To the Lions

It’s been one of those weeks where I’ve had more dinners alone than with others. The boys are with their dad this weekend and their grandmother is visiting from California so there have been no calls from them to break the silence here at home. I’ve been trying to eat real food this time instead of cereal out of the box, or yogurt and popcorn. But still, after awhile eating alone isn’t fun.

I miss my boys when they’re not with me. It’s like part of me isn’t here and it won’t be until they come home. And I know the boys dad feels the same and it’s a strange world we live in. Lest anyone think I’m asking for pity, I’m not, as the divorce wasn’t Joe’s idea and it’s been very difficult for everyone.

The reasons behind things are often murky and confusing. There is never just one reason something doesn’t work. Like a book that doesn’t sell, a story that doesn’t quite work, it’s never simple, never easy to say it’s this or that. It’s a number of things. It’s the small and the large, the details and the story arc.

I had a friend from Fresno call yesterday and we haven’t really spoken since the divorce and she asked if it–the divorce–had been very difficult. And all I could think was, my God, it cut to the bone.

Still, still.

Today I wrestled with loneliness, all day, a long day. I was determined to write this weekend, get something measurable done, but I woke up early and instead of writing worked on my taxes, and then instead of writing, I deep cleaned my office, and then instead of writing, I leafed through catalogues and tried not to cry because I wanted to see someone, talk to someone and I didn’t know who to call that was single, and close by. I thought of phoning my friend Marilyn in Seattle to see if she was free for a movie, Pride and Prejudice, or a friend Maria who has just moved here from Australia. I thought there must be someone who could sneak out for an hour or two but then, I’m supposed to be working, supposed to be disciplined. I need to get something serious done.

I lit some candles–retrieving my cluster of orange candles for my desk–and plugged in my orange and pink mini lights and put on a Kate Bush CD and made a cup of green tea. I was going to write. I would. And then the phone rang and it was my friend Lisa Johnson, the one who hosted the Frog Prince launch party at her restaurant Ooba’s for me last June. She and her family were going to Seattle for pizza and a movie and they wanted to know if I wanted to join them. I did. I really did as I blurted to her, I didn’t want to be alone.

But then, how could I go? I’d plugged in my lights, and lit my candles, and turned on the music. And this is my alone weekend, its the time I’m supposed to be good and write.

So I stayed home, and sipped my tea, and wrote. For four and a half hours I wrote, tackling a new chapter one for a proposal I can’t get right. And now I go to bed, and the loneliness is better, although not all the way gone.

I’m not the only divorcee around, and not the only mother who learns to live part-time without her children, but its an ungodly thing, it really is.

And for those who ask, ‘What is divorce like?’ Well, I’ll tell you. It’s like being fed to the lions. You don’t do it unless you have to.

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