Sunday, January 24, 2010


Hmmm. That was quick. I guess it's who you know.

Here Comes the Sun

After six days of weather that made me think the perfect man might be a builder of arks, the sun came out yesterday morning.

The aftermath of the storm is that my street now looks like a papier maché project.

"Did you notice the mountains?" I asked a little old lady I encountered while walking my dogs.
"No English," she told me. (I think she was Chinese).
"Snow," I said and pointed to the hills behind her.
"No," she said, nodding her head yes.
"Snow," I said, trying again as I fluttered my fingers delicately and let my hands drift downwards. "Snow on the hills. Look." But I couldn't get her to turn around. It was startling to see the snow so close and it made me giddy to have no one to share it with. I restrained myself though as I finished my walk. I did not bound through the neighborhood embarrassing my dogs exclaiming about the snow.

Today, the second day of sunshine, there are still rogue puddles in the park that look like small lakes. But my patio  is now no longer a cesspool of floating dog poo. It's clean and dry, and the sandbags have been moved to the side so I can use my back doors again. Inside, my floors inside have been Roomba-ed for about the 50th time (does anyone else love their Roomba so much they talk to it? I think if they made little outfits for Roombas like they do for those plastic lawn geese, I might dress mine up.)

I'm so happy about the sun that I don't even care that Mr. Ex did not return my latest phone call which I made to him after my attorney emailed me on Friday, telling me that Mr. Ex and his attorney are still refusing to address the issues of his bonuses & reimbursing me for half my attorney fees-- and that they are still trying to divide the irrevocable trust. I'm not sure if it was desperation or optimism, but I called Mr. Ex up and asked him out for a drink so we could talk. Maybe mold spores have taken hold of my brain, but I really think if we were seated in a dark bar with Margaritas in our hands we could work this out.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010


I failed to mention that Mr. Ex called me yesterday. Which is to say that he actually returned a call I had made to him.
Fanfare. Fireworks.
He said his attorney would get back to my attorney.
He said we were close to an accord in the division of our joint assets.
He said he thinks he paid the missing attorney fees. He's "checking on it." And that if he didn't make the payment he would.
Any bets on how much longer this is going to take? Let's do one of those sport-type-pool-things where people try to guess the score. I will donate $100.00 dollars to Haiti in the name of the person who comes closest to guessing the date Mr. Ex and I sign our agreement re our joint assets.
Hmmm. That might take a while. I'll just donate the $ to Haiti now  & take the person who is closest to guessing the date out to lunch.
Go ahead. Guess.

Important Note

The man who loves me is also the man I love.
What amazing luck.

photo credit: Hamilton Roberts Photograhy


I don't know what it is about me and water.
There are sandbags outside my back door and it's been pouring so hard for the last couple of hours that it's like looking through a scrim.
I can now claim that two men have crawled around in the water to rescue my abode. Mr. Ex was the first one. Several  years ago after a pipe burst in the middle of the night and flooded our downstairs, I walked into our kitchen to discover him on hands and knees, wearing only a t-shirt, sopping up the mess with pool towels. Then came an invasion of mold that required a re-do of our entire downstairs, and we ended up moving out--or, more accurately, our daughter and I ended up moving out. Mr. Ex elected to stay at the house. Which I find very interesting in retrospect.
This morning the man I love lay on his belly on a tarp on my sodden patio in the drizzle, a hammer drill sheltered in a plastic bag as he bored holes into my patio wall so the water could find its way to the slope on the other side.
It was water that called my name after the divorce when I thought my life should end. Bridges were so enticing that I kept my curtains drawn during one entire stay at the St. Paul Hotel. At night when it was quiet, even with the windows closed, I thought I could hear the rushing of the river. The sound of the water was like a voice asking me to come to its side.
I love the water. Traveling by boat. Swimming in a pool or a calm sea.  I recently purchased a travel snorkel that curls up into the size of a bagel. I have a special bath mat with a pillow for soaking in the tub--but I love long showers so much I hardly use it.
I'm just not sure how water feels about me.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Two Years, Five Months, Two Weeks & One Day Since Mr. Ex Left and We Still Have Not Divided Our Joint Assets

"I didn't hear a thing," my attorney wrote in an email a couple of days ago. "I also didn't hear back with regard to the missing attorney's fees."
Do good things really come to those who wait? Who said that anyway? I put all the divorce stuff on the back burner over the holidays. What with graduation and all, I just wanted to let it go. But now in the year TWENTY TEN, Two Thousand and Seven has a long-ago ring to it like "Once upon a time," or "In a galaxy far, far, away..."
The phrase, "Divide and conquer" keeps worming its way into my thoughts and I'm afraid I may soon be murmuring it aloud mantra-style like the ancient father-in-law Bill Hickey played in Forget Paris. "You Got It. Toyota,"was the slogan that took over his befuddled brain and my brain is definitely playing the Divide and Conquer Channel. Me in a Divide and Conquer sandwich board on the sidewalk outside Mr. Ex's office. Me with Divide and Conquer stenciled in body paint camped in the driveway at his house. Or on the church steps when he comes out of Mass. At his favorite Peet's, perhaps. I'm not crazy, mind you. Just focused.
I got my Master's Degree. Now, I'll get my half of the joint assets.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Waiting for a Sign

"What are you going to do now that you've got your Master's Degree?" people have asked.
 "I'm going to write," I say. And I am. I have a memoir to shop, a novel and 2 short story collections to finish.
But also, I feel like I'm waiting for a sign. My post-divorce life has been so completely filled and shaped by being in school that I feel a little bit lost.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

I gave my graduate reading yesterday. I read from the novel that was my master's thesis and it went well.
As is customary, I began by thanking faculty, my mentors, family, and friends, and as I stood at the microphone another line of thanks inserted itself into my thoughts though I didn't speak it aloud. Thank you Mr. Ex for being from Nebraska. Thank you for continuing to deceive me when I chose which MFA program I would attend. Thank you for remaining silent when I stood in the doorway between our dining room and kitchen, looked you in the eye and said that I wanted Nebraska connections in case we ended up retiring there. You have returned to me my earliest metaphors---open fields and soil, the hum of insects in summer, the crunch and squeak of boots on snow in winter, birds that we don't have in California.
Beginning the program while you were in the thick of planning your wedding I thought might kill me, but it didn't. So thank you, Mr. Ex, for leading me here. Thank you.

This morning in one of the last lectures before graduation, this quote from Louise Gluck was presented:
"Personal circumstance may prompt art but the actual making of art is a revenge on circumstance."