I rolled out of bed at five this morning. Notice that I didn’t say “I woke up at…” That was on purpose. My most recent Google Search history includes gems like the following:
- what is the minimum number of hours a person needs to sleep? (7-9 hours on average)
- how long can you live without sleeping? (the record is 11 days, but sleep deprivation effects start showing up after 3-4 days)
- robert d raiford gerbil armageddon (I needed a laugh badly.)
- how to fix a leaky faucet (Shit. I was right there at a Lowe’s today and didn’t buy a replacement cartridge)
- do they make food storage containers that don’t get all gross after you microwave them? (they do not, as far I can find)
- do they make different sized food storage containers with universal lids? (they do)
- is it considered suicide if you stop eating and drinking and let yourself die? (apparently there’s an acronym for it: VSED)
- what is the intrinsic value of a person (Still having trouble with this one, despite all the essays from Greek philosophers)
Anyway, I still haven’t been sleeping normally. On good nights I get four hours, probably with a wake up or two in there. On bad nights I get one or two hours of scattered dozing. On terrible nights, I get zero. In the past 72 hours, I’ve slept for about three. I think Red Bull and Mountain Dew are keeping me alive. So I rolled out of bed at five. Today was the day that I’d get to see her in person, though the price was signing a form that said we’re officially separated and laid out some rules about how we can’t interfere in each other’s lives and such. I was looking forward to it, and dreading it all at the same time. On top of that, I felt a migraine coming on because the weather sucks.
I tried to distract myself all morning. I rowed on the machine. I played video games. I watched the new Suicide Squad movie on HBO (I think it’s better than the first one, but I probably need to watch it again since I cried several times during it.). Finally, I went to the UPS Store (for the notary) to be miserable. I got there early, and by then the migraine was starting to affect me. What little sun was out was painful. When I saw her pull up, I went inside the store and waited by the door. I was planning on holding it open for her… but then thought she’d scowl at me, or step back and wait for me to move. Because she doesn’t want to be around me. She doesn’t want to see me. She doesn’t want my help. Why the fuck was I looking forward to this at all? This is 100% bad and 0% good. We got send to a little table to await the notary stamper, where we stood in silence.
There are eight million things I want to say to her, NEED to say to her, but she doesn’t want to hear them. She wanted to hear them two years ago, and every day between then and last month. So I don’t talk. Instead, I feel a panic attack coming on. In the UPS Store. In front of everyone. In front of her. So I grab the wedding ring in my pocket and try to focus on it, how it feels, how heavy it is, how the little spongey band on the inside (for sizing) squishes a little, I’m reciting dog breeds through the alphabet in my mind: Akita, Bloodhound, Collie, Dalmation, Eurasier, French Bulldog, Greyhound, Hakkaido… except I realize my mouth is moving. Am I whispering dog names to myself in public?
I sign my name when the time comes, and we have to wait for witnesses, and copies. She offers me an out. I can leave and she’ll email me a copy. I stayed, and immediately began wondering if she wanted me to leave. Surely she’s miserable being around me, seeing me. She probably wasn’t looking forward to this at all, other than to get it done so she can be done with me in a year. And still I can’t fucking talk to her, because I’m sure she doesn’t want me to, so I just stand there like an idiot, whispering dog breeds to myself and fondling a piece of jewelry in my pocket, hoping I don’t black out or cry or throw up.
When it’s done, she’s out the door before I can even think of holding it open for her, and of course she’s parked next to me. I walk behind, letting her get some distance, thinking maybe I’ll say something when we’re about to leave, so we don’t have to cry together in a store, and we have an exit ready. The looks over the roof of her car and says, “Take care of yourself.” Now’s my chance. “Bye,” my voice cracks, and that fucking darkness starts in again on how she doesn’t want to talk. She’s not ready. And maybe it’s not the darkness. Maybe it’s rationality. Maybe she’ll never be ready. Maybe she’ll never forgive me.
I waited for her to pull off and drive away before I did, reciting band names as I started to roll through the parking lot. I got to Journey before I stopped the car, open my door, and puked on the asphalt. I pulled into another space so I could spit as much of the taste out of my mouth as I could, and waited a moment to see if anymore cereal wanted to make an appearance. Then I drove home, crying myself almost blind at some points, with the car beeping at me almost constantly for weaving out of my lane.
She wants me to take care of myself, and I do want to do that if only to remove one worry from her mountain of worries. But I can’t. Not right now. Not today. Right now I need a cigarette and liquor, and I don’t think I’m strong enough to stop myself from either at the moment. We’ll see how I feel tomorrow.