December 23, 2007
sympathy and shortbread

Yesterday was hard. Today has been hard. I can't imagine that Monday or Tuesday are going to be anything but hard. Still, I haven't been in the depths of despair since Wednesday night (our last visit with the marriage counsellor), so I believe I'm doing what they call "hanging in there." My worst problem is finding reasons to stay out of bed; although my activity level has been pretty normal, I'm having more trouble than usual in keeping myself busy. The urge to give up is strong.

Yesterday I found out that the Boy has been using my car to make runs over to his new apartment while telling me that he's grocery or Christmas shopping. When confronted, he mumbled something about not wanting to upset me. When that didn't work, he tried telling me that we had a "don't ask, don't tell" policy that I've been unaware of. Refusing to admit that there was anything wrong with what he's been doing, he told me that he'd just load his stereo into the grocery cart and walk it over. Fine, I said. While he was loading up, I sat in the kitchen, eating oranges with Blake.

"Blake, should we drop off your Daddy at his new apartment, or should we let him walk over with his stereo?"

Blake considered. "Let him walk."

I have to say that the Boy's reaction to that judgement was almost worth the argument that preceded it. It actually made me feel sorry for him, and so we loaded up the car and set off to see the new flat. (We'll call it the Casa Nova, after the singles complex Kirk Van Houten moves into where he sleeps in a racecar.) The Casa Nova is about 10 minutes away from the house on foot. It's an ageing building, kind of crummy. The Boy has moved into the 22nd floor, and when I tired of waiting for the elevator, I started walking down the stairs. One landing was entirely full of garbage: half-eaten hotdog, pizza boxes, a bread bag with slices in it. I'm really looking forward to Blake spending his formative weekends in this smelly, stained rattletrap.

On the other hand, I couldn't have picked a better place to contrast a life apart with a life shared with me.

Anyway, the evasiveness continues, unpleasantly. I keep stumbling over things he's done, or getting surprise requests. I have to ask him directly, often repeatedly, when things will be moved out, or where he's going with Blake. It's like living with a war censor, or a particularly mulish teenager. The best part is that when I ask for full details, he starts telling me that he doesn't need to submit itineraries to me for approval. This is such a helpful attitude when coupled with a sudden request to take Blake out for hours, I can't even tell you.

Other than that, Christmas continues, my friends and family are supportive, and Blake is still Blake. Last night I went to a party thrown by NotAnArtist and wallowed in both sympathy and shortbread. Today I learned that Mason has a baby. I'm going to let him pick the pseudonym, but I can say that everything looks a-ok: fingers, toes, and that put-out expression particular to newborns. This year my Christmas present will be snuggling him.

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Don't make me send out the Blake. He doesn't listen to *anyone.*