Bargaining Stage

Oh, we all know the stages of grief, right? They are overly familiar to me. Today, I had to deal with the house staging lady – she is sweet enough and we breezed through what I already knew re: removal of all personal items and clutter – I needed to know what furniture to keep or remove, really. But then I had to go get some groceries…

It felt like I was wearing a scarlet letter – that my intense sadness was written all over my face. And perhaps it was. Or a kind of desperation. Anyone, someone, make this right again. Take my fear and turn it to safety. But that was not possible, never will be, I think. Anyway, I fought my way down the aisles, hoping to miss the after school rush.

I did well until the laundry soap. I know – weird, huh? But I was trying to decide if I should get the usual jumbo bottle or not. I mean…it’ll just be me, right? My mind instantly filled in blanks of half full baskets, properly sorted, and no uniforms to bag for the cleaners. No tighty white-ys, no undershirts…and my breath lodged in my throat as if it went solid. I snatched the jumbo container and tossed it in the cart then had to hit the cat food section – which turned into a mental scene of the old woman with cats and I had to move with a purpose to the line.

Out, flee – just get away from the public and you can lose your mind. But there was a helpful young man pulling carts and he wanted mine – I must have looked panicked because he quickly tried to grab the heavy soap for me. A mumbled thanks, a seat full of bags, and I roared out of the parking lot, thankful for a break in the traffic to allow me to get home even faster. The air came hard, gasping like a fish on the very short drive home.

And then, bags inside and dogs outside, I could let my spirit crumple. But it wouldn’t. It just…declined. A few tears as the cold things were put away but then…it was just filled with generic sadness. Not the killing pain of loss. This is my life, now. Packing all the things, cleaning all the things, praying the house sells for more than we paid, and that he does something to pack his things because Dear GOD can he not see that I can’t do that, too? He left a dresser covered in clothing, all jumbled in a pile, knowing we had the lady coming.

He doesn’t care, I think. I don’t think he intends to help all that much with all this. After all, he could be here this weekend after being gone the last three and actually help pack but…no. He has a 4 day fuck fest planned, I guess. Is that cruel? Is that harsh? It is the truth. The unvarnished, plain truth and I force myself to use it to avoid allowing any sort of sentiment to arise.

Sure, he checked the radiator hose on the truck for me – gee, he’s taking the other truck with him so if I need to leave the HOUSE THE NEXT 4 DAYS it really ought to work but – hey, you know…he tried. Has to order the part. Yeah. Well, I guess more time to pack for me, then. Oh, and the dog – the one he said he had a home for and told me a week ago that he’d take it today so that I wouldn’t have her emotional drama to deal with again for 4 days…but, no. Sorry! Too busy, forgot, I didn’t say that…whatever excuse was to hand was in use. Suffice to say her anxious, pitiful waiting for him will serve to torment me just as the thