from eternal sunshine of the spotless mind:
joel: if only i could meet someone new. i guess my chances of that happening are somewhat diminished, seeing that i’m incapable of making eye contact with a woman i don’t know.
that’s such a great line. or at least i understand it. but half the time i don’t feel like i deserve to meet anyone and have anything good happen in my life. (the other half i hope like hell otherwise.) tamara had an affair and left me. and we had our problems in our marriage. there were times where i felt like i didn’t know how to make things better, and what we could possibly do. but sometimes our marriage seemed okay, sometimes good. sometimes i am so angry at her for having an affair, then getting me to go through counseling while she kept backing away and having the affair. obviously it wasn’t right for her to do that.
but i’m not one to pass on an opportunity to beat myself up over something repeatedly, and my failings at dealing with some of the infertility stuff and especially the miscarriage sometimes completely overwhelm me and tear my heart in two. not that i didn’t do good and positive things during this time as well, it’s just that mistakes i made seem so different than the person i like to think i am. things were screwy and there was so much hanging in the air during all those times, it’s easier to sit back now and concentrate on the stuff from this distance. but i tend to remove myself emotionally when i’m confused or hurt or angry, and a lot of times i had no idea how to deal with the things that were going on in our life. so i can look back now with horror on what a thoughtless, heartless, evil person i appeared to be from this one isolated perspective, during certain times. i can’t believe how i behaved (or more accurately, didn’t behave) during some of this stuff. but like i said, this is from a more detached perspective. in the midst of it, it seemed to make sense to me. but when i think about how poorly at times i handled my wife that i really did love and was given to me by G-d, it makes me think i should never be given that much again. i don’t think the events that played out afterward needed to happen — i don’t think tamara choosing to turn on G-d and me (in her words…i still don’t understand exactly what happened and why) and have an affair was a fair response. i never wanted to make her feel abandoned, i never didn’t care about her or what happened to her, i never tried to hurt her emotionally. but there were times where obviously i failed in doing the right things for her emotionally, and some part of that played a role in the current status of things, where as far as i can tell she prefers to believe both i and everything we were and had never existed. this all is so far from anything i ever wanted for her or my life.
sometimes i think this world, this life, is too much for me to bear.
life is such a complex thing. and unfortunately, i suppose, my mind seems to have problems dealing with that complexity. i don’t think i’m mentally ill, but perhaps my personality and traits make it difficult for me to face life as well as others. better than some, i suppose. i am very much an idealist, and i believe in absolutes, but i believe the world is much more complex than most people are willing to admit to themselves. not only a near infinite number of shades of grey between black and white, but also a full spectrum of colour. and there is truth and beauty that is lost by those who try to simplify it to all black and white. unfortunately, the inherent messiness and complexity of life make it rather difficult to be much of an idealist. which makes being a realist seem much more palatable. even more unfortunately, trying to be a realist while really being an idealist turns one into a pessimist. or at least it does me. so there i am.
there is a scene in true romance where clarence stops an elevator and pulls a gun on elliot blitzer (a weak, whiny, annoying character everyone loves to hate) and has elliot on his knees while clarence is yelling he’s going to blow his brains out if elliot doesn’t tell him what is waiting for them in the room they’re headed to. clarence’s wife alabama and friend are not aware of clarence’s intention, so they are freaking out and screaming for him to stop and not kill him and to be reasonable. elliot has secretly been wired by the cops and they told him he’d be safe, and he can’t take it any more. he breaks down and starts saying how he doesn’t want to be there anymore and he doesn’t want to do this and he wishes someone would come and take him away and someone would come and rescue him. he’s crying and begging for his life and wishing this weren’t real and he were somewhere else.
that’s how i feel about my life right now. i’m elliot, the world is clarence, and clarence’s friends are my friends. i guess that would make G-d the cops.
in a similar vein, from eternal sunshine of the spotless mind:
joel: can you hear me? i don’t want this anymore! i want to call it off!
