I am not immune to behaving weird. In fact, I don’t always know what weird is anymore. I think it helps to have friends to keep us in check. Ditto for therapists.
The weird comes out under stress, and whether I wish to admit it, there is no doubt that divorce is stressful. The light at the end of the tunnel, liberation, flickers at times, even threatens to go out. The thought of having to work for her into the future makes my skin crawl. I spent our marriage quite literally slaving for her, but with none of the fringe benefits. Whipping…collars…LOL.
Well, the bag lady metaphor came to mind as I was adjusting some of the shopping in the back seat of my car. There is quite a lot of it. Accumulated over quite a long period. Every time I go to the store, I get a permanent shopping bag, and now they’re piling up in the back seat. I buy more than I need. And I am not at home, at least my home. I am in the orbit of the home my wife has claimed as hers and I wander, in the wrong country, somehow pulled by the gravity of my children, but totally lacking in a refrigerator.
That this might be pathetic or dysfunctional behaviour struck with a plop as a large pot of plain yoghurt tumbled from a bag, bounced off the seat and smashed open on the pavement, splattering my black-tights-clad pins. In case you are wondering, I did lick it off. I also decided then and there what my dinner was going to be. Yoghurt, though the half that was decorating the road was not going to make it. It shall be a dog’s breakfast!
Since Christmas didn’t quite work out as I planned, indeed, as anyone but a deeply psychological masochist would have planned (of which, decidedly, I am not), there were still Christmas gifts in the car after I picked it up from where I had abandoned it at the airport. Food I had bought planning to cook things for my children. The parking charge? $700 USD. It was never supposed to stay there so long. It was never supposed to be there in the first place. The details are boring, but the car is to be my wife’s, only she doesn’t want it “yet”. Perhaps when she asks for it I will put it up on eBay for sale for $0.25. I probably should have done that with the car park, only I wanted my “bags” full of goodies.
I took my kids back to my wife, dropping them off and leaving before she came out. But the pull of hospitality is a great one. A well-laden table is one of the most therapeutic things in my life. The essence of home, conversations with family and loved ones over a good meal—these are the threads which got me through childhood, adulthood, and helped me to avoid dwelling on abuse, axxkoles, and toxic boundary violators. The thought of a kind of biscuit which I truly love is what brought me into the store, and I thought, ‘oh, I need some wet wipes for the car too’. Well, $300 later I was loading my car with yet more food, hospitality for the children who have just left my home. But I’ll be ready. And in the meantime, I will be driving around with a car full of goodies.
This same car has been out of commission for 7 years. It had an electrical fault which confounded dealers in England and Italy. The car would drain a new battery in 48 hours, not recharge it, then become immobilised, and no longer able to open or come on without setting off the alarm. Highly impractical for city use.
After two dealers in Italy and 2 years of attempts, an Italian race car specialist got the car running again with some level of success. The fault was still there, but now it played out over weeks, and the car was drivable. Just not reliably so. It sat in our garage. And then went again. I had it shipped up to England, back to the homeland, and sent to a dealer there. ‘Too complicated,” they said, and recommended an electrical guru who would have the patience and tenacity to figure it out.
As it happens, and as so often seems the case with gifted people, his gifts with electrics and electronics are inversely correlated with how fxxked up his personal life is. Drink and drugs and some pretty off-the-wall thinking. That said, I had faith in his skill, and plus, when he said “far out, you look wild,” the first time we met, I had a soft spot in my heart for him. I was wearing lot’s of jewellery on my hands, my nails were painted, and I was wearing a skirt.
And then he did what nobody else could do. He fixed the darn thing. For the first time in 6 years, the car worked normally again. How you figure out to change the on-board computer system, the driver’s side door lock, the ignition, they keys, and the dashboard to solve this is mind-blowing, but he drip-fed the diagnostics to me for a year until it was done.
All set to go back and pick up the car, I gave him the date and then came the news.
“I went out last night and lost the keys to my house.”
“Oh no, I’m sorry to hear that,” I said.
“Yeah, I had to climb through the upstairs window. Luckily I had a second pair inside the house.”
“Yeah, but I’ve been walking around all day retracing my steps, seeing if I could find them. Went to the police station to see if someone had turned them in. Went to the pubs I was at to see if someone found them.”
“Wow, that’s a lot of work, why not just copy your spares?”
“Your keys were attached to them. I put them there so I wouldn’t lose them.”
