There’s a Flag Pole Rag and the Wind Won’t Stop
At 9am, Saturday morning I was at the NE UHaul center picking up my van and thanking my lucky stars that I decided to stop drinking last weekend. I was alert, awake, and feeling surprisingly good…I was also, however, trying to figure out exactly what, if anything, I was going to say to exfiance. Saturday was the first time I was going to see her since I left our apartment and I still had no idea.
I was at T-30 minutes and counting.
I kept reminding myself that this is someone I really do care about…someone that I in fact love. And furthermore, someone that had very good reasons for not wanting to get married. I had to respect that. I had also become aware of the fact that this week was that point of demarcation in every break up wherein you go from wallowing and hating your self to flat out straight up teeth gnashing pissed off. And keeping that in check was proving to be more difficult than I had imagined.
Earlier in the week I was asked by a close mutual friend if I had spoken with exFiance since splitting up…
“Fuck that and fuck her” I replied and then almost immeditely followed it up with “I have no idea why I just said that”.
It’s true. I didn’t have any idea where that had come from. I still don’t. But I knew as I got closer to the moment I knocked on her door to pick up some of my things that I was having more and more “Fuck that and fuck her” moments…
T-15 minutes and counting.
The traffic in DC was ridiculous for that hour…and I had to have the truck back by early afternoon…and I still had to get to eXfiance’s, pick up my stuff, keep my mouth shut, get back to my new place, unload, and then get to Virginia to pick up some more furniture. I kept looking at the clock but thinking “what is the problem? I’ve got forever to get this done…” and realizing that the Little Voice In the Back of My Head was saying “this has nothing to do with the time”.
I call exFiance to remind her that I’m coming, and it’s obvious I’ve woken her up…fucking sleep all day for all I care.
I have to keep this in check.
I get to her place and find parking right in front. Perfect. All I have to do is get my stuff…that’s it. It’ll be a few quick trips…just give her the stuff I’ve got, get mine, get the hell out. I can do this. I have excellent self control. Normally. Sometimes. FUCK why did I quit smoking?!
She answers the door after a few minutes and looks at me and says “hi”…I mumble back to her the same and say “I’ll be done as quick as I can”…
“Do you want to see my new cat?”
New cat? Do I want to see your new fucking cat?! FUCK NO! I want to toss it against the wall until it sticks, that what I want to do to your new fucking cat
Oh god…OK, just…
“Yeah, sure…awww, she’s cute…”
MOVE THIS SHIT NOW. GET IT IN THE GOD DAMNED TRUCK AND FUCKING DRIVE LIKE YOU STOLE IT…
After the first trip I come back and she calls from the bedroom that she’s going to stay in there with the new (and old) cat so that they won’t try to get out. PERFECT. The I notice that the box of CD’s hasn’t been split up yet, and yet again I remember St. Elmo’s Fire…NO SPRINGSTEEN IS LEAVING THIS HOUSE…why can’t I stop remembering that? Would I have cheated on Allie Sheedy with all of those nameless faceless women? Well, maybe in ’82, I would have been 10. Who knows where my loyalties would lie.
I then realize that I am actually having this conversation with myself in my head, and that is probably a good sign that it’s time to move it along…I also realize that it’s fucking ridiculous that she hasn’t touched the CD box. Whatever. I’ll just download it…it’s good…fresh karma. Screw it…just get the FUCK OUT OF DODGE.
I’ve now got everything except for the TV stand. Screw that thing…I never liked it anyway and that’s going to keep me here for like 15 more minutes…I don’t have 15 more minutes of this apartment and all its ghosts in me.
“I’m done…just umm…yeah…could you see to it that you split up the CD’s?” Ireach in to my pocket and feel the round metal that I’d carried every day since Decemeber…
“Oh yeah…sorry…I forgot.”
You fucking forgot? Of course you forgot…I pull it out and pop open the pocket watch for the last time. I can’t have this this anymore. It just fucking kills me.
“That’s OK…” I look at the inscription on the outside cover…my initials…”Just give me a call when you get it done and I’ll come and pick them up.” Then I turn it over and look at the inscription on the inside…
“Yeah, I’ll do it this week”
Reading it stabs to the heart of the matter…that Steely Dan song plays in the back of my head somewhere…all of those songs play in the back of my head somewhere…just reading it make me want to nail it to the wall and leave it there for her to find when she and the new cat and the old cat come out in to the living room.
One Life, One Love
“Thanks…I appreciate that.”
I toss it on the couch and head for the door.
Fuck those CD’s. Fuck the new cat. Fuck the couch I always hated and fuck the tourist shot glasses we bought whenever we went anywhere. Fuck the pictures on the fridge and the god damned framed ones on the wall. Fuck that bed and anything close to love that we made in it and that chair that was so perfect you just couldn’t help but want to fall asleep in it and most of all fuck you.
I’ve got all I’m getting from this place. There’s nothing left here to want.