everyone should watch eternal sunshine of the spotless mind. whether you come away feeling positive or negative (and i think both are equally possible, even for the same person depending on the day), it’s almost guaranteed to make you feel something deep (assuming you can get past the complexity of the timeline and the quirkiness of the main characters and suspend belief long enough to accept the premise. and some of the situations/language, for you moral puritans).
went to the doctor today and got my general physical results. not much of a surprise…i’m overweight and have high cholesterol. guess that means i’ll have to learn how to spell that word now… cho lester ol. ahh, lester. everything else was okay. my numbers: “bad” (LDL or “low density lipids”): 150, “good” (HDL or “high density lipids”): 39, grand total on the toteboard of cholesterol luv: 216. if only i were at a point in life where i felt like i should care. well, honestly, if i had cared in the past i would already have known what my levels were and would have been trying to do something about it. it’s just that at this point in my life i feel like i have even less reason to care.
well, the mediation occurred on tuesday afternoon. it didn’t go as badly as it could have, but it wasn’t far from it. tamara and her attorney basically got her half of everything, because everyone was telling me i’d get no better in court…and very likely lose even more. the legal system doesn’t care and isn’t concerned about justice or the fairness of an individual situation. it’s just trying to churn through cases, and only affected by the most heinous of cases. maybe i almost prefer the brutal insensitivity of that to the mediation process, where the parties involved act like they care. but they don’t know the situation, they have no vested interest…they make their money, they say some stuff, they smile and wish you well, then they go home. it seemed everyone involved acknowledged i was getting the shaft, but legally the shaft was what i should get, so that’s what was going to happen. they were wrangling to get me pennies when i was losing thousands. i’m going to have to sell the house because tamara and her attorney wanted to say it was worth hcad appraised value if i wanted to keep it. there’s no way it’s worth much beyond what is owed on it (if it’s worth that). nevermind the fact that i’ve been paying on it and everything else for over a year and a half since she left me. that my job has been putting money in my retirment. that she got two bachelor’s degrees and a master’s degree while with me. that she hasn’t contributed a penny to anything i’ve made or paid for over the last 18 or so months. she still got half of everything. at least they were willing to say the $11k of credit card debt she’s managed to run up wasn’t community debt. i could hardly stay seated in the room and watch as the things i’d spent years working for and such were divied up with unemotional abandon by people who could really care less about me. for good or bad, everything was enhanced by the fact that tamara and her attorney were in another room, so i never actually saw them. the mediator would just go between rooms bringing offers and rebuttals. at the end, tamara’s attorney came in to talk to mine. let’s just say the intense feeling of pain and helplessness in this situation has led me to understand how someone could get so angry they’d find a weapon and start killing everyone who is putting them through it. i never thought i’d ever be able to identify with johnny paycheck’s “pardon me (i’ve got someone to kill)” in my life either, but i’ve been right there on a number of occasions.
i was really freaked out after it was over…numb and hurt and confused and intensely angry…it was all overwhelming. i guess not as bad as the months right after i found out tamara was having an affair, but pretty bad. i went and looked at pistols. which isn’t as scary as it sounds, once you understand i already have a .45acp charles daly 1911 at home with 4 clips and almost 500 rounds of ammo. i didn’t buy anything though. then i went home and drank one third of a bottle of jack daniels. i drank the first third of that bottle the day johnny cash died (the first time i’ve ever actually been really drunk). this was the second third. i’ve got a third left.
i found out on thursday the attorneys set up a mediation session to see if we could settle things before the court day (june 27). originally set for wednesday morning (june 22), it’s now tuesday afternoon (june 21). so i get to have my 7 year wedding anniversary on june 20 (7 being a holy number), then go to divorce mediation the next day. the only thing better would be if the mediation was actually on the anniversary date, but this is good enough to make its point.
