Four Walls

2 Jul

Long midnight talk in bed with Ann, both of us tired, her asking me about California, about the move. She said, “I’m afraid you’re going to go out there and drink too much with Michael, or go out with other women.” My simple reply to that was, “If I wanted to do that, I could have gone out to LA seven years ago. I wouldn’t have waited until I finally sold a screenplay.”

She’s frantic about how we’ll continue to pay the bills, and that we’ll lose the house. She doesn’t feel emotionally secure about the marriage, and is afraid she’ll be isolated if she pulls up stakes and follows me to California.

I’m not totally ignoring her fears, but I’m trying to keep my eye on the main goal, which is capitalizing on the traction we’re getting from selling Umzumbe Boys. This is not the time for Ann to make it all about her. It isn’t all about her. I’m not going to huddle in fear with Ann and devise a plan where I contrive a screenwriting career with me based in New Jersey. It won’t work. I finally have the validation I need as a screenwriter. And I’m going to act on it.

The main problem is Ann loves where we live in New Jersey. She sees the extra money as a way to fix up our old house. There was a time when I felt the same way, but now the house represents a place where I’ve suffered too much, worried about money too much, and endured a too-often joyless marriage. There were good times, but not enough. We live in a white, Republican enclave of Christians and war supporters. I want to put this house behind me. I can walk away from this part of New Jersey and never look back.

I think Ann is trying to bolster her nerve to make the move with me. She’d be the first one to admit she’s not good with change.

This puts our marriage to the test. When push comes to shove, Ann may not have it in her to make the move.

(2005)

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