"Oh, Heaven, it is mysterious, it is awful to consider that we not only carry a future Ghost within us; but are, in very deed, Ghosts! ~Thomas Carlyle."
Someone left the above quote as a comment on my prior blog post about the play, Bengal Tiger at the Bagdad Zoo.
It says a lot about how I feel about Mr. Ex and what it's like to carry the fallout of a 32-year relationship around with me. He's gone. As good as dead, really. Except he keeps zombie-ing through my life slamming doors and rattling the tea-cups.
I spent a couple of hours today working on the most recent bit of creepiness. Mr. Ex and I, almost 3 years since we split, are still the co-owners of at least 3 credit card accounts. I used those credit cards for everything from bread and booze to a brand new caramel colored leather sofa in the first 15 months after he left. I had no income of my own, and he was doing some really impressive foot-dragging over the alimony. I didn't go crazy--though with our credit limit I suppose I could have charged a beach house in Belize. But I didn't. When the alimony started, I opened my own checking account, applied for my own credit card, and threw my former plastic lifelines in the red heart-shaped leather box where I also store my postage stamps. He'll take my name off those accounts, pronto, I thought.
So, legally, I am still liable for the impressive amount of debt he has been racking up and unable to pay off every month. That's a fucking hell of a lot of baby Polo and Christian What's His Name shoes for the little missus. I mean did her feet grow a couple of sizes after the baby or what?
Now he hasn't tried to stick me with said debt or anything. But I worry. What if he becomes a real ghost? What if he's been charging cameras, computers and cashmere with abandon while refusing to sign off on our financial settlement just so he can, with some talented flick of his lawyer wrist, makes me go halfsies on these joint accounts?
My calls to the credit card companies did not go especially well.
Company #1 requires a form which we both must sign. They insisted they must sent the form to the address of record--his address where it will languish in the towering stack of mail I no longer attend to. No, it couldn't be sent to my address, the woman said. Finally, I got her to fax it to my attorney.
Company # 2 requires that the account be closed and a new account in his name only be applied for. It would have been glorious to pull the plug right then and there, but daughter #2 is in Mexico with that card in her jeans pocket. I will cancel it on the way home from the airport after picking her up.
Company # 3 has a room full of overly suspicious customer service agents who toil at phones made from soup cans situated in a rock quarry in India. Trucks full of gravel rattle by incessantly, and I think the gentleman I spoke to didn't believe a word I said and told me he was sending someone to arrest me. Or a form to attest to what I do. Or a swan from the zoo.
So here I am. Still the joint owner of three slices of shiny plastic--with a ghost.
I could go charge stuff I suppose. Yards and yards of heavy chain that I will wind around his house while he sleeps. When he wakes, he'll have to charge a bolt-cutters, have it delivered through a window, and cut through the heavy links that hold him prisoner. There he'll be in new silk monogrammed pajamas dragging those heavy chains behind him, round and round as he unwinds his house.