Saturday, November 19, 2011

Out of My Hands

As I walked up to my former home this evening to pick up the kids, Sara handed me a key to my Toyota Tacoma.  "Dad found this.  It's another key to the truck."  I thanked her and stuck it in my pocket, but my fingers clenched at a memory.

"Wait.  Where did he find this?"
"I dunno.  He didn't say."

After a few seconds of silence, Sara said, "Dad was mad at you about the key once, wasn't he?"

Yes, he was.  I can't remember all the circumstances, now. I just remember that one time, probably because we were having the Tacoma serviced or something, we needed the second key to it; and Si asked me to lend it to him. I didn't have it.  He told me that I should have it.  I knew I had never had that fat, clunky key on my key-ring, and I couldn't remember that I had ever had one in my purse.  He was the only one who drove it, after all.  He insisted that I did have it.  That he had given it to me.  I said that I didn't recall that.  He was sure.  I said that maybe I had had it in my purse?  And that my purse had spilled or something?  He was upset that I had lost it.  Turns out I was right.  I had never had it.

I filed our divorce papers today.  I waited to feel sad.  I handed in the papers and walked out into the courthouse lobby, where I paused to text Si.  "Filed.  Your portion of expenses:  $159."  He had said that he wanted to know immediately as soon as I filed.   I went back to the truck and drove away.  As I made my way in the traffic, I tried saying it aloud.  "I'm divorcing Si.  I have filed for divorce from my husband of nineteen years."  The only thing I felt strongly was a sense of irrevocability.  Once those papers are in the hot little hands of the Third District Court...?  That is that. 

Later, at the house, I went to the basement to get a few of my things:  mittens, scarves, snow pants, etc...  Also some things to try to sell on E-Bay or something:  old linens; vintage fans; a hat from the '50s;  my wedding ring.  I have never used E-Bay, but I'll figure it out. I put these items in a plastic bag, except the wedding ring.  I slid it onto my right hand:  a good fit.  As we drove to the apartment, I switched it over to my left hand.  Loose- it had never fit well.  My original one, fitted at the jeweler, was so comfortable I forgot it was there.  Si lost that one during my mastectomy, and ordered this one for me off the Internet. It had a tendency to fall off if my hands were soapy.  I switched it back to my right hand.

Simon was  not home when I was there.  He was at the Snowbird annual management dinner, his first social appearance with Debbie.  Before he met Debbie, I was not allowed in the house when he wasn't there.  He "didn't trust me".  Now, he appears to trust me completely!  Well, or he doesn't particularly care about trying to poke at me, 'cause he is distracted by a beautiful new girlfriend.  The kids tell me that Debbie is gorgeous.  I'm happy for Si about this  He never seemed to find me very attractive.  The only thought that made me feel a little sad today was imagining what all the Snowbird folks would think.  Something like, "WOW!  Who's that?!?  Well, it may be true that Kate left him, but he's better off anyway.  Look at HER!" 

Later, after the kids are in bed, I examine my sellable possessions again.  I unfold each antique handkerchief and wonder if there is a market for them.  They need to be ironed. 
Hotel Schroeder

I scrutinize the hat.  It is black and white: asymmetrical,with a feather.  Kind of cool actually.  After gently reshaping it, I pin it on and check myself out in the mirror.  It's a fun hat; from Hixon's in the lobby of the Hotel Schroeder in Milwaukee.  I never did look good in hats.  They draw too much attention to my face.  I look in the mirror and I think, "Geeze, you are indeed a Plain Jane."  I pick up one fan after another, opening them to check on their conditions.  I neatly flip one open and delicately fan myself: ladylike in my hat with my fan!  I flirt with it; snap it shut; snap it open.  Chuck often says I am beautiful.  I peer at myself, trying to see what he sees.  I look at myself from different angles and sigh in confusion. 

I guess the fact of the matter (and we all know it) is that the face of someone you care about grows beautiful to you over time. 

I bundled my vintage items into my file cabinet.  I tossed my ring on top of the pile and closed the drawer.


  1. Hey doll--
    Finally found your blog again. I'm back to blogging on my old blog.

    It does sound so very hard. Yet you area re strong enough to endure.

  2. I can imagine the memories that key brought back, it's the small things sometimes, isn't it.
    As for Debbie, she may look gorgeous on the outside, but is she gorgeous on the inside? I always think that. Besides, so are you. Chuck thinks so, and that's the main thing. And yes, the face of someone you care about will always be attractive.

  3. What a beautifully realized piece. The key, you know? It works metaphorically as well.

    And I do the same thing. I look down at my hands, all veiny. At my feet, especially at my left one which has a hammer toe and two bunions.

    She still kisses my feet during lovemaking.

    How can this be?