Reflections during a sleepless Thursday morning

Felt compelled to upload that song from The Beatles’ Rubber Soul album.

“I’d rather see you dead, little girl, than to be with another man…”

Probably not what most would expect coming from The Beatles.

That picture was by faile35 and his collection is available on DeviantArt. Just struck me as fitting.

I get it. Been a jealous woman myself. But I do actively work on that. Or at least try to. Primarily applicable when it comes to my romantic partners. Is it possessiveness? Sure. Which is natural. Can’t even comprehend the minds of people who are completely non-jealous. They must have been with their partners an awfully long time and be old enough to where they’re just not too concerned anymore. Otherwise I’d wonder if the person had a problem forming deep and close attachments and commitments. Because feeling possessive, to an extent, over the one you love is indeed a reflection of desire to maintain the bond and not have it disrupted.

Obviously there are other forms of jealousy, but tonight I’m thinking about couples.

That one was “Master and Servant” by Depeche Mode.

Can remember back when I was in my late teens/early 20s and still with my (now ex-)husband, and I’d explain to him in no uncertain terms that catching him cheating might wind up with him not walking away unscathed. Well, I didn’t catch him in the act — thank god — but he did cheat, and he wasn’t murdered as a result. ha  Turned out to not feel like going to prison over, seeing as how we had by then mounded up several reasons for wanting to separate. That knowledge was just one of the final blows between us. BUT, in all fairness, we had gotten pretty good at driving one another crazy in all sorts of ways. I don’t really even care about all that anymore, not really, just kinda annoying at this point and not much else.

Mostly just a reflection of life lived…no big deal by now. Hadn’t seen one another in person after splitting in November 2002. Now it’s about 12 years on, and he passed away a couple years ago in a bicycle accident, sadly enough.

Admittedly, I was too openly jealous and possessive with him. Not fun memories to reflect back on, not those episodes anyway. Made an ass out of myself plenty, but we were young and kinda crazy. Both came into the relationship with a lot of issues, much of it having to do with our families and upbringings. He was the son of a Primitive Baptist preacher/brick-layer/chicken farmer and a stay-at-home mother who home-schooled all 5 kids (my ex attended public school for the first time in I believe the 9th grade right after his parents divorced). Heavy doses of strict religion and lots of bullshit out of their father. Turned him pretty rebellious for a while there, as to be expected. Undoubtedly that’s one reason why he considered himself a feminist, having grown up with blatant double-standards in their household

Glad to have taken the time to reach out to him and to say I was sorry for my part in what all went down in our short little marriage. We hadn’t spoken in 4 years solid, not since right before our divorce went through in 2004 (which I paid about $750 for through a paralegal service — he wasn’t present at the one hearing since he had moved to another state– assigned our separate debts and went our merry ways). So it must’ve been around 2009 when I next reached out to him. Think I was on facebook around that time and found his profile. Can’t recall what all was said, but we were decent and pleasant toward one another. Said I was sorry for my end, and he kinda rattled off some hippie-sounding stuff about how laid back he had become and how he doesn’t hold grudges. Think we talked once again in 2010. And I do recall calling him in 2011 after my Papa passed away, to inform him (they’d tolerated one another). He was decent about that, though I really can’t remember what was said. Just recall the overall feeling of being grateful that he had accepted my apology (even though he didn’t feel the need to apologize himself, ha, which kinda surprises me a little considering he not only cheated, he got into drinking, then drugs and gambling and strippers and god knows what all else while we were together — but then again, he’d probably say it was due to not caring to live life burdened with regrets, preferring to believe all things happen for a reason).

He did mention during one of those phone calls that during the 4 years we weren’t speaking he’d been involved in a car accident that injured his head a bit. I recall him saying he’d been drinking and driving and somehow flipped his car and that the cop who showed up on the scene said he found my ex bumbling around, attempting to change the tire on a completely destroyed car. That’s pretty scary. And I could tell a bit that it’d left an impact on him just in the way he talked. That wasn’t cool, but I won’t pretend I couldn’t imagine something like that happening eventually. He was a type-1 diabetic, so alcohol could really fuck up his system in a major way, make his blood sugar go crazy. Used to scare the hell out of me sitting with him in the bathroom some nights, seeing his skin pale more than any drunk person I’ve looked upon since. Add cocaine and whatever else to the mix and you have a recipe for disaster. He was reckless like that. The drinking began prior to me meeting him (his mother actually drug him to counselors over it), but I successfully banished alcohol from our home for a couple years (we being under the legal drinking age at the time), so it didn’t turn into a major problem until he turned 21 during our last year together.

