Thursday, June 21, 2012

Humiliation: It tastes bitter--like that taste in your mouth when a filling goes bad

Me to the person behind the desk at Triple A:

"I need your help transferring the title of  a car to my daughter. Both the car and the daughter are currently residing out of state, and the pink slip for the car is lost, and the registration is expired, and the registration requires a smog check." There I was again with my final decree of divorce in hand. "I have a new name now, see?" I say, pointing to the bottom of the first page. "Is that going to make things more complicated?" The guy behind the desk was unfazed. "I'm not sure how much backstory you need," I say. Much of my divorce narrative  has lost its punch for me, and it bores me to go too far into that dark tunnel. Rather than the terror I felt a few years ago, the darkness lulls me into a stupor.

"Let me roll with what you've told me so far," he says, clicking away at his desktop. It's L.A., after all, and we need our cars to breathe. He has, no doubt, heard a milliion stories of vehicular woe in the Naked City. The less prvileged stand for hours in line at the DMV, knowing that the loss of wheels means a loss of livelihood, or a lifetime of busstops. My Triple A membership bumps me up to a comfortable chair and a five-minute wait.

After a brief discussion of the timeline, and how long my daughter has to resolve the citation for expired registration in her new home state, I opt to pay the portion of back registration that has not been garnished from Mr. Ex's state taxes. I consider this a win. M's nascent career, through the good graces of the cop that stopped her, has not been derailed by being charged with a misdemeanor, and in a short while she'll have a scan of the new tags on her iPhone. In 48 hours she'll have the actual tags in hand. Next week I'll have the not-really-lost pink slip replaced, and I will start the process of transferring title.

Meanwhile, I have to admit to myself that Mr. Ex has pushed my buttons. The courtesy of a reply to my email? No. The one word required to reply to my text? Of course not. 

Well, maybe it's better that way. There are no pretenses. He and I were finished a long time ago. It will have to be a matter of life and death for me to ever contact him again.

And meanwhile, my tongue probes my gums searching for that bitter taste, that hidden pocket of decay.


Toni Buckner said...

"...gonna wash that man right out of my hair..." are the lyrics that came to me after reading the end of your post. I'm certain your writing, and enjoying fresh air and soaking in salty water will take away the sting from not having proper paperwork lined up to help your beautiful daughter be a law abiding car owner and driver. By the way, you and your hair shine!

Wrinkling Daily said...

I do still feel the fear from time to time, but the whole ordeal is beginning to bore me too! The reiterating, the trying to clear away the lies and distortions, the trying to get what is rightly mine; The story is too complex, I am tired of hearing it in my own head, and the words are an effort when they need to be spoken. I really do hope this is the last time you will have to ask him for another thing, even a solitary syllable that was withheld bc that is all he has left in the way of power over the situation. I look forward to the day when I can close that door too. Good for you; one more thing accomplished. The sun and the breeze and the birdies await.

Young at Heart said...

one day at a time..........