Saturday, November 10, 2007


Just seven days till we take off for the coast, and I have now been granted clearance to come down Friday afternoon so we can take off "fresh" the following day. So now I'm down to six Goatless days, and counting. I suspect that I am personally responsible for an acre or two of ozone layer, the way I have been driving back and forth over the last five or six months. Well, that way madness lies, and it's really only one more insignificant argument for moving, as if I needed any extra ones at this point.

Several things have changed over the course of those months.

First, I suppose, was my acceptance that I was going to be the
Occasional Piece on the Side, always playing catch-up with the RBF; in short, I had become the Other Woman.

Even leaving gender issues aside, that was weird for me. I had only come close to doing more than contemplating adultery with
anybody once in a quarter century of married life, and that was after spending months away from home in Vegas, miles from anyone I loved and anything that made any kind of sense. And now I had apparently accepted the fact that my happiness was based on something I had thought I could never do. It's rather like my feelings about divorce: now of course it feels different, having done it, but for years I always said that I didn't really believe in it, though my entire life as I knew it was premised on the fact that my mother had left her first husband and remarried.

What was second weirdest, if there is such a term, was that both parties to the home I was wrecking were completely at ease with it. That proved mind-bending for me. I couldn't see how anyone could be so relaxed about something which in theory involved more than one body part. Well, as readers well know, once it became clear that things did involve more than one body part, at least on my end, all hell broke loose. There was even a kind of relief in the fact that things were not so different on this side of the looking glass after all -- I was not going to have to relearn everything I had learned about human behavior in the last fifty years, after all. The price was high, but there was still relief there.

Now, after a summer of pretty much constant contact with the
Goat, I have begun to see what the RBF chafed about. He was up against a formidable adversary in the The School, and always dreaded facing the fact that he was always going to come second. Well, in actual fact, I had long since made my peace with the fact that wherever the RBF came in, I was coming in at least one place lower on the totem pole.

And even with the
RBF's departure, I figured it was roughly:

1] The
2] The various cars, trucks, and other
2] miscellaneous motor vehicles,
3] Family and friends
4] A number of former lovers,
5] me, somewhere around here.
6] everyone else, as far as I could tell...

I know all of this from the other end of the telescope; I spent years on the road because I thought it was my responsibility to support my family, and I only knew one way to do it without taking on the kind of endlessly repetitive, dead-end job I now have. The result was that I was often away from home [up to six months in a bad year], was often away from home when bad things happened to my good people, and was often accused of putting my work ahead of my family. Having taken what I still perceive to be a defensible position on that issue, I am not in much of a position to bitch now that I have ahold of the other end of the stick for a change.

I have also seen now how all-consuming the
Goat's work at The School is: if it comes in first place, it isn't even really because he puts it there. It's just that it's six-and-a-half days, and many evenings, out of every week; what choice does the poor bastard have? So I have long since dropped the fantasy I had, when the RBF first slammed the door and took off, that our commuting would somehow approach reciprocity. I have nothing resembling such a mad schedule, and have finally come to accept the fact that until I move closer to him, seeing him two or three weekends a month is all there is, and I will be doing all the driving. It's just the way it is.

Well, no one can say I haven't done much in the last year, no matter how little I have to show for it. I am a little afraid to count the poems, many of which have appeared here, though they probably
are the only thing I have to show for all these months...

Well, here's to Thanksgiving and all it brings with it.
May I survive the immersion in the previous life of Him I've Chosen.
Wish me luck, or pray for me, whichever works for you.

Hang in there, all.

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