Exit Wounds

25 Apr

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There’s a time when you know it’s over.

Ann and I spent a week of silence, mainly perpetuated by me. I have a very low aptitude for pretending things are good when they aren’t. Today, I called in sick to work, cleaned the house, organized my screenplay files, and downloaded a bunch ofCaribbeanmusic.

I then picked up Devon from school and we went shopping for a Friday night dinner – hamburgers, deli pickles, French fries. We had a few laughs and decided that tonight was the night to watch The Yakuza. Scott had loaned me the video. The film was one of our favorites, partially because of the romanticism inherent in the film, and partially because Mitchum bears a resemblance to our emotionally distant father. I remember Scott having a hard time with The Friends of Eddie Coyle, when they were preparing Mitchum for his execution.

Anyway, Ann gets home from work around 7:00 and I tell her, “I picked up stuff for dinner. You know, let’s just try to get along until I move out.” She made a face and I said, “I know it’s been me the last couple of days – it hasn’t been you.”

She goes into the kitchen and starts preparing the meal. In a spirit of not excluding her from anything, I say, “Devon and I are going to watch a Mitchum film, The Yakuza, if you want to watch it with us.”

She says, “Janet is having some problems with Bobby and I told her I’d get together with her. If she doesn’t call, okay.”

Bobby’s company has offered him a job in Chicago at a twenty percent boost in salary and Ann’s friend Janet isn’t sure she wants to uproot her kids and follow him out there. Although it’s a legitimate conundrum, it’s incredibly telling that Ann would choose to comfort her friend instead of choosing to hang with Devon and me, when our own family is coming apart at the seams.

Our marriage is over. Perhaps it’s as over for my wife as it is for me. If so, that’s a blessing. We both love Devon, and he’ll only benefit from two parents not mortally wounded by failure.

(2005)

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