As the Ex and I drive back from our little vacation (more later), I call Big City Lover and let him know that no, I can’t continue my drive to Midwestern City, I need to go home. Husband needs me, I need to be home. He is, to his credit, totally cool and understanding about this. Mandy Brain is amazed that a guy is OK with her not driving five hours out of her way today to fuck him (he still likes me?!?!), thus again demonstrating the self-esteem of a walnut.
We plan to meet up Friday instead, and I arrange my day and my excuse. It will still be a five-hour drive, but at this point, it would be nice to spend some uncomplicated time with a man as resolutely non-dramatic as Big City Lover.
I wake up with the beginning of a yeast infection.
Determined to soldier on, I apply cream (bought by the ex, anal always spreads things around) and head out to get a new phone. At the phone store, I discover that I need to forward all my saved texts…shit. As I send them from one device to the next, I trace the dissolution of the relationship. I ask the guy behind the counter what to do about my pictures. He grabs the phone to help me, then blushes and hands it back.
“Whoa, maybe you want to do this yourself…”
Um, yeah. Zurich, my breasts, Zurich in a towel, me in the shower, hot shoes, more breasts, the last hotel, and of course, at the bottom, Ex-Lover’s hand in my ass, his cock inside me, facing away.
The photos may not be salvageable. There is a cord to be bought, I’ll make another attempt. My attachment to the photos surprises me – there’s the drag show from the time we spent in the islands, the mermaid I painted, the Mary Magdalene he sent, sunset in Vegas.
I learn how to use the new phone and seek food – I had no breakfast or lunch and have no appetite but maybe that’s why I’m crying over a set of old photos. I call Big City Lover and plan my departure. I don’t want to go. And when I cruise up the street towards my home, the sign for unleaded at $4.18 triggers and the waterworks start.
Google for my last therapist’s number. Voice mail, if this is an emergency call…I feel ridiculous and hang up, then call back and get the number. It’s a holiday weekend, I don’t want to bother her. Still crying.
Pull out of the parking lot and speed dial 3 for Beautiful Girl. Voice mail.
Scrolling through, my main concern is this: I grew up in a state where if you threaten to harm yourself or someone else, you can be involuntarily committed. I can’t face that, I don’t have time to spend peeing in a cup and wearing a cocktail napkin that ties in the back. Two weeks at 15 was more than enough.
Directory Assistance. The hospital please. Yes, I know the ER does not answer medical questions. Hold. Sure, I’ll talk to a social worker. Hold. Yes, they can commit me, but they probably wouldn’t, you don’t have insurance, why don’t you call the hotline?
I leave a message on my therapist’s office voice mail. Still crying.
Text to Big City Lover: Have started crying and cant stop. Probably will not make it after all. V sorry.
Hotline, please hold. Yes, I’d like to talk to a counselor. Hold. Heidi is pleasant and I feel stupid taking up her time when there are probably people with real problems who need the line I’m tying up with my stupid baby life. I can’t face explaining the whole thing from the beginning. She wants my number to follow up, but I’m not able to give it.
Best Friend, five times zones away but she’s a night owl. Answering machine. Mobile. Voice mail.
Tom Paine. Gone, I think I remember from his blog, and gone he is.
Another friend picks up and I realize I can’t tell him, can’t bear to explain enough to make sense. Let me tell you about my website guy, my video girl, the media company that’s working out for me.
Hairline Boy. Voice mail. Secret Scientist is probably having a lovely weekend with his lovely girlfriend, can’t wreck that up.
I call another friend, let her think I called because I’m a good friend who calls for no reason. I’m generally a pretty shitty friend, so at least some good is coming from this.
Beautiful Girl, still no answer.
I call my therapist’s emergency number. Voice mail. I leave a message asking for an appointment, at least it will be something to look forward to.
A few hours later, she rings me, she’s in China, she’ll call Sunday when she’s back. And there’s the lesson, the one I should know from my dedicated devotion to clients in all my professions, the one I should know from short-changing the Ex my attention, the one I should know from skimping on wifely duties.
You get what you pay for.