On Sunday I will have been married for four years. I haven’t laid eyes on my husband in over two years. This morning I’m meeting with a lawyer to begin the divorce proceedings because my husband says he still loves me, doesn’t want to divorce, and while he’ll honour my wishes and sign the papers, he won’t initiate it himself.
I know this will be a good thing, a final closure on an impossible situation and the most difficult period of my life. But still it’s one of those things that I have to force myself to do. I don’t know how much time would have to pass before I genuinely felt ready.
It’s difficult to explain and probably even more difficult for others to understand but most days it still feels like I’m living in parallel universes. I’m here, in New Brunswick but some place else too.
I close my eyes and I can smell the cigarette smoke, feel the too cool air conditioning on my goose pimpled arms, see the cluttered kitchen table top with my laptop open on it, the television playing Good Morning America immediately to my right, the blinds drawn tight to keep the bright sunshine outside and not overheating my little box of a home. This is Georgia in the morning.
Other times I close my eyes and see the windows thrown open to allow the sunshine in, mountains in the distance, a cool breeze blowing through, a pot of coffee brewing on the counter behind me, a view of neighbours on every side, a pile of dirty laundry to sort on the floor by the love seat covering the stained carpet ruined by cigarette burns. This is Colorado.
The overwhelming shade of tall pine trees, the smell of fresh cut grass, the sound of whizzing golf carts and friends calling to one another … Virginia. No natural light, voices echoing off concrete, thunder and wind … North Dakota.
Was I really there? Is part of me still there? I know those worlds no longer exist for him either, he’s moved on to Kansas, a place I’ve never been.
All the hotel rooms, the highways, the lights and glitz of Vegas, the insane hustle of Washington, DC, it feels so fresh and so far away.
I’ve moved on too of course. I’ve made a great life surrounded by family, a guy who cherishes me like a queen, the best job and co-workers ever, goals for the future, exciting new plans.
Still, the parallel universe creeps in at times … on days like this especially … three days shy of my fourth wedding anniversary … the day I file for divorce.