... i woke up for the last time in a house i shared with my ex, showered for the last time in the one tiny bathroom, and drove off to a new life in connecticut with not much more than my clothes, my books, and my three girls.
i remember that when i turned the engine on after filling up the car, the tail end of thunder road was playing on the radio. "it's a town full of losers and i'm pulling out of here to win," sang the boss.
you got that right, i thought.
this morning i woke up in a rosy dawn to a world all emerald and gold, punctuated by the woodpecker's drill, the bullfrog's drone and the chipmunk's cheep. the air was thick with mist, the long grass wet with dew. the puppies rolled at my feet before breakfast, Beloved rolled over and loved me before i rolled out of bed.
this morning i read in an email from my lawyer in bethlehm that in court yesterday (mister ex hasn't paid his child support) my ex - the possessor of three degrees, including a jd - is no longer employed as a purchasing agent for a cement company - which is what he was doing as recently as march.
he's now working at the crayon factory, putting boxes of crayons together.
oh, how the mighty have fallen.
i remember how he used to talk about his father who died at 55 a broken man, largely, ray said, because he lost his job as a skilled tradesman and ended up as a janitor. now it seems his son is headed in the same direction.
the email also explained that ray plans to file a new motion to reduce the amount of the support he owes each month, based on mental illness and disability.
if there's one thing i know as surely as i know the sun is setting in the west tonight is that ray is mentally ill. if he sees it too, finally, perhaps there's hope for healing after all. i don't know if the law allows a parent to escape completely from the obligation of support, but i will not stand in the way if the court, in its blind rendering of justice, decides to reduce it.
because there is a part of me that's sad. there is a part of me that even now, after years of legal and mental and financial harrassment and abuse, weeps for the wreck that is ray. i escaped because it was either leave or die, but, oh, how hard i tried to love him better. i didn't understand at the time that the only kind of love that can fix what's wrong with ray is self-love.
but there is a part of me that stands dazzled and not more than a little vindicated by the Justice that has condemmed this man of such ability and education to stand all day in a factory putting rainbows into boxes.
because, after all, that is what he tried to do to me.
and furthermore, the war must end. blessed be.