While we were still married he got into an accident with my car and broke off the left mirror (by hitting a parked car) after I just had it fixed…apparently ford focus’s have a poor design and easily lose their mirrors…I chalked that up to narrow city streets and an aggressive truck driver he tried to avoid…
But that was only Round One…
After the divorce, days before he shipped out for the Navy, I was in Boston at my writing residency when I received a call. He got into an accident with my car even though I never gave him permission to drive it…It was supposed to be parked at his mother’s house to avoid parking garage fees while I was gone. He decided that running his errands with his ex-wife’s car was a good idea.
“Was the baby in the car?”
“Are you ok?”
“uhh, might have bumped my head a little, but I am fine.”
“Is the person in the other car ok?”
“yeah he is fine.”
“and my car?”
“umm….well…its drivable…just a little dented”
He said the missing mirror gave him a blind spot while switching lanes. Round two.
The next night ( since I have no wheels) he picks me up from the train station in his parent’s car.
I have yet to set eyes on my car. Aware that it is a plastic frame, I expected a pretty nasty dent. What I saw could not be defined as a dent.
More like a beating. My little car got punched in the face. The left headlight; shattered. Glass still clutching on like stubborn wiggly teeth.
The front bumper hanging off the frame like detached dentures, hood caved in like an elephant used it as a park bench.
It was pretty sad.
He asked to come up to my apartment to use my computer. Says he needs to access the accident report online.
I say alright, what more could happen at this point?
I am quickly learning never to ask that question.
Usually I don’t let him drift too far into my apartment. It took me a lot of furniture rearranging, crying, and sage burning to clear out the energy and have it feel like my home again. But, since its been about a year since the divorce and we have managed to be civil, even friendly at this point, I felt pretty comfortable having him use my computer.
After all, it would only be a minute.
He proceeded to make himself at home by immediately strolling through my house, eyes wide investigating the new setup, new photos up- all without him. He headed to the fridge, which was thankfully empty seeing as though I had been away. The familiarity of his simple movements stung as memories of special dinners and a house full of friends flooded back.
I hoped he would be quick.
Despite the lack of edible items, he still managed to find an old bottle of wine I forgot about. It must have been there since the fall when my friend was staying with me after her marriage to an abusive man quickly dissolved. She felt it was her right to take the never opened bottle of wedding wine. Boy what a metaphor….
I started out thankfully distracted by my son’s bath and bed routine…till one glance at his father’s back at my computer desk sent another set of nausea inducing images of domestic neglect to my consciousness. All those silent evenings. After a day away from his family, wouldn’t he at least want to give his son a bath?
‘stop being so predictable’ I tell myself… ‘of course you would think of that right now…come on, your bigger than this…how about all the hours of writing you did in that very spot…don’t give him that much credit…’
A half hour later, the wedding wine is gone?
Yup. The entire bottle.
Do I even have to tell the rest of the story? Is my life really this predicable? This hillarious?
So he goes on confessing his love, his lust, his regret, his apologizes. Wishes we could hold hands on my couch.
My hands are suddenly clamy.
In the midst of his tirade, I begin to lead him out of my living room and towards my back door in the kitchen, kindly hinting that he should probably go home.
“…and you are such a good woman and….wow, that’s such a nice spice rack.”
“I always loved that spice rack..”
He reaches up to finger its shelves, bumps up against the peppercorn grinder. I feel the small hairs on the back of my neck raise a little. Was this the same pepper grinder that almost got thrown at me the day of that fight?
No, no, that’s right, he only threw the egg. The oily yoke splattered on the wall inches from my body. It left a stain on the wall where it dripped down towards the floor.
“You really need to leave now.”
…It’s a lot easier being civil when he isn’t staring at my spice rack like a hungry termite.
Yup. I think my moral is already improving.