What followed was a 4-day mad dash to redo a year’s worth of mechanic work outside in the rain, during the coldest days of the year, without light. He didn’t finish. That’s the extra time missing.
But he did fix it again, and overall, including the parking lot charge, he was still cheaper than it would have been to glue the sagging ceiling fabric back on in the dealership. So, all’s well that ends well.
After picking up the car, a pleasure to drive after so long away, and you know, even inanimate objects, especially cars, have souls, I invited him for a pint. He agreed.
The car is coming back to me now, and we are rediscovering each other’s quirks. And at the pub, I discovered the mechanic’s quirks.
“Nice tights,” he said when I rocked up to pick up the car, a comment which barely registered. Anyway, I was with my children, and I thought he was just having a go at me in a friendly way. At the pub later he asked my height, asked me to stand up, and told me he was taller than me (by measures). I always thought of him as shorter, but standing eye to eye, apart from him not being as tall as the measure he gave I realised that he was indeed as tall as me. Amazing. How deceiving our perceptions can be.
What I didn’t realise is that he was sizing me up.
“My ex was a transvestite,” he said. [While I love transvestites, I am not one, and I don’t like being equated with one.]
“What happened?” I asked. He made a hand gesture that suggested up in smoke.
“She’s gone,” he said.
“Oh, I’m sorry.”
“Dead. The cancer.”
“You can have her clothes if you want. That’s all I’ve got left of her.” No. I am not going there.
“That’s very kind of you,” I said.
But then he reached across me as we were standing at the bar and his hand brushed against one of breasts. And later, when I went to shake his hand goodbye, as he had done when my children were present, he wanted a hug or more instead, and he took my hand like you might take a woman’s hand, sideways, as if to kiss it.
“That’s a nice necklace,” he said, “what is it?”
“This one is the stone of the female Buddha,” I replied, liking that my arm could come up across my chest and between us, keeping some separation.
“And the other one?”
“Ahh,” I said, “this is a gift from a girlfriend, a dominatrix, my protector, teacher, and sister.”
“I used to work in a dungeon,” he said.
“Oh yeah? What happened?”
“What happens in the dungeon, stays in the dungeon.” Good lad.
I know this is negligible, but I have to ask: why do guys always have to ‘go for it’? I mean, I suppose I am flattered that he felt like leaning in. Or am I? I certainly didn’t invite it. Not that we have ever discussed it, but I don’t think I put out pro-male vibes. I certainly haven’t flirted with him, but does he think that I show up to pick up my car in a nice dress because I want him to see me that way? Why would someone whose work I respect assume that this might mean he has an open invitation?
Should a ‘girl like me’ be happy with what the cat drags in? I used to wonder about whether non-binary, out-as-transgender me would ever get any, but my experiences over the past 6 months tell me that I have nothing to worry about. I am finding that women are super receptive and friendly to me, very curious, and while I don’t know whether curiosity will go past dabbling, but it sure is better than sitting on the side-lines, especially as a soon-to-be divorcée. So, no, I don’t think it was appropriate, and I think his goofy attempts to touch me and kiss me were kind of gross, and I can also imagine that as he left, he simply thought that he wasn’t quite forward enough, that he should have tried harder or something.
Thankfully the car is fixed, and I don’t have to do that again.
According to my astrologer, there will be plenty of weird shxt in my life for the next few months. Bring it on! But this is all clearly manifesting itself in weird ways. It is an inbetween period that I am ready to see put behind me.
well apparently he saw something in you and wanted to give it a try, but wasn’t able to do it in a polite manner to make you feel more comfortable.. You probably would have said no anyways. At least the car is running.
Hopefully, some of the weird shxt will be more fun and bring some hapiness.
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Fear not, I am having fun. Divorce really sucks, and it is such a waste of time, energy, money…but it seems unavoidable for the time being. Sadly, the car is already broken again! No matter. She will be back. Like me, she will rise as a Phoenix from the ashes. We love weird shxt!
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Glad to hear that You are a Phoenix. i can only hope that your divorce is quicker and cheaper then mine(3.5 years).
Rise again my friend Rise and soar
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Gosh, what is it with these divorces? We could have been divorced already. But I guess that it has to be a process of grieving. She has to turn me into a villain in order to walk away. Such a waste of time and energy. And cash. Oh well. The nastier she is, the better my life seems to get.
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