Monday, September 1, 2008

Hanging Out the "Closed" Sign

Sharing is good. At least that's what my Mom said soon after she rewrote her will and left everything to my niece. So here's a bacon, mushroom swiss burger just for you. With a side of chips. And a nice, hoppy beer I invented in my spare time. Of course, I named it Fish Tale. Sweet, huh.

Exactly three years ago today, I ate a similar hamburger with my husband except that one enjoyed a generous slathering of New Mexico green chile, which I miss almost as much as the sun, and the IPA we were drinking was called Jack Rabbit. When I asked the Surgeon why, after a bout of gloom, he suddenly seemed much more cheerful, willing to consider the glass half full rather than a urine sample left behind by one of his ungrateful patients, he chewed thoughtfully and answered, "Now, I can finally lift my head up and see a long, happy life stretching out in front of just doesn't include you."

So we got a divorce. And I stopped eating hamburgers. I was embarrassed, you see, that a 10-year marriage should crash and burn in such a pedestrian manner. Why not foie gras and champagne or at the very least, steak frittes? But no. I suppose that, at the end of the day, after you stripped away the fancy Nob Hill house with custom bathroom fixtures, foreign cars with leather upholstery, catered dinner parties with open bar and French cuffs with ketchup stains, our life together was merely...hamburger.

Oddly, that was the last serious discussion we ever had regarding our marriage. No huge blow-ups or pronouncements, no long, tearful nights hashing out the woulda, coulda, shouldas, no sorry-ass declarations or promises to do better. Just burgers, beer and polite conversation. I think we even ordered dessert.

So yeah, I've wrestled with the idea of "closure" since Labor Day of 2005 because well, that's what years of therapy teach you, but also because something so defining, so huge as deciding to end a marriage should really require a bit more discussion, or at least a bottle of tequila and a box of tissues. In fact, when they issue marriage licenses, this should be a requirement outlined in fine print. No mutilating or destroying until extreme measures to resuscitate have been exhausted. No littering or lawyers, judgments or judges until you've each written a thousand word essay outlining, refining, and properly submitting your complaints. At the very least, attempt a pillow fight.

In three years, this is what I've learned about closure: Life is not a zipper. Or a row of pearly buttons. You can't simply open or close the book. As the Buddhists would say, "It's your own fucking fault for getting attached to something or someone in the first place. This life is an illusion anyway so yeah, shit happens, so why ask why?" Okay, maybe the Buddhists wouldn't have said it exactly like that, but I think my loose interpretation is pretty right on.

Basically, I'm no wiser about why my marriage ended than I was when all that stood between us was a plate of french fries. But I do eat hamburgers again. And I enjoy them now, more than ever. Is it the wild harvested mushrooms, artisanal cheese, organic beef? Naaahhh. I think it's the company I keep. Next.


The Neighbor said...

that burger was the best i've had in years+OlyWa's beer is the BOMB!

Kylita said...

I'm not trying to top that one, Sea Otter, but I can't help but want to share that this is the
38th anniv of an abortion I had
when I was 18 in NYC, when it was
not legal in my state. It was
horrible and though I paid the
way for a good friend to come
with me, I could receive no calls,
make no calls, receive no visitors,
and the big fat greasy hospital administrator called me in and said, "You are farther along than you thought, you need to give us $300 more," wherein (as I'd been
warned) he took a big round pile of bills out of his pocket and wrapped my 3 $100 bills around it and stuck it back. Two days of sodium pentathol, hallucinating, puking, wanting to suffer, worrying about my girlfriend in the hotel alone...who really was out on the town with some millionnaire in his Rolls and dancing with flamenco dancers. The cab ride immediately 2 days later back to the airport was memorable. I thought it ironic it was during "Labor Day" weekend - hah hah (said sarcastically). I'm sorry to be so blatant, but I wanted to share, since it's a landmark anniv for you also. Rock on, SisSTAR, and keep letting it go. Happy September, Winky Girl!
~;~ klh xo
p.s. If you or any readers hate me for my decision, well, I don't regret it, only that I was promiscuous in the first place, and the second place, and...

Waist High said...

Two things: I just started reading a book called "When You're Falling: Dive," as I have had a nasty last couple of years. Hoping for new insight 2. You make your own beer?

Anonymous said...

well, maybe we dont have to hear anymore old stories about the surgeon. sorta boring. already played that tune so often i know it by heart..... this new song you sing is sweeter anyway.

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

I was contemplating life one evening after car bombing a couple of my friends. I thought of how some clung to "security" in a life they "should" enjoy with the identity that "others" respect....blah blah blah, while others, seeming to be uncertain and unsettled on the surface, are actually free. This freedom seems out of place among all those clinging to their "stuff" and "identities", and is also why they question it themselves at times. A free spirit being free is scary, anxious, spontaneous, weird, and all the other things that keep life fun and fresh. So, here's to beers and burgers, no matter where you are, and if that doesn't make you happy.......Car bomb your friends and eat some Q.

yogamomma said...

Tennessee is referring to you as the free one. I must admit I had to read his comment twice to get what he was talking about.