John and his wife live in. I'll show up at his doorstep, unannounced and hope to be accepted. I'll pour out my heart and soul and recount the misery I went through during the breakdown of my marriage. I'll finally get to tell someone MY side of what went wrong, and point out her changes in behavior started first, and mine came from a reaction to them. I hope he listens. I hope he hasn't been infected by the caustic remarks spouted by my ex-wife. I know they've been in touch on some occasions. And I'm sure John has heard from friends down-the-line about my situation. But now he can hear it from me. And I may finally rest over the issue.
He's the only one. The only one who bothered to ask how I was. That gesture's value is beyond explanation.