Sunday, January 6, 2019

I Am Movement, Part 1

It's a little hard to organize my thoughts while pressing Call, then Disconnect, then Call again every 40 seconds or so. I was able to drive while doing that yesterday because I have the Bluetooth controls embedded in my steering wheel, and driving gives you the feeling of getting a job done even when you are just sitting there staring ahead of you at crispy acres of cornrowed soil, ashy and devoid of snow during this other-worldly warm January week in the Great Lakes Region. I and so many others may have just stayed home otherwise.

Yesterday it was also quite sunny, so I thought I had a good chance of finding my ex and the new boyfriend perhaps out on the driveway with one of the garage doors open and a barbecue going, or in the back yard behind the iron fence he'd put up all around the tree line for my dogs after we picked out that house on the wooded lot together only 2 short years ago. In case I didn't find them, I had a padded manila envelope all stamped and sealed with an SASE enclosed (remember those?) to drop in J's USPS mailbox up at the top of the driveway on the street for him to answer the questions I've been trying to get him to answer for days now by calling and emailing:

1) Did you know him before you kicked me out?

2) Did he encourage you to break up with me?

3) Who is it-- the foot fetish guy who gave you dark socks to wear? The scumbag therapist in St. Dick? Someone from the group I introduced you to?

4) Why didn't you spend Thanksgiving with him? Why did you come to my family's gathering instead and allow my mother to give you a welcome-back kiss?

5) Did you also have sex with M's friend in Oakland? You know, the guy sitting across from you when we had my colleagues over for maiale al latte?

6) Who else, how many others, did you have sex with during the time we were together?

7) You always said that the one other serious relationship in your life, supposedly, ended because he “cheated” on you. Was it really the other way around? Did you cheat on him?

Please respond asap. Consider it a last merciful act so that I can let you go. I believe these questions are lingering because you do not conduct yourself or communicate normally with other people. I just need some closure and some answers, J. You can at least do that even though you have not thought to apologize to me.
And I didn't find them, even at two of J's favorite forest preserves for taking walks on days exactly like yesterday. When I pulled into the parking lot at the first one, an advertisement for a "SUICIDE PREVENTION HOTLINE" jumped out at me from the glass case where the trail map and nature notes can normally be expected. Though there was no sign of J's car, they could have taken the boyfriend's. Out on the trail, it appeared to be a normal day with neighbors and dogs, but these were no longer my neighbors, fact of which created an out-of-place, dreamlike, this-is-wrong feeling, and I was using my own dog only as a prop; she would have been happier on our regular route around the new neighborhood in our new house at the end of a dead-end street; there are DEAD END signs both as you enter my block and when you get to my house, which is next to a park, which has a large red/white striped barricade posted with the DEAD END sign at its center.

What was I going to do had I run into J. and his whore? Everything was planned. "Oh. So this is him. What's your name? Mike? Hi, Mike." We'd be standing in a triangle on the paved section of the trail, stepping aside politely for the occasional bicycle. "Did you know that you are not able to satisfy J. sexually as well as I can? No? Ask him. That's what he told me." This was actually true. During the initial telephonic confrontation, J. had confirmed as much. Everything I'd planned was carefully based on either truth or conjecture, no lies. "So you must have a very tiny penis." I was trying to fashion my behavior, which was seeming boringly garden-variety OCD, and in a teenage way, to be more palatable to myself by framing it more in my mind as a crusade of virtuous comeuppance like Karen Silkwood or Norma Rae or even the tear-laden journey of a wronged single mom, the dogged search for answers by the mother of a murdered girl (as recently seen on True Crime Weekend Bonus Murders). And all of those scenarios are true in their way, even the murder, which was the assassination of my plans for the rest of my life. "And what do you plan to do when J. does this same disservice to you? Are you sure that he's not already letting someone else fuck him when you're not there? Did you encourage this? Bad stuff comes back around."

