“Where are you?,” she asked. “Your divorce hearing starts in a half hour.”
Shit. Going on the cruise and having the New Year’s holiday fall on Monday had thrown off my week. It was Thursday, the day I was scheduled to divorce my wife, but I thought it was Wednesday.
“Pauline, I’m sorry, I thought it was Wednesday. The holiday messed up my week.”
“Don’t worry honey,” said Pauline, a no-nonsense, petite, middle aged blonde with shapely legs that still looked good in a miniskirt. “We will wait for you. But hurry up and get down here as fast you can.”
“Okay, I will try to get there within the hour.”
I took a cab home and hopped in my car and drove out to Maryland to the courthouse. I was only an hour late and Pauline, who was well known among the clerks down at the courthouse, was able to push the hearing time back by one hour.
My ex-wife was there along with her parents, who stared down at their feet and didn’t look me in the eyes. My wife has gained a little weight but still looks good. I wish she would move on and perhaps find a man that would better fit her.
The divorce was easy. We had already divided up the bills and the child support is set. I only want two things out of the house — a dresser and my favorite oil painting. After being married almost 20 years it was all so cut and dry and emotionless.
“Do you think there is any chance this couple could be reconciled?,” the judge asked my ex- father-in-law, who acted as my wife’s witness.
“No absolutely not,” he said grimly.
I looked down at the table, struck by the irony of it all. My father-in-law had cheated openly on his wife for years, given her venereal diseases several times, and had a mistress down South he visited several times a year. But here he was passing judgement on the state of marriage of his daughter who had married a down-low gay man who decided to be honest with himself, move out, and live a more authentic life.
Didn’t Jesus say let him who is without sin cast the first stone.
I almost laughed out loud when I thought about it but I gritted my teeth and stayed emotionless.
So finally the judge said a divorce would be granted and would go into effect in a few days after he signed the papers and filed them. My wife — I mean ex-wife — walked across the hearing room and we shook hands.
“I hope we can be friends,” I said.
She smiled a sad smile. “I hope we can be too.”
And so it is over. I feel weird, pensive — any relationship that dies is not something to celebrate. But at the same time I feel a chain is broken and I am a little freer. Who would have thought when I started this blog I would end up here?