There are no traces of him left…physical ones, at least. The emotional ones are here to stay.
I packed up the rest of his things today. Irony is the fact I’m still picking up after him, despite the fact he’s been gone for two weeks. Some things never change.
I’ve never dealt with a break-up before, therefore, I don’t know if what I’m doing is, “normal,” or, “healthy,” or, “an appropriate display of my emotions.” It started at work, when I took down his pictures…our wedding photo. How desperately I wanted to crawl into the frame and speak to us from seven years ago.
“Hey, dummies! Pay attention! Sure, it seems like the world is fresh and wonderous now, but in a few years, the resentment and anger sets in. You’re in for darks days. You can choose to do nothing, to not talk to each other, which is what’s going to happen, or you can be proactive and attentive to each other and save yourselves a heap of heartache later.”
I wonder if we’d listen. I wonder if I, at age 21, would look at the 29 year-old me and feel sorry or pity me. Probably. Or maybe she would look in my eyes, see the pain and loneliness and decide then and there to do whatever it takes to not become another statistic. Fifty-one percent of all marriages end in divorce. Add another hashmark to the count. Zulkoski vs. Zulkoski for dissolution of marriage.
I hate the ups and downs I feel; this fucking rollercoaster of raw emotion. Someone told me, “well, then get off the rollercoaster.” Easier said than done, I’m afraid. I don’t like these feelings, but at least I’m feeling SOMETHING, anything. I spent the last eight months of my life despising the man to whom I was supposed to share the rest of my life. I became so detached from him, from this situation, that I wasn’t feeling a whole lot of anything. But now when faced with the certainty of it all, all of the things I repressed are coming pounding on my door. Persistent fucks.
Maybe I’ll just turn the television up louder in an attempt to drown out the noise.
I want him to be as miserable as I am right now. I want him to look around a half-empty bedroom and wonder to himself,”what the fuck went wrong?” But he’s not. And because he’s not, neither will I. No more feeling like I can’t do this without him…because I will do this. I must do this.
Onward I trudge, one foot in front of the other, until one day, it won’t be that hard. And the day after that will be a little easier still, and so on and so on.
One step at a time…
There are no traces of him left…physical ones, at least. The emotional ones are here to stay.
“I decided to kill him while eating a pork chop. As I sawed the meat into bite-sized pieces, I envisioned doing the same to him. I would use the rarely used butchers knife in the kitchen, the one he makes fun of me for purchasing. Comical in its size, almost like a prop from a horror movie.
“What are you going to use that thing for?”
Little did he know he would be the one that it would be used on….the maiden voyage of my knife, slicing through his flesh like the bow of a ship slicing through the waters of a smooth sea.
Would I be methodical in my cuts or haphazard and brutal, hacking away at his flesh, blood pooling around my feet as I drug the knife into his thighs, his torso.”
Well then. I feel better. I think I’ve been watching too much Dexter.
And now for the more pleasant, yet mundane writings……
I stood outside, watching the snow fall around me. The once giant flakes that fell, almost like a heavenly pillow fight, have become smaller and are making small ticking sounds as they bounce off my jacket. I am smoking, my cigarette held in my right hand and a can of energy drink held in my left. I alternate between taking puffs and sipping from my drink. With each swallow, I can feel my heart rate pick up a little bit. I don’t know why I’m drinking this crap….I’m not too fond of the taste, especially when it’s warm, which mine is. Plus, this is my third can today. Thanks to the B vitamins and other “natural energy supplements” my pee has turned a radioactive yellow and makes me think that this is what Homer Simpson’s pee must look like. Every cell in my body must be screaming at me right now.
I take one last drag off the cigarette and it burns my fingers as I’ve smoked it too close to the filter. I snuff out the butt on top of the trash can and lift the snow covered top of the trash can outside and toss it in, followed by the now empty can. I had let my dog outside to do his business and he keeps shooting me glances as if to say, “damn, it’s cold and snowy and I want to be inside now,” so I open the back door and he goes barreling in, clambering up the stairs into the kitchen. His too long claws click against the linoleum floor. I really need to take him in to the groomer to get those trimmed.
I slip off my jacket and hang it haphazardly over the back of a dining room chair that had made it’s way into the kitchen and has stayed there despite the fact that it is always in the way of whatever I’m doing. Too lazy to move it, there it stays, acting as a catch-all for whatever random things I set on it. I walk into the dining room and shoot an indifferent glance at Jason, who is seated at the couch, typing on the laptop. I cross my eyes at him as I make my way into the bedroom where I have been camping out ever since I got home from work a few hours ago. The dog clicks along beside me and then makes a flying leap onto the bed, landing precisely where I had meant to sit down.
