Monday, October 22, 2007


While rattling around New England this weekend, I happened to pass through my former home-town, even driving into town on the road which I guess I always knew would take me right by my former home.

I have been back a number of times recently, because it lies neatly between
Nowheresville and a number of my regular destinations [such as my mother's house]. And I can tell you that it is a very weird feeling to drive into a town where you lived for over twenty years and realize not only that you no longer live there, but that you have become an outsider in it.

I will never be able to move back until I come to claim my plot in the town graveyard [and even that is something of a fan-dance, since we buried my in-laws next to my parents' plot, and I then had to cede the remaining part of "my" plot to
Isis so that she and not I would rest next to her parents, but with the kicker that it is she and not I who will rest next to my parents...

Divorce takes you places you never thought you could go. Even the things that I went out of my way to achieve, like leaving my home as much as possible as it was so that my children would recognize their home even without me in it, now rise up to bite me in the ass, as it turns out that my eagerness to leave
Isis in sole possession of the house [rather than forcing her to sell it by making a claim to half of it] now dooms me to wander in the wilderness, cashless... Well, I can't honestly say I regret it, though I do occasionally wonder how I will ever survive the fall-out.

And I now see that my idea that life could somehow go on "normally" for the rest of them without me in the picture was a perverse fantasy: perverse mostly because it presumed that "normality" could exist without all the people who had made it up in the first place.

And I set out to try to hold onto the same sort of life I had had for twenty-five years, a life of hospitality and family gatherings, when in actual fact I live in a tiny little house and have never had more than five people around my table.

And yet, when I was setting it up, I ran around to make sure that all three children could come and visit at the same time [linens, mattresses, pillows] and laid in kitchen and dining room supplies as if I were still going to be hosting Thanksgiving dinners as in the old days, when my whole family descended on our house...

It's never going to happen.

Either I will continue to be a solitary old fart with children who turn up once a year [in which case, why keep a house the other fifty-one weeks of the year that you only need for one?] or I will wind up with the
Goat, in which case all bets are off. Who knows what life with someone who has lived in splendid isolation for so many years would actually look like? I think the one thing I can say is that we are never going to be a "family" in that sense.

The times, and the circumstances, mitigate against it; and my poor children join the ranks of those who now have to juggle their vacation attentions between divorced households, just as we divorced parents have to pull in our horns and realize that the best that we can hope for in the short term is a visit half the time, and that as soon as the children marry, even that will be reduced.

It is strange to sit and contemplate how little I had actually imagined what the consequences of my actions would be, back when I was taking the actions themselves.

I'll give
Isis this: she kept saying that I had no idea what the consequences would be...

And she was right.

But I am getting a clearer picture now...



1 comment:

  1. Troll, I think you need a new name. “Troll” has nothing but negative connotations. I never think of any troll as a cute little pixie elf, but as the fat and ugly, scared-face ogre … unpleasant and frightening.

    Troll, I think you need a new template. Not only is the reversed-out serif typeface hard to read, but also the black background is so ominous. It’s just so discouraging, so daunting.

    Try something different for a month. Become “Trent, formerly known as the Troll at Sea.” Establish something contemporary and positive. If you don’t like the new “you” change it back. You can consider it a futile experiment.

    While in the “real world” you may be smiling and wearing a pink shirt. I suspect that to some degree you live in Blogland. It, too, is real.

    Lost at sea? I don’t think so. I’ve got to believe that you know where things are headed, where you want to go – even if you don’t quite know how to get there yet.

    I doubt that you’re even a troll. A poetry-writing giant living in a cave? I suspect not.

    You are who you think you are. For God’s sake, you’re gay. Write with a glee in your step.

    “Divorce takes you places you never thought you could go.” Yes it does. It’s tragic. But the reality is that you’re not the first guy to dissolve a partnership that took years, and years, and years to nurture and to build.

    Where you’re going to be buried is a big deal. Not for you, but for the survivors. It supersedes where the kids are going to spend Thanksgiving. Work something out.

    Apparently, Isis was right. She may have had some insights about what the consequences would be, things that you never thought of. She wasn’t completely blinded by the light.

    And you’re not either.