I’m grateful to feel the sun rays baring down on me as I lean on the farm fence he built, for me and “my” dogs, hardly a year ago. My face just about clears the top panel as I steady the garden hose wile wetting down my newly transplanted palm tree. My eyes close, as I lift and lean my chin toward the suns direction to welcome her warm nurturing light.

Nesting cardinals are swinging like ribbons from tree to tree. Singing their red and brown songs as the wind moves softly through the palm fronds behind me. It’s peaceful. And I’m grateful for a moment without hating myself for not getting to “it” fast enough. 

Im vacillating between productiveness and anger these days. Somehow furious while numb and unfocused simultaneously.    I’m grateful for the voice of support and reason from friends. Momentary distractions from pain by way of indica edibles, and the constant war of filth that 3 dogs wage against me in our home.

The brilliant “flea bag” plays in the background. Inspiring me to continue dissolving my own fourth wall…

I smear on some estrogen gel, realizing its been several days since I felt human. the days come and go like this now… theres so much to track, my wellness, becomes a Guinness worthy, “largest ball of rubber bands,” ever! yoga, bloodwork, house, dogs, him and the persistent atrocity and drama of a white trash, trailer park, separation / divorce. who knew?

Not me thats for sure. It took until my 40’s for me to find out that Jerry springer shows and the like were real. 

a moment with hubby in a Louisiana court house 12 years ago where I overheard a lawyer mentioning that his client had a peternity test done on the “Montel Williams” show.  I felt like I was on acid! I was certain that all participants of those circus type shows were hired actors.

I thought Jerry, Montel, and the others were the same as wrestling, just without the masks and colorful leotards…

We’re seated next to one another on the Hard courthouse bench. My body smashed against his, shoulder to shoulder. I whisper in his ear, “Wait, what? I thought that crap was fake?“ I said. Trying desperately to reconcile that kind of behavior in my very sheltered reality. “No Baby.” He said. “Those people are real and this, this is where they come from!”

Before him, I had no idea people like that existed. Nor, could I imagine an unresolved personal situation that would warrent a television appearance. Let alone, one mediated by a studio audience filled with people who somehow have nothing better to do on a weekday at 11am; but yell at Clayton for cheating on Britney with her brother. 

I mean, I’ve seen some things. I grew up in a city… I lived in Manhattan. I‘ve been to Limelight and Catacombs. Once, while lunching at DoJo’s on the lower east side, I saw a girl in her late 30’s walk a rottie down St Marks Place in nothing but a thong, leather chaps, pasties, and a pucca shell choker. …ive seen some things. 

But why you would go on television to share the lured details of your limited genetics with the arrogance of a viking, is beyond me. 

Flash forward 12 years. Apparently we’ve come full circle. how could I have known that no matter how far I got from Livingston Parrish, Louisiana. Time would bend us back to our starting  place.

Only now, the reading of the blood test results are for my husband and the very damaged girl who gave birth to his drunk baby. 

My phone vibrates. The caller ID flashes “husband.” I‘ts been 2 weeks since our last exchange… as the pressure of our fate loomed like a tight red string stretching from Louisiana to Florida; fraying at every fiber, and desperate to snap.

I answer, Hiya! He chuckles … I giggle, not knowing what is so funny. We both laugh together as a decade’s memories of pain and loving partnership washes over us. He makes that noise that your person makes when they remember in an instant everything they love about you, your resilience, and compassion. together we travel back to moments of intimacy and security thats organic to only us. Securing the moment in a bubble of who we once were.

“Uh Babe,“ his voice cracks, “can you talk?“ He clears his throat. His breathing, labored…like its made of sighs.

“Sooooooo many 9’s babe. There’s like 59 9’s.” He tells me. “Ive never seen so many 9’s.” He says… I can almost hear his head low slung and shaking from side to side in disbelief. He’s so catastrophically beside himself…its hard for me not to be sympathetic.

For once, I can’t feel anything but the need for him not to leave this world by choice. Which I fear is on the horizon for him. Really, for either of us not tethered to one another in these trying months.

I’m not at all as shocked as he is. I had been having nightmares about this moment for what seems like an eternity. Everything about it is so unbelievably brutal that I can hardly contain it all inside my body at the same time.

Anyone else would have stabbed him by now. And maybe I should have. He’d have “had it comin!” Which by the way, is the catchy “Chicago” tune about cheating husbands, I’ve dedicated to his ring tone.

It’s not like I need it. He reminds me relentlessly. Especially when I pay for the dogs medical care I see the court mandated child support he funnels quietly  through our marital account. Why he doesn’t use his “other” account?  The one he keeps hidden from me? It’s just easier for him to lump me in with his side mistakes, as he persues a life of reckless abandon. 

When he he said, “They’re real baby, and this is where they come from.”   I didn’t realize it was a warning.

Apparently, when your regard for the sanctity of marriage is at zero, you have too watch out for the nines. But when you marry a guy like that, you’d better watch your six!