“Move.” I say to him. He looks at me with a “fine, whatever,” and makes a big production of heaving himself up and walks a circle a few inches from where he had been lying and collapses back on the bed with a deep sigh and a grunt. I crawl back to my spot in the corner and pick up the book I have been reading religiously since I purchased it Tuesday night. I’m making serious progress on it and am three quarters of the way done. It’s one of those books where I am eager to read it and want to finish it quickly but yet I want to take my time reading it because I don’t want it to be over with. Very rarely do I find books that captivate me so and I feel like I’ve hit pay dirt with this author. I say a silent thank you to the person who got me the gift card that allowed me to purchase said book and for the fact that I have exactly enough left on the card to buy another.
I settle in and open up to where I left off. The dog whines a bit as I shift to get more comfortable. I look down at him. He licks the blanket. “Don’t lick my blanket, dog. That’s gross.” He licks once more. Damn dog.
I read for a bit, captivated by the story. My mind begins to wonder as I think that if this fellow can write a book like this, then why the heck can’t I? Again, the tiny author that lives inside me is stirring, so I grab my bookmark–a postcard of a llama poking its head out a taxi–and slide it into place. I sit up straight and listen to hear if Jason is still typing. Silence. Awesome. I scoot off the bed and walk into the living room. He has abandoned his post and must be downstairs now. I grab the laptop and power cord and come back into the bedroom.
I plug the charger into the wall and climb back onto the bed.
And now I type……..
Hi folks. This is from me earlier tonight when I was a the Roadhouse. I was bored, by myself and the only company I wanted to keep was with my trusty notebook. I decided to jot down my thoughts of the evening and this is what ensued. I hope you enjoy.
The Roadhouse. Saturday night. A cold bottle of Old Style and a warm fire by my side.
I feel awkward. I’m alone and am waiting for people I know to show up, but so far, nothing. I think I know the couple sitting at the table next to me, but I can’t be sure. I’m not one to go up to strangers and strike up a conversation, so for now, it’s my word against theirs.
In an effort to mask my uncomfort, I pulled out my notebook from my bag and grabbed a pen and started writing. Now suddenly, I’m the most interesting person at the bar.
“Look at the girl in the corner over there…..”
“Is she writing?”
“What’s she writing about?”
I coyly look around the bar, pretending to take break from my most important work.
No one is paying attention after all.
The row of men at the bar are too busy staring down into the bottom of their drink glasses; penny for their thoughts, I think.
It happens to be karaoke night tonight; one of many. This is what brings me out of the confines of my house. Several people are paging through song books, trying to find the perfect song to sing. So far, the talent is mediocre at best. An old man is singing some country western song about burying bones; a young woman sang No Doubt’s “Don’t Speak,”….I’m sure the song “means something” to her….
What’s this? Oh goodness……the deep fat fried cauliflower I ordered when I sat down has arrived. Hello, fried cauliflower, how I’ve missed you.
You know, for someone who can’t sing to save my own life, I’m awfully judgmental about these other singers.
*a guy starts singing a song by the band Megadeath*
I forget how much I enjoy Megadeath. “When death just isn’t death enought: new Mega Death!
Anyway, back to the story at hand.
More people keep filing in. Must not be much to do on this cold October night. Hell, I’m here so that confirms it. I like this place. It’s a home for everyone. I feel bad for sitting at a table by myself now that more people are here. It’s not like I’m in back of the bar and am ignoring all who I know that are coming in. In fact, I’m sitting at a small table next to everyone. I am part of the gang, yet still have an dair of “leave me be” about me, which is nice.
I like these people. There are my people. The Roadhouse is the Staten Island of Nebraska; “give me your poor, weak, huddled masses….”
Apparently, after three bottles of Old Style, I become more of a blathering idiot than usual.
*side note: I end up drinking a sixer. Please don’t hold that against me.*
Am I making social commentary? Hardly. More like the rantings of a person who desperately wants to think of herself as a “writer.”
Ain’t going to happen, toots.
Talk about depressing: wanting to do something but yet knowing deep down its a pipe dream. Mere fantasy. Damn it. It sucks realizing what you want to do isn’t feasible.
I’m waiting for Corey. I need a cigarette. He’s my supplier. Damn it, Corey, hurry up and get here already.
I’m also pretty bummed out that Chad isn’t here. Double yoo tee eff, Chad. You are the reason I came out tonight. Well, that and the booze, but you were on top of the list. In fact, here is the list of reasons I decided to get all purty and come out tonight, listed in order from most influential.
1. Internet was acting up. (Hey, I didn’t say Chad was the number one reason….I said he was a reason. Get over yourself, Holle.)
2. Chad and Corey! I love those two dunder heads.
3. Boredom. I can only update my Facebook profile so many times before it stops being clever and borders on compulsive and obsessive.
4. It has been a while since I’ve been out here at the Roadhouse. I have a rocky relationship with this bar–I always enjoy myself when here, but I forget forget that I do enjoy it when I’m not actually there to enjoy it. I know…..I’m special.
Hi Steve! Sorry, had to give a random shout out to Ledbetter. I saw him look in this general direction and wanted to make him feel loved.
5. My dog and I took a nap on the couch earlier and I got insanely warm. I woke up all mad at how warm I was, so I got up and started messing around with my hair and put on make up to distract myself from my madness. The distraction turned into “hey, go to the Roadhouse, you ninny!” Fine. I wasn’t about to argue with myself. Besides, I’m a bully and rarely ever win arguments with myself anyway.
6. This one is a bad reason, but I am drinking tonight to take the edge of the fact that I am going to spend time with my family tomorrow. Weeeeeeeee!
*side note: there was a fella that sang a song while I was writing this and after he got back to the table, she accusingly asked him “who were you singing that song to because it sure as fuck wasn’t me!!” Oooh….lovers quarrel. Oh snap, guy!*
7. Old Style. “nuff said.
And there you have it. My seven reasons for coming out and being a boozer.
At that point is where my beer took over and I stopped having the proper attention span to write any further, so let my fuzzy memory take over and fill you in on the rest of the evening.
I drank more, Corey finally showed up, I become best friends with random girls, I smoked a cigarette with my nose, I sang a song with my new best friends, last call, and I drove home.
I hope this glimpse into my night was insightful, entertaining, and above all, took you on a journey into your own selves….or something like that.
Peace out, darlings.
You know when you drink too much beer when you start pouring other beverages at an angle into the glass to “reduce foam.”
The Snuggie rivals the Tiddy Bear as greatest invention of the 21st century.
Does anyone watch The Price Is Right now that Drew Carey is the host? I know I sure don’t. Losing Bob Barker is like the Day The Music Died for gameshows. What next? Is Alex Trebec going to shave his mousta–oh, crap….
I wish Coke and Pepsi would join forces and create a super cola that is capable of curing cancer and creating world peace.
I’m scared of the ocean. I’m convinced that a giant squid is going to come up out of the depths of Poseidon’s realm and eat me. Plus, I watched “The Little Mermaid” way too many times as a youngster and if Ursala the Sea Witch is real, I don’t want to be alive.
While I despise Ernest Hemmingway and think he’s a terrible writer, what I wouldn’t give to live my life as he did: drinking and writing. Curse you, Hemmingway!
I am still not over the fact that Pluto is no longer a planet. Did astronomers ever take Pluto’s feelings into account? No. They didn’t. Well, how about this: I declare Saturn a trollop. See? Not so very nice, is it?
I have three copies of Dante’s Inferno and haven’t finished any of them.
I wish Phil Hartman was still alive because I don’t like the guy who attempts to do the voice of Troy McClure on the Simpsons. Close, but no cigar.
Water chestnuts are foul little things and do not belong in my food. I don’t care they have no flavor and add a delightful crunch. It reminds me of eating toenails and I can’t get behind that.
William Shatner is being kept alive by pure willpower and toupee glue.
If you remove the sword tattoo from UFC fighter Brock Lesnar’s chest, you will become the new king of Camelot.
National Public Radio is the best thing about the radio these days. No, really….it is.
If you want to destroy my sweater, wash it in warm water and place it in the dryer.
In the words of the incomparable Mitch Hedberg: This shirt is dry clean only which means it’s dirty.
John Mayer is right: my body is a wonderland. It’s just closed for the season.
“I hate to advocate drugs, alcohol, violence, or insanity to anyone but they’ve always worked for me.”
— Hunter S. Thompson
She didn’t know why she thought the ring wouldn’t fit her finger, but it slid on easily and effortlessly, coming to rest in the old familiar place it always had, the groove that had worn in her finger after seven years of wearing it.
She hadn’t worn it in a few months, but the small callous that had formed was still there.
She stared down at the slightly worn gold band, the reddish-pink stone, the diamonds flanking the ruby; two of them had fallen out a few years ago, but she never had them replaced, because that would mean she would have had to of taken the ring off, and back then, the thought of going without wearing the ring made her anxious, so on it stayed.
She started twirling the ring around her fourth finger with her thumb, an old nervous habit that resurfaced the instant she put the band back on.
A sad smile spread across her face, the left corner of her mouth turning up slightly, as she recalled when he had given the ring to her.
It was early in the morning; he had to be to work by 6:00 a.m., and he woke her up by nuzzling her neck and kissing it softly.
Awoken from a deep sleep, she remembered being slightly annoyed with him for messing with her at such an early hour. Groaning and trying to turn away from him, he persisted, moving closer to her, his hand resting on her hip.
“Wake up, baby,” he said between kisses. “I have to give you something.”
Again she groaned, and said in a tired voice, “can’t it wait until you get home? I want to sleep.”
“No,” he whispered in her ear, tugging her earlobe in between his lips. “It’s important and I want you to have it now.”
With a deep sigh, she kicked the blanket off her feet and stuggled slightly to sit upright in bed. He sat up beside her, his hand now resting on her thigh. He stretched over to the night stand and pulled the drawer open. He pulled something out, and set it behind him on the bed. He then grabbed her glasses and handed them to her, as she was virtually blind without them.
“Here, put these on,” he said softly. She did and looked at him, his face more clear now. His eyes were twinkling, even in the early morning light, and a nervous smile crept across his lips.
“I love you, and I want to prove that to you.” He had pulled both of her hands into his, and brought them up to his face, where he planted soft kisses on her fingers.
If she had been groggy with sleep before, she was wide awake now, realizing what was happening. She stared at him, wide-eyed and blinking rapidly.
He reached around, and pulled what was hidden from behind him. A small white box.
He handed it to her shyly and said, “Will you marry me?”
Stunned, she sat with the box in her hand, terryfied to open it. With a deep breath, she lifted the lid to the box and inside was the most beautiful ring she had ever seen in her life. The same ring that she wore right now. She remembered staring at it for a few minutes, speechless. She looked up at him and saw tears welling up in his eyes.
Looking down at the ring again, she pulled it from the velvet lining and put it on her ring finger. It slid on just as easily then as it did now.
She still hadn’t answered his question because no words would come from her throat. Instead, she grabbed his scratchy face with both of her hands, pulling him into hers, and they kissed, once, twice, three times; each kiss lasting longer than the one before. By then, tears were slipping down her cheeks, as well as his, as she felt his landing on her hands.
She pulled away from him, but still held his face in her hands and looked long and hard into his brown-grey eyes. She wanted to remember this exact moment for the rest of her life and how he looked. It was almost etheral–the sun was starting to rise and stream in through the bedroom window, casting a soft glow on both of them. The light reflected off his curly brown hair, and she reached up to touch it, wanting to grab the sunlight from it. A bright twinkle distracted her–the ring. In the morning sun, the ruby looked like it had caught on fire from the inside and emitted a brilliant deep pink glow. The diamonds shimmered.
Looking between him and the ring, the ring and him, she spoke much more softly than she intended, but it was all she could manage: “yes, a millions times yes.”
He pulled her towards him once more and they embraced.
Now, today, she recalled that morning with both sadness and fondness. She had remembered him exactly as she hoped she would, eight years later.
Her eyes welled with tears and her bottom lip quivered. A single tear fell and landed on the front of her shirt. She tried to look at the ring, but her vision was blurred by the tears.
Eight years ago, the world was theirs…now it feels like it has ended. He’s been gone for three months to the day. She sits alone in their bedroom, and she looks around at how different it is. There is nothing left to remind her of him, save the plaque they had gotten as a wedding gift: “All because two people fell in love.”
She never thought of it this way before, but that statement can be both sentimental and cynical. The sentiment arises with all the usual thoughts about love, the vapid sweetness of it all…but the cynicism is made clear by their present situation. “All of this could have been avoided had these two not fallen in love.” There are no regrets, no ill-will beared, just a deep, aching sadness that does not relent. It tears away at her daily. As she sits on the bed, recalling the day he proposed, she wonders why she had put the ring on in the first place. Maybe she hopes there is still some magic left in it, by putting it on, she can conjure up some spirits to fix what has been broken.
Despite the bitterness, anger, contempt, loneliness, and remorse, she still sits on the bed, ring on her finger and wouldn’t change anything.