I Now Pronounce You

There’s a Flag Pole Rag and the Wind Won’t Stop

Posted in Uncategorized by inowpronounceyou on April 16, 2007

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.

T-5 minutes.

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…”


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.


23 Responses to 'There’s a Flag Pole Rag and the Wind Won’t Stop'

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  1. carrie m said,

    yeesh. amazing post. Tesla’s “Love Song” is on Yahoo radio right now as I read and comment, which I find both ironic and funny.

  2. I admire and applaud your self-control. The anger is a bit much, at times – and it sounds like you handled the worst case scenario (anger surging when she was there) better than most could expect.

    I once drove from NJ to TN to Va. Beach to pick up my share of post-broken-engagement detritus – I picked up my best friend in TN, because I was scared of what the ex might say almost as much as I was scared of what I might say.

    Take care of you.

  3. freckledk said,

    Anger is one of the most helpful things when you are trying to move on. It’s when you can’t think of any of her flaws that you find yourself in trouble. Remind yourself of every bad thing about her that you possibly can.

    You can remember her fondly one day, just not today.

  4. Carrie M: I think in my present frame of my mnd I would toss the radio out the window in a John Cusack (circa “Better Off Dead”) moment.

    Dagny; I thought you were going to say that you made that drive with the ex…and that would have been just wrong.

    FreckledK; great advice…and you’re right. Absolutely right.

  5. Dupont said,

    Congrats on keeping your cool (outwardly…); the anger can be so easy to slip into. This is why I vent in paper form, rather than letting anger actually out… then again, it’s not good to keep it all in either – so I’ve gone and confused myself.

    Props on keeping it together, and for cutting ties – it makes all the stages easier, I think.

  6. Dupont said,

    ooh hey – ps… going to my first Nats game ever tonight – any suggestions?

  7. Erica said,

    will you leave her all the Billy Joel except The Stranger? 🙂

  8. mm said,

    Such anger! At least you kept it to yourself.

  9. sbmaya said,

    Such control is worthy of at least a shot or two of Scotch and a victory lap around a nearby park. I’ve caught up from where I left off (been busy!) and WOW! boy….all I can say is this: Women can smell a wounded man from a thousand miles away…honestly, there’s something about it that makes y’all irresistible to some. I’d leave her all the music except the stuff she really hated. And a note saying ‘screw you and your new cat, too”. Which is a lot, considering I love cats.

  10. Kristin said,

    I cannot imagine your feelings. (Though, you’ve done an amazing job of expressing them.) I tend to leave everything behind, to break ties completely, to start over, and that’s just with boyfriends. Like I said, I cannot imagine, but I’m sorry about the degree of suckitude.

  11. Lisa said,

    It sounds like you handled what could’ve been a really ugly situation very gracefully. Much more gracefully than I have in similar circumstances. The anger is a good place right now, I think. It’s one of the steps toward ambivalence. At least, that’s what I believe about the process.

  12. Good job, dude. I’m impressed. I can only imagine how tough that must have been. The anger is good for you. It will help you remember the reasons why it ended. At least that’s what I tell myself.

  13. Redhead said,

    I’m glad to see you’ve turned the corner from sadness to anger. Good for you! Also glad you kept it in check.

    I was just filing stuff this weekend, came across a love note from the ex, and tossed it. It feels good cleaning house, physically and psychologically.

    And I say a double WTF to “do you want to see my new cat?”

  14. gn said,

    Yow. Powerful post. I know you don’t need anyone adding to your angry tirade, but I’m sure you’ve asked yourself the same question in response to the following:

    “And furthermore, someone that had very good reasons for not wanting to get married. I had to respect that.”

    WHY didn’t she think of these reasons before saying yes?

    Keep rocking.

  15. Dupont; Thanks! And, you picked the right game to see!!

    Erica; Talk about piss poor negitiating…so she got what? The Nylon Curtain?

    MM; I did indeed.

    sbmaya; screw you and your new cat, too” has a nice ring to it…(writitng it down)

    Kristin; The hope is that now the worst is over. I mean, I don’t have anything like this hanging over my head anymore. No impending visits, etc. That helps. ALOT.

    Lisa; ambivalence looks like nirvana right now.

    Some catchy chic; it was actually tougher to not just turn and walk out than it was to not scream…

    Redhead; I know…I mean, WHAT?!

    gn; I’d kind of like an answer to that myself, really.

  16. Ya done good. I remember almost throttling an ex when he asked if he could use my van to move his new girlfriend’s stuff into his new place. It took every ounce of self-control that I possessed to keep my hands away from his throat.

  17. jess said,

    In high school, my teacher played this song when we studied ‘Hamlet.’ She had a thing for Sting in an old lady likes the literary allusions way. But who doesn’t have a thing for him? Rightly so.

    Sometimes people — the people I think I know well — still say and do things that make me wonder if I know them at all. Virginia Woolf has a great quote about how we often think of ourselves in amorphous terms but think other people can be more easily defined. She says we do the latter because of ‘the conditions of our love’ and ‘the manner of our seeing.’ I think I know what she means intellectually. But I still do both.

  18. Bozoette; that’s just WRONG. I mean, wow…that makes the cat look like nuttin’.

    Jess; I was wondering if anyone would get that reference. It should ahve been the theme song for a Hamlet movie. GREAT quotes, btw. Like I said; mindcandy.

  19. Justin said,

    Thank you, sincerely, for putting to words an experience that I, too, recently suffered. I know precisely what it felt like. It is nice to be reminded, sometimes, that I’m not the only person that feels like this… or that.


  20. Justin said,

    Damned if I didn’t drop a bad URL for my own blog. Can’t edit, so here’s a fix.


  21. Justin; I briefly checked out your blog and somehow it was oddly comforting to be reminded that I should get over myself…as I’m not the only person to go through this. Seems I’m not alone at being a lone, indeed.

  22. […] not too ashamed of myself to admit that I felt a great deal of that rage…I’d even written about it before I’d identified it. It would get triggered every time that I’d see something that […]

  23. […] marked the first time that I’d seen her since I’d gone back to pick up my things and found out how angry I was about the whole thing. I saw her first, and then […]

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