Monday, April 26, 2010

If I could be ... all the time

The courthouse is an awful place.

I decided this today as I went through the metal detector to stand in the center of a tall, square, bustling room with courtrooms on each side, a stairway at one end, a hallway at another and no clear sign telling me where to go.

Eventually, I found it. I went up and looked around and then asked for help.

Finally, I handed over my papers, my hands shaking, and I tried to offer the woman a weak smile. Really, though, I looked everywhere but at her. And I tried not to lose it, right there in the middle of a normal afternoon for everyone else. But an absolutely abnormally awful afternoon for me, no matter which way I keep trying to twist the kaleidoscope.

Filing for divorce costs $157. I made a photocopy of my Wonder Woman check before I turned it in. I don't know why. I don't ever want to look at it.

I tried to listen as the woman told me to hang on to certain papers I'd thought I needed to turn in today and I tried to look at her as she told me where to go next - but it involved more than one step and I had to ask her to repeat the directions and the name of the place and even then I'm surprised I remembered.

I thanked her, quietly, and then I walked away, out of that dreary, cubicle-laden, messed-up customers office. And I went downstairs, papers all out of order now, took a left as she told me and found another office with another office worker who I also couldn't look in the eye.

After 15 minutes with her - and her supervisor, who maybe could tell I was just about to lose it - it was all I could do to make it to the bench outside the door without my grief escaping in guilt-ridden sobs.

And then I couldn't move. The people - the lawyers in suits, the elderly woman in a wheelchair, the tattoed black man, the women who passed as if they didn't care nobody ever noticed them - moved quickly past me, in both directions. Time, for me, seemed to stand still. It was one of the most surreal moments I've ever had. It was as if I was in a dream, or that I wasn't actually even me.

I went home, and the house smelled like cat pee. For the first time ever. I don't know what to do about it.

I went to the gym where I went through the motions of a workout. I never found my groove.

I went to Hy-Vee where a man was cleaning the carpet in the entryway where the carts live. The smell was pungent and harsh, and I held my breath on the way back out a little bit later.

At home now, there is too much quiet. Rye is with Dane. Paige is asleep. Every now and then, her breath catches tiny, soft moans. Right now, the sound of the portable heater is hissing through the baby monitor.

Daphne is sleeping next to me on this old, tattered couch that I wonder if I'll always have.

I am so tired. And so is my broken man. Now, he says, he can find happiness.

I hope - someday - I can find peace.

7 comments:

Jeannine said...

I am here, always here. Hopefully healing will begin to take place for both of you soon.

Melanie said...

it's survivable. and happiness will be yours, and his, again in some way again i promise. i really promise. big hugs.

Chris said...

Thinking of you, Veronica.

Anna said...

you will find your place. it will take time for everyone to heal. but, it will happen. love to you all.

Gwengom said...

I was on Momaha.com today and clicked on the link to your personal blog. I am so sorry to read of the sadness you are having to deal with. Please know that you will be in my prayers, and I just know instinctively that you are a beautiful soul and good things await you!

mama brehm said...

Veronica, much like Gwengom, I don't know you but I started reading your blog after seeing a link on Momaha yesterday. I am thinking of you and keeping you in my prayers as well.

It seems like you are a great mom and I hope that you never lose sight of that even when things seem so unfamiliar.

Veronica said...

Everyone, thank you so much. My old friends and my new - and gwengom and mama brehm - thank you, thank you.

The only way to get through this is to have some sort of support system. Mine's makeshift, but it's working.

I appreciate all of you.