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Hey, Mr. Bartender: Let Me Tell You About My Divorce

It’s Rusty, My Coffee Guy

Rusty asked how I was.  People who know me don’t ask that question unless they’re ready: I answer them, if I feel safe.  And I usually feel safe.

Mostly, my crises relate to the emotional fallout from the divorce after a long marriage.

“My third good day in a row,” I told him.  It’s been a while since I had a run of “good” days like this.  I told him that in my journal on Saturday, I wrote: “I like my company today; I think I’ll hang out with myself.”

Rusty runs a little coffee and fine pastry shop called “The Pink Box” just three miles from my home, my current home (another one of my transition houses as I figure out how to live after my divorce).  He indulges me with his listening skills.  

My September was pretty bad, I told him.  Somehow, I stumbled, like a drunken sailor, into the story of my court appearance — six days after my birthday (which is always a ripe time for a good depression) with my ex-.

It was our first (we used a mediator to file and negotiate the decree) time in court…but she came armed: a very macho-looking and high-priced lawyer from the big city (San Francisco) named Ellen.  (She looked like she could have kicked the shit out of me if she didn’t beat me in court.)

Without restraining myself, I continued telling Rusty how I prevailed while representing myself.  (Yes, I know I have a fool for a client.)  I got lucky and I was tenacious.  Rusty listened and I thanked him: he’s the modern bartender, in barista clothing.

That’s really not the important part of the story: the underlying issues are.  Why did we get there, to court, my ex- and I?

We arrived there for the same reasons that our marriage failed: we’re terrified of each other.   Couldn’t find enough love to stretch far enough to show the kind of respect and attention that we both crave, craved.  The hidden wounds from childhood become so prominent: how does that happen?

I wonder what I’ve learned from twenty-five years of having been with her, parenting with her, raising her kids, too; making the economic and psychological unit of a family work for all involved.h, yes, the cracks are what let the light in, they say.

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