And then I also recall him saying in one phone conversation that he had met a really nice lady who liked him quite a bit soon after he and I’d split. But he said he was still so angry at me that he didn’t treat her right, so that was his lingering regret. Felt bad for him on that note. The next guy I dated after him was a total nightmare, so perhaps that was the checking I needed to start rethinking my way of being, not wanting to deal with that level of drama and meanness ever again. Hated that guy. Still wouldn’t speak a word to that guy if he ever came back around again. Have no apologies to offer to an asshole like that. So my ex-husband wasn’t the worst of the worst. The relationship that followed actually gave me a greater appreciation for my failed little marriage, and it caused me to reflect and to realize the err in my ways as someone who’d been too mean at times toward my husband. Call it karma if you must. Whatever it was, it was a doozy.

So I got caught in the web of a stupid “bad guy” and my ex wound up becoming a heart-breaker toward the nice girl who came his way. But we both learned and carried on from those ordeals too. Don’t know if he had a girlfriend when he died since I didn’t talk to him in 2012 and there was no mention of that sort in the newspaper memorial articles. I know he hadn’t remarried since one of his brothers called to ask if we had divorced since their father was being a jerk and trying to defy his son’s wish to be cremated, claiming religious grounds, and we still been married I could have overrode their father’s demands. But nope, couldn’t be of help there.

He did sound happier when we talked, and the news articles mentioned his friends and employer and talked about how much he enjoyed bicycling. The word is that they kinda made a big deal about it and mounted a bike somewhere as a memorial and to serve as a reminder to other bicyclists to be careful. I assume bicycling must be a big thing in that city. Nice that so many people had good things to say about him. And the article showed a nice photo of him.

We were kindred spirits in a way. Both free birds, and that’s why we should’ve been friends instead of lovers and spouses. Would’ve worked out better for us. But oh well. What’s done is done. I asked my Grandma to attend one of his memorial services (his parents being unwilling to sit in the same room together required separate memorials located an hour apart), and her sister was going to his father’s since it was closest and she’d been their next-door neighbor for many years (small town — we used to joke about how it was amazing that our paths hadn’t crossed sooner due to us knowing so many of the same people). When she introduced herself to his dad, she said he gave her a big hug and made her feel welcome, which I’m grateful for since he’s known for being a real stickler even in the most inappropriate of times. One of the brothers had attended too, she said. I live 15 hours away, so there was no way for me to take time away from work and make the drive.

Looking at all this, it definitely makes that jealousy of old seem so silly in retrospect. Couple of kids figuring out what we were doing along the way.

Just been thinking about him again lately. He’s always been in my heart, and I firmly believe when you love somebody you always love them in some way. I think the feeling was mutual, though we were both glad to move on in life away from one another after all the drama we dealt with together. He’s a bittersweet memory…  There were good times, there were bad times, and in the end it simply was what it was. Can’t say I ever regretted knowing him. And I absolutely am so thankful for us having the opportunity to clear the air and just talk and be kind to one another before he passed. Sometimes I look back and wonder if life was prompting me to reach out like that, like it was offering a blessing, a chance for a peace offering, and I’m very glad I heeded the call and didn’t let ego continue to stand in the way. Wouldn’t have been right any other way. We like to assume there’s ample time left to make amends or to speak our piece, but sometimes there’s not. Just never know when you’re number is up.

Btw, the word is that he fell and broke his neck instantly when he was hit by that truck, so they say he didn’t suffer. That’s another blessing, to be so fortunate to not have to endure a painful end. It’s what we wish for any of our loved ones, that they not have to suffer in serious pain. Some do though, unavoidably, but this one didn’t have to, and that’s the best we can hope for.

Events like that are complete game-changers. Sometimes I still get frustrated at his memory over some stupid incident or whatever, as happens from time to time seeing as how we could be pretty big buttholes to one another. And then I feel kinda guilty. Never been one to believe that just because a person is deceased that they can’t be spoken honestly about, but I do aim to be fair in light of all this. Not as if he can defend himself. In a sense, he was always family, so he remained family, just estranged. He was a close friend once upon a time, a companion, the person I feuded with over finances, the young man who taught me a lot of what he knew, the one who infuriated me plenty and the reason I was saddled with such high payments and interest on a truck he just had to have, the one to be playful with because we could be very real with one another, the one to share secrets with…  Just a bunch of memories…

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