But no luck yesterday and no luck today. I drove back around the circle around the tree where we'd been invited for a Memorial Day picnic which had been cancelled due to rain and a huge rotted section of the ancient oak had crashed down into the grassy area exactly where we would have been sitting in our lawn chairs and left deep wounds in the soft black soil. The envelope I'd left in the box was still there from the day before. So maybe he'd left town, maybe with the boyfriend in tow? As I started pressing redial on the steering wheel again, my poor little bitch just laid in the back seat with her nose between her claws, appearing to disapprove. She was air-throat crying. I myself had waken up crying for days, but it felt great to be off my meds and feeling my feelings for once: nauseous with hurt and disgust and fear for the future, dizzy with doubt and alarm at whatever it was that I was doing.

One way we got here was because J. has Asperger's, and though he is rarely driven by cruel intentions, he often hurt my feelings unintentionally due to communication and self-awareness issues. Because I knew that he knew I knew about his strange proclivities, I felt emboldened to go ahead and exercise my own, like my love for repeating numbers. Yesterday, I noticed that I had called J. 67 times, which was a botheringly random number. I thought about taking it up to 69 times, but what was that supposed to mean in this context? J. and I never once did that, and sucking, in fact, was just not a main feature of our love life. One reason that I took such a hard hit on this one was that after a lifetime of sucking and getting sucked, with J. I had been able to settle into what seemed like what must be a very normal routine for married couples, the seamless bi-weekly fuck you don't even have to think about. No worries on how long it will take you to cum or whether or not that will happen; no problems with all the safe-sex contraptions and complicated workarounds; J. had taken great pains to make sure I was tested thoroughly and even questioned my doctor in person about the results before he would even consider letting me in on a world-class butthole that was the result of decades of semi-professional bicycling and constant running from bullies at recess before that. So the only choice I could think of after 69 was 111, and I had even happened to see the lucky 1's (Grand = the elevens: 11:11) as I glanced at my phone on my way out the door yesterday. So I made 42 more calls.

Then today after taking a whole other trip over there, finding the envelope from the day before, going to the forest preserve anyway, not finding his car, still disturbed by my own behavior and even more sad because the sun had disappeared, I accidentally called him 112 times. Even as I made the last call, I heard myself saying, "If this goes over, I'll have to take it up to 222." But I stopped at 112. I am thinking of it as "111 + 1" in that it could mean, "I started at 111, and today it's 112. You know what to expect tomorrow" (as if he is quaking in his boots because he cares exactly how many times I am calling beyond the fact that I am calling too much). My other way out of having to make 110 more calls to get to 222 was the switch I'd made to letting every call today go to his voicemail. This threat was a little meatier because it might mean that if I continued doing that every day, J. would have to spend a lot of time going in and erasing my blank messages so that other callers would not encounter the "mailbox is full" message. I had already gotten to Mailbox Full at call 67, but I couldn't stop there for reasons that I have already described above.

How can someone move to your state from a completely different state, say they want to marry you, buy a gigantic house and put up a fence for your dogs in the back of it, join you for six weeks teaching summer sessions at a school in a third state, include you in the hospital stay and talks with the doctor during their brain surgeries, recovering alongside you, supporting you in your own substantial struggles with work and health, and then turn out to be a total fucking boundary-less skank with other men?  Someone who does not even talk in bed? How can you plan against or protect yourself from a person like this? They let your mother kiss them on the face and welcome them back into your life and then go the very next day to their non-aforementioned lover? As I pulled away from the last spot I could think of where they would have been walking, my little bitch made a sigh, and I started thinking less about J., and after having sat drinking coffee and pressing the Call and Disconnect buttons for most of the morning, it was more about just getting to a place now where I could pee.

Ah, why here's a kibo outside the wildlife museum. I'll just pop in there. Ah. There in the darkness, a light goes on. Men standing in and around the kibo acting casual. Now I know where the boyfriend came from. I can almost hear him now. I say, "Jon, you've been tricking with guys at the kibo in the preserve?" And he'll say, "Can't say I didn't invite you along for those walks. You were just too grumpy." Actually he would never say that. He probably wouldn't say anything at all. Why should he, a successfully retired Silicon Valley scientist, have to say anything-- ever?

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