in other news, jennifer broke up with me last night. i won’t say that i didn’t see the signs that such a thing was possible at any moment. but i sort of hoped her actions were over things that could be dealt with and worked through. it sucks since i have had such strong feelings for her for so much of my life, but we pretty much reenacted most of our high school days. except this time i had the guts to tell her how much i cared about her. so in some ways i’m glad i was able to deal with those regrets, and know that even now — years later — it was still an unequal situation with me being in the bad corner as regards unrequited emotions. but at least this time i said something and left little doubt as to the outcome of the situation.
in an incident that in my mind further validates the existence of a higher intelligence, while also proving He has a wicked sense of irony, after the breakup speech i went to use the bathroom. on the sink in the soap dish was a brand new, perfectly formed, realstic looking, pink pig soap. jennifer doesn’t like pigs. she doesn’t have any pig items in her house. when i talked about it she said she ran across it in some box somewhere (that i think was someone else’s) and decided to put it out. so what are the chances that at that perfect moment in time, when it’d never been there before, right after she told me she shouldn’t date me any more, i go in there and find the single most relevant symbol i relate to tamara, who i am about to be divorced from and am feeling emotional pain over, and this is my first attempt to move on? (she loved pigs, i bought her pig stuff, we had two pot bellied pigs, she thought she was a pig when she was little, etc.) i mean, really, what are the freaking chances? i mean, if that were to happen in a movie the audience would balk at the lack of realism of such a perfect symbolic moment. lucky me.
you know, i really love the movie true romance. i’ve always identified with aspects of christian slater’s character. at least early on before he starts talking with his “mentor” and kills drexl and goes to california to sale a bunch of cocaine. (maybe that’s later in my life.) and i can see a lot of my relationship with tamara in the movie too, even with her being like alabama. i don’t think she was ever a call girl though, even for just a few days. unfortunately, like the original script — and unlike the tony scott film version — our true romance ended poorly. it’s funny and i guess maybe a bit ironic that a weird major event in the early part of our relationship centered around me playing a song that loops alabama saying “you’re so cool” into tamara’s answering machine. so i don’t get the happy ending with me and tamara and our child on the beach. i also don’t get a crazy whirlwind romance that ends with me getting shot in the head by a cop and mourned over by the girl i loved. instead i get to see the person i loved and devoted my life to fall away from me as our relationship disintegrates, cheat on me behind my back, be unwilling to try to work through it after i decided i could try and she asked me to, and then take me through the court system and attorneys instead of trying to make it as simple and painless as possible. some aspects of which explain why i find the movie eternal sunshine of the spotless mind so intriguing and compelling. more identifying with the two characters, but a somewhat more accurate depiction of the disintegrating nosedive of our relationship.
well, it finally happened. at exactly 10,800 miles i dropped my bike. fortunately, there was almost no damage at all. i was riding back to my hometown (brady, tx) with my brother and in llano we decided to stop at crissy’s bakery (it was mentioned positively in texas monthly recently). as i turned into their sand and crushed rock lot, i thought i’d pull under a shade tree, then i decided i’d back into the shade so i started to do a u-turn. the lot was mostly flat but sloped at a decent angle near the tree, which i’d already gotten close to since i was originally going to pull straight in. i got about halfway through the turn when i lost too much speed and the bike starting tipping. because it was on the slope the distance to the ground on my right side was further than usual, then the bike started slipping on the sand/rock. then my bike was laying on its side and i was standing up. *sigh* it scraped the front brake lever on the ball and moved/scraped the mirror a bit. i was able to loosen and reposition the mirror at my parents’ house, so no bending of metal occurred. my beautiful pipes were barely scratched at all, i think due to the driver foot peg and my day bag strapped onto the rear luggage carrier.
so all in all, things worked out okay considering my state of temporary driving stupidity. of course, i then felt stupid for doing such a boneheaded thing. my brother was joshing me during this episode saying “i’m a real biker! no, really! i’m cool!” so i rejoined with “i’ve been riding for years! this isn’t my first road trip or anything! really!” my bike took a bit to restart, then it died right before i was ready to pull out into traffic. *mumble*