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August 26, 2006


All the sudden it dawned on me that tonight marks exactly two years to the day that Mr. X looked at me across a plate of spaghetti and said, "I think we should talk."

That is never the beginning of a good story.

And on September first he was moved out and one day I will tell you about that, how an hour can burn a person's heart and how I learned to breathe lonely and what those first days, weeks, months were made of. But right now I want to tell you about this very minute, because I am on my lovely patio in my adored city and I am alone, but the crickets are here of course. And I now know you can be a woman so set in your path, so sure of the vision you hold for your life, and you think you will never ever be put back together again when the picture breaks, when someone says "I am leaving."

You ask yourself, What if a broken bone doesn’t mend, and merely causes you trouble each winter?

Maybe I will turn ninety years old and think about that because you don't forget, but I know this: you do not break. You just don't. I could never have looked forward and seen myself, the woman I am right now. I could never have envisioned someone so committed to living honest (not after so many years of lying, pretending that my marriage was good, lying even to myself that we would someday miraculously plug back into each other and be intimate and kind and a good, happy couple.) I could not have seen myself as a fiscally capable woman, and yet I am. I could not see myself as a single woman, yet I am. I thought if I failed I would be shamed. I thought I had failed beyond imagination.

I'm not sure exactly when it stopped defining me ("divorced") and started being an adjective. Maybe after Paris? I started dating, sometimes with disastrously hilarious results, and I felt more at home in my own skin and it was very slow. I'm not always there, the place we hope to arrive at. We desperately hope that things will get better but we need assurance, need to know what better looks like and when it will arrive. I do not have that certainty yet, but I do know this is Better. And better yet is still to come.

It always does. It always, always gets better. It mends. You do not break. You have sometimes disastrously hilarious results, but you do not break.

Posted by laurie at August 26, 2006 9:43 PM