WHEN DID YOU LAST ESCAPE SPOUSAL MURDER
I’m calling for you to share here, in a comment, a time when you narrowly escaped death at the hands of your partner through the the Grace of God. Or Something.
Because You Did Something Hideously Stupid.
Spring Break ’04. Potomac, Maryland. After hellos mine indistinct and groggy she seems to be asking that our son, Graham (14), and I “make more space” in her closet and to “use good judgment” as to what we remove.
[I know, I know. this already over brimming and poignant tragedy could end right there with that punchline, but, no, it does not.]
I am certain she’s asked what she’s asked but because of the hour and because I’ve been only modes free run 2 tly roused from sound sleep I ask her if I’ve heard right.
I wake Graham at 6:15 telling him our assignment, a mission about which his eyes are instantly and wildly skeptical. I say that we’ll discuss it over pancakes at Village Deli and his skepticism is, for a while, abated. We stop after pancakes at Village Hardware to pick up several boxes of Glad Lawn Leaf Bags and head home where I’ve already brewed very strong ‘Newman’s Own Help The Downtrodden of Oaxaca Blend’ and I down three mugs to steel me for the task now no longer put off able.
We head upstairs, father and Son. My legs and heart are heavy. In my right hand I carry the Mug of Downtrodden Designer Coffee and in the crook of my left elbow and pressed to my marriage loyal chest, the yellow box of Glad Lawn Leaf Bags.
We dig in to our work. It’s nine in the morning.
“Dad, we can’t do this. There’s no way in. Everything’s bunched up. Look. You can’t tell what’s new, what’s old, what’s anything. How does she even get into.” My eyes tell him to stop that line of inquiry. A hat box falls on his head and he kicks it. “Oh Daaaad! Do we have to?” My grave eyes say we must and I hand him what will be the second of many morning Mountain Dews.
And We Tugged We Yanked We Rolled We Reached and We pulled and We Grabbed and in a sweaty two hours had all her stuff, all of it, on the floor of our bedroom between that now empty ecxept for some pretty resistant hangers and the hat boxes closet and our bed. The bed I was now certain I’d never share with another human being. They demand the beds they love when they leave you.
Nearing 11:30 we broke for pastrami sandwiches. I felt guilty having hi free run 2 jacked my son into this duty so I told him he could play. He dashed out.
I returned to the bedroom with a CD and a player and set “Gimme Shelter” loud on an endless loop.
War, Children, It’s Just a Shot Away Shot Away Shot Away. Thanks Mick. Thanks, Keith. You understand.
I bagged and I bagged. I had, needless to say, no Guidance, so I’d really no clue what she wanted gone or kept. My best clue was certainly not her averred Faith in my Judgment but what I did know was that when she was West with her parents, her mother would kidnap her every few days and bury her in one or another mall and wouldn’t allow a break from that Good Work until she, her mother, was satisfied that Dillards, say, or Saks, needed to hire half a dozen new, emergency buyers.
I bagged until well past my son came home with a few pals. They asked for pizza and three pies on, my bagging was complete. I laid the to be saved items, maybe twenty five items in all, tops, skirts, jeans, dresses, suits, over an ancient, low, arced, brown chest. I called in the pizza boys and told them to lug the bags, now seventeen (17) Lawn Leaf Bags down the stairs and outside.
“Dad. Our Wrangler won’t fit these and you can’t just leave them like trash on the sidewalk.” Why the hell not? I thought, though I knew he was right. “Dad, my friend’s mom has a ‘burban. I bet we could fit most of this then bring them to the county donation dumpsters.”
Brilliant! Such a son! I could always tell her that her losses, if she felt that way, were poor people’s gain. That surely would save my bum should it need saving. War, Children, It’s Just A Shot Away.
Graham made the call. By 8:30 Mrs. Hamilton’s Suburban was free, ours, and loaded. It did take three trips even in that SUV. Graham delighted in trying basketball shots over the lips of the pale green donation dumpsters. Pale green was appropriate.
I slept like stone and missed her midnight call. Truly I didn’t hear it. She came home three or four days on, kissed and hugged me hello. A shuttle driver dropped four more pieces of luggage at our door than had flown West. She walked up the stairs and into our once happy bedroom. She looked into her closet, turned her head and saw her folded clothes draped over the ancient, low, arced, brown chest. She stepped into her closet, turned about and with an enormous smile that shocked and thrilled me at once. “I can walk in here again!” She kissed me hard. “Please go downstairs and get my bags, Jon. I have to hang things up.”
I Tell You Love, Sister, It’s Just A Kiss Away, Kiss Away, Kiss Away.
Mid March, 1985. Tian Jin Uiniversity Foreign Experts Guest House, Tian Jin, People’s Republic of China. Gobi Desert winds are especially strong at mid afternoon, blowing downtown smokestack soot horizontal five and more miles before it begins to float upwards and dissipate. My wife, Tamar, cursing herself that she’d forgotten to bring to North China Davidson’s Hair Salon from Philadelphia’s tony Chestnut Hill neighborhood.
Cross, and walking with purpose to and fro across our blood red carpet with white swans, she appears not to want any suggestions when she blurts out: “I will not not not visit again those barbers over at Nankai University. They can’t understand English and just do what they want. I don’t have enough Chinese free run 2 yet to tell them what I want. I went there with Debbie, Canada Debbie not London Debbie and, well, you saw what they did to her.”
I had seen what they’d done to Canada Debbie. We won’t know the cause certain but it laid her very low for eight weeks and Tamar, in a show of North American solidarity that would have made you weep had you seen it, swore, now, that she could not subject herself to the barbarian barbers and floor sweepers at Nankai University.
And yet she badly needed a trim free run 2 , particularly her bangs needed a trim, bangs, honey brown straight bangs over and falling for weeks now into round round hazel eyes.
I offered, “I’ll trim your bangs.”
“I’ll trim them. Really. I will.”
As she pondered she looked increasingly tense as she continued to pace our blood red carpet. Finally: “Okay. I can’t see any more and I don’t want to ask Margie on the second floor, she’s a missionary and nuts and Cheryl “