Slow Down, You Walk Too Fast

The judge looked at me, ‘It’s my understanding that you’ll be keeping your married name’. All I could say in reply was a simple yes, but I wanted to say so much more.

  • You see, I wanted to tell him that I was a Heath longer than I was a Homan so that’s why I wanted to keep my married name.
  • You see, I wanted to tell him that I had raised two children with that man and would continue to co-parent even after I wanted a divorce. And that’s why I wanted to keep my married name.
  • You see, that even though the marriage failed because of me, I felt a sense of pride in being married to such a good man for so long. 

As R and I were walking to the court house two weeks ago, I once again had to tell him to slow down so I could keep up. I’ve never been able to walk as fast as he can and with my new ankle and a substantial limp, it’s impossible for me to even attempt to do so now.

I asked him if he thought my new gait was funny, he chuckled and then replied, ‘you’ve always walked kind of stupid’; ‘flat footed and all’. I gave a raucous laugh in return and decided that I had to agree with him.

He did slow down so I could walk beside him. The late summer sun shined on our heads as a gentle wind whipped my blonde hair. A few strands caught in my mouth and I had to keep wiping my face to pull them out.

We crossed a busy Main Street and once we were at the courthouse doors, R held them open for me. I limped into the building with him behind me. We walked through security and took the elevator to the second floor.

R and I sat in the hallway outside the judge’s office and chatted. We laughed at the toddler that was yelling at her mama and running around her baby brother’s stroller.

The court attorney came to the door and called out, ‘The Heaths’. We walked into his office, and calmly and amicably dissolved our 24 year marriage.

Everyone was nice to us and we were nice to each other. I don’t think R cried when the judge asked if the marriage was beyond repair, but I did. It’s hard to admit that after 24 years it didn’t work anymore.

Afterward, R and I had a late lunch and then he took me back to my place. We said our goodbyes and I walked inside as he drove away.

Often, I try to pry into R’s life to find out how he’s doing. To see if his broken heart has mended and to find out if he’s happy. He gives me general answers to my questions, even when I try to dig deeper. I figure, it’s his right to do so, since it’s not up to me to make sure he’s happy anymore.

I hope he knows that all I want is for him to find someone to love him completely. And I hope that he wishes me no ill will, and that I’m happy too.

 

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Friday Fictioneers-To Tell the Truth

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The couple stand at the railing, hands clasped. The ferry rocks them gently. Almost lovingly. Jason can find no security in it though. He’s anxious about the conversation to come.

‘I envy your strength, Miranda.’

‘Don’t, it was the hardest thing I’ve ever done.’

‘Where do I begin?’

‘At the beginning of course.’

‘I’ve never lived on my own.’

‘It’s time you did. Tell your truth.’

As the sun dips below the horizon, the impending darkness gives Jason newfound strength. In port, he leaves Miranda at the railing.

Meeting his wife at the dock, he declares, ‘Love, our story’s over.’

100 words/Genre: love story?

Thank you Rochelle Wisoff-Fields for hosting Friday Fictioneers. It tickles me to death to write with such a great group of writers. Please be sure to go to her page and read their stories too. We are a rather eclectic group and the genres run the gamut.

I welcome kudos and criticism. Happy reading!

Journal Entry Monday-Straddling the Horizon

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Copyright-Tracy Rhodes Photography

When I drove in to work this morning, I felt like I was straddling the horizon. The sunrise to the East, and the moon to the West. Stars settled on my shoulder and whisked pixie dust through my hair. I knew I was being reborn.

The last 30 days have been quite remarkable. Where do I even begin? I guess, I’ll begin at the beginning….

On September 26, I drove a completely packed UHaul to my new apartment. After I signed the lease and got the keys, I started lugging boxes. My friends arrived a couple of hours later and helped me drag the furniture up one flight of stairs. J bitched about having to drag the sofa bed up a flight. But with the help of my BFF’s teenage son, they got it moved with nary a broken fingernail between them. As a thank you, I took my moving crew out to dinner at a local Coney Island. The food was cheap and good. Our conversation lively and full of laughter. After the plates were cleared and the bill settled, I hugged my friends and headed home, alone.

Alone, that was what I wanted to be. I smiled at the prospect of it. The sense of it too. I’d never been alone my entire adult life, but I was anxious to begin my journey. After I arrived back at my place, I slipped a DVD into the player (Pretty in Pink) and started to unpack my treasures. Working tirelessly till about 1 am, I finally collapsed on my sofa bed and slept the sleep of the dead.

The next morning, I dragged my sleepy ass off the couch and drove to my local AT & T store. Seems my smart phone took a shit in the middle of the night so I had to get it replaced. Nick, my sales rep noticed my anxiety about the replacement fee of 250.00. He graciously waived it, set me up and shoved me out the door before 10 am when the cable/internet installer was to arrive at my apartment. Wonder of wonders, the cable guy showed up on time and I had cable and internet before noon. Thank God, because there is no way in hell I could live without Facebook or Word Press for more than 24 hours!

I won’t bore you with more details of settling in. Suffice is to say that it was pretty uneventful. A few leaks in the bathroom needed to be tended to by maintenance. My kitty, Cinders came to live with me. She’s a happy camper and good company. I hear from my children and ex-husband on a regular basis, and we’re all adjusting to the new ‘normal’.

Friends have wanted to come visit. I’m okay with it, but I enjoy my solitude. The quiet is welcoming and I let it envelope me. I read, write, shop, sleep, and buy my own flowers. I relish the times away, and revel in the time spent with myself. I’ve gotten the hang of budgeting my time and money. When my children call on me, I drop everything and go to them. It’s easier now to be a good mother without the rain cloud of unhappiness that used to follow me everywhere.

Roger Darling and I will always have a connection. We will be a family because we are parents to the two most incredible human beings I’ve ever known. Our Adam Boy and Meggie need us to be on the same team, even if we don’t live under the same roof. Our grown children may have suffered a setback or two with the newness of this life. But I think they’re getting the hang of it.

I’ll continue to broaden and straddle that new horizon, every damn day that I have the good fortune to wake up. To make heart connections, and make new friends. Who knows, maybe someday with God’s good grace a new man will enter my life. One that will love me with all my brokenness. He’ll place his hand on the shattered pieces, making me stronger than I’ve ever been. I’ll hold his hand, and we’ll walk that horizon together.

Until then, I’ll enjoy the solitariness. And live. Maybe I’ll even go to London. In the springtime. I bet it’s lovely that time of year. I have to research a book. A tragic romance. About a young writer that falls for a drug addicted poet…….

Quoteful Thursday-Boris Pasternak

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I don’t like people who have never fallen or stumbled.

Their virtue is lifeless and it isn’t of much value.

Life hasn’t revealed its beauty to them.

Boris Pasternak

I know I haven’t written anything lately. I haven’t stuck to my format either. Life is crazy, crazy, crazy. So here’s a quote for Thursday. I promise that I’m writing a story for Friday Fictioneers. It’s a sad one, because that’s what I write best.

Sometimes words dry up, or I stop giving a shit. Or the family I’ve been trying to keep together for 24 years finally falls apart because of me. I would rather beg for forgiveness of my children than write a journal entry or post a Tunesday entry.

Maybe I’m trying to stay sober and need to write out my fourth step. That’s more important than writing about romance. I love the written word, but ‘writer’ is only one of the many names I bear. Today I’d rather be a mother, daughter, friend, employee, etc.

I’d like to hide, but I won’t. I’d like to go running, but I’m out of shape.

I’m not asking for pats on the back or kind words. I don’t want to be told it will be all right, because it won’t.

Tonight, I’ll drive home while music blares on the radio. I’ll be chair dancing and singing along. When I arrive, there will be dogs barking and warm kisses from Wonder Schnauzers and Baxter my grand dog. Roger Darling will be there with a cup of coffee and conversation. Dinner will commence and dishes will be done. I might pack a few of my things up before I head to bed.

During the night after I head to the bathroom for the third time, I’ll snuggle back down in bed and listen to the silence.  I’ll pray that the next time I fall, I don’t take my whole family down with me.

Amen.

45 Can Suck my Dick!

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Fuck 40. 40 can suck my dick!-Debbie-This is 40

As I tried to drag my tired ass out of bed this morning, all I could think about was the movie I watched last night. By myself of course, because Roger Darling had a stressful week. He’s recently been promoted to assistant manager at the direct care group home where he is employed. I have to say when Leslie Mann bemoaned the fact that 40 could suck her dick, I agreed completely. Of course, I’m now 45. That age can suck my dick too.

What the hell have I become but a hamster on a wheel? I have to work out for an hour to eat a cupcake. Hell, to even take a bite of a cupcake, and not have it go straight to my ass. Forget carbs. A woman my age can no longer even enjoy a fucking bagel without calculating how many miles she will have to run to burn off the calories. This sucks!

I sit here in my workout clothes waiting for RD to get home so I can trot my ass to the gym and run a couple of miles. Of course, it’s been a few weeks since I’ve done any kind of workout. I’ll probably keel over and die on the way home.

I miss the days when Diet Coke and a cigarette were dinner. If I did that now, my blood sugar would plummet and I’d end up in the ER. This getting older shit ain’t for sissies. I swear to you I’ve seen more wrinkles appear on my face in the last six month than I have in the past few years.

No more complaining. It’s time to get up off my ass and head to the gym. Drink more water and eat healthier too. Just once I’d like to go back in time and slap the 17 year old me and tell her to lighten up. To have more fun and run more. To go to college. Not to smoke! Don’t worry, I quit that habit years ago. I had to because I would lose my breath when doing the dirty, dirty, and no one wants that!!!!

I’m not looking for positive comments and ah grrrrlllll, you can do it pats on the back. I just wanted to bitch. As the title states, 45 can suck my dick!

Off to the fucking gym!

Love,

Sparkly Girl

She’ll Lie and Steal and Cheat

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You jump, I jump. Remember.-Titanic

I feel sorry for the man that loves me. How strong he has to be. To put up with me. My moods. My sadness. My elation. My impulsiveness. How exhausted he must be. I’m a force of nature. Lightning and thunder. A storm that is unaware of her worth. He tells me of my beauty. Every day. He tells me how important and smart I am, yet I do not believe him. I still flit around like I could give a good God damn.

He stays. Why? Why does this good man stay? How he must get tired of loving an insolent child of 45. A woman that will never be happy. A liar. A wanton woman. Crazy beyond words. A bitch. Stubborn as fuck. But with a heart that loves like no other.

With a caring and calm hand he wipes the hair out of my eyes. He can always calm the storm that dwells within me. The chaos. The light that flits everywhere. Like a demented Tinker Bell.

He centers me. He knows me, this good man. He’ll be here forever. Why, I’ll never know. How lucky I am to have such love. How lucky I am to love him.

Finding Inspiration in The Uninspired

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Funny you’re the broken one but I’m the only one who needed saving
Cause when you never see the lights it’s hard to know which one of us is caving

Today’s post is a mish-mash of everything that is going on in my life. First off I’m completely uninspired lately. I’m tired too. I don’t want to write anything. And when I do, it’s plain old shit! There are stories that come to me in dribs and drabs. But nothing reaches out and gets me. No pictures, paintings, words, photos, songs, etc. inspire me. Even my novel resides in my brain, collecting dust. Fuck, I hate this drought!

I woke this morning already tired and wanted to go back to bed. After a shower, I did my hair and drank coffee. I looked at my face in the bathroom mirror and swear to you there were Gucci suitcases under my eyes. Roger Darling gave me hugs and kisses while I whined and bitched. I called him a fucker more than once. The man laughed and hugged me some more.

After letting my car warm up, I grabbed my purse and lunch and headed towards the door. The Wonder Schnauzers started barking in full force except for Heidi Jo. She was snuggled in a blanket on the recliner. How I wished I could stay with her.

“Drive safely honey, I love you,” Roger yelled over the obnoxious barking of the dogs.

“Love you too. Drive safely,”  I screamed back as I slammed the door.

We’ve been saying that to each other ever since my accident in September. Took an accident where I could have killed a boy to realize that life is precious.

As I traveled my usual route to work, the first notes of the song Stay by Rhianna began to emanate from my sound system. I’ve heard it so many times in the last few weeks. The lyrics tug at my heart. There’s a story in it somewhere. Just not sure what it is yet. Damn, I hope my muse comes back to me soon….

I thought about the conversation I had with my tattoo artist yesterday. We made plans to get my half sleeve started in mid April. I’m so excited. Of course I’ll write about it and take pictures too.

I have to get a plug in for Joey. He’s a genius. He has a new shop in Saline. Yes, my friends in Saline, MI there really is a tattoo shop!

Joey Singleton
Ethos Tattoo
203 Michigan Avenue
Suite 206
Saline, MI 48176
734-316-2597

I did get to play with a baby this morning too, so life isn’t totally crappy. We chased each other up and down the hallway and made incoherent growling noises. It was super fun.

Time to finish up some work and then maybe a story will come to me. Something sexy? Perhaps. Romantic? We’ll see. Inspiring? Dammit, I hope so…

Hey! Where’s that baby? I have to teach him the F word.

Mirrors and Tattoos

Infinity

Infinity tattooed on the left wrist. Roger Darling and I decided that life was better, together.

I’m looking right at the other half of me…..

It’s been a tumultuous few weeks. Oh hell, it’s been a tumultuous few years. Who am I kidding? I’m fucking crazy, and life will always be tumultuous. However, it will most definitely never be boring. I have struggled with a lot of issues over the last 25 years. Roger has been with me every step of the way.

Last Saturday morning I awoke with a smile and Dashel, the Wonder Schnauzer barking in my face. He was standing on the side of the bed, staring into my eyes and pawing at my arm. Heidi Jo, his lovely daughter was laying the bulk of her fat body on me and licking my nose. Roger Darling walked in and laughed at me.

“Five more minutes Ma.”, I murmured as the dogs continued their happy assaults on me.

“Nope, get up we’re going to the gym.”, he replied.

After a cup of coffee and clothing change, we were on our way. I whined and bitched during the entire five minute car ride. Roger did not falter. He made sure we got a work out in. I looked at myself in the mirrored wall and cringed. It was time to run. We both did, without complaint.

Afterward RD went to lunch with friends and I showered and drank coffee. I caught up on Friday Fictioneers and tried to write a little. I wasn’t feeling very inspired though, so I kept reading.

Roger came home and sat next to me on the couch. We’ve been snuggling so much. Laughing. Touching. It’s been a time of rediscovery. We’re happy. He makes me want to be a better person. He makes me better by loving and understanding me when no one else does.

With the springlike weather we decided to head to Ann Arbor and wander around Main Street. There were no big plans made. No reservations. Just us, clad in jeans, and holding hands. We shopped at the M Den and Cherry Republic. Roger held the door for a nice couple.

“Thank you, you are such a gentleman.”, she told my husband.

I looked at her and replied, “I kinda like it when he isn’t.”

She and her husband laughed and she fired back, “I’m not going there.”

“Not to worry honey, I already did.”, I exclaimed.

All four of us continued laughing as we made our separate ways around the Michigan based store. We partook of free samples, our sweet tooth momentarily sated.

We meandered down a few blocks and had a dark brew at The Arbor Brewing Company. The beer was smooth and quickly went to our heads. I sent a picture of my beer to Adam Boy. Explained how he should be working at ABC. He’d fit right in with the other hipsters.

“There’s a tattoo parlor on this street!”, I blurted. “Let’s go get our couple’s tattoo.”

“Are you serious?”, Roger inquired.

“Yes, let’s do it!”

Turns out Name Brand Tattoo could get us in. In an hour. We partook of dinner at The Blue Nile. We munched on curried meats and vegetables. Licked the food from our fingers and ate traditional Ethiopian bread.

“Tell me about the emotional affair you had.”, he said.

“Honey, I don’t want to hurt you any more than I already have.”, I explained.

During the course of our meal, the story slipped out. Not all of it, but enough. The thing was, he never got mad at me. That’s my sweet husband. Don’t think he’s a pussy though. He’s not. He’ll defend me with his dying breath. Don’t test him, or me.

With dinner finished, we headed back to Name Brand Tattoo. Cole inked us up and then it was time to go back home. To our little town, dogs, and warm bed. As I drifted off to sleep, I looked at my tat and smiled. It was the same as RD’s. It was infinity. A bit of destiny too.

She Asked Me, Do I Deserve to be This Happy?

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Do I deserve to be this happy?

That’s what Ella asked me, via Facebook chat. I wanted to reach through the computer and smack her in the head. Let’s see, you were married for 20 years to a guy that was basically a child living in an adult’s body. You became a control freak trying to keep everyone’s shit together. If you didn’t, your family would have fallen apart. You always thought of yourself last. When you finally decided it was your turn, everything fell into place. In a haphazard way. You realized that life didn’t need to be the way it had been for 20 years. You transformed your body, mind, and life. Even as you changed, your children were at the forefront of your plans. They were number one.

At my urging you tried online dating. You asked my advice. Dude, I’ve been married for almost 24 years, I don’ t know shit! I helped you though. I held your hand. Listened to the stories of the hazards of dating. Wiped your tears. We laughed at the sheer stupidity of some men. We realized even at our age that dating sucks!

I went with you the day your divorce was finalized. Holy shit, that was an eye opener! I’ve never been through anything so heart-wrenching in my life. It was a kind of death. The sad part was the person is still alive. Still of this earth. At least with death, you can grieve the loss. With divorce, you have to see that person again. It’s like ripping off a band-aid, every single fucking time you have to get your kids. Death is final. D-i-v-o-r-c-e, not so much.

So I say yes Ella, you deserve to be happy. You deserve a man that will treat you with respect. That is your equal. That will love you for everything that you are and aren’t. Because that’s all love really is. Someone that loves us for all we are and aren’t. Because they love us, they make us better. Because we love them, we make them better. I think you’ve found your prince. Let him become enchanted with you.

Friday Fictioneers-A Winter Wedding on Smathers Beach

Thank you Rochelle Wisoff-Fields for the using my photo. I’m tickled to death about it! It was taken at public beach post 10 on Smathers Beach on the beautiful island of Key West. The bridge served as the wedding aisle for my Meggie and Chris on their big day.

Genre: Memoir

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Meggie holds Daddy’s hand. Guitar music floats in the ocean air.  Mom stands at the end of the bridge that serves as the wedding aisle. Dressed in white, daughter smiles at Daddy says, “we better get moving.” He shakes his head and grins. He squeezes her close and starts the short walk to her husband-to-be. Sand in toes; waves lap the shore. Lemon-yellow, morning sun. Chris looks at his bride-to-be with adoration and love. Meggie takes his hand. Pledges of life and love are made. Dad slips his hand in Mom’s and whispers, “this is perfect. Everything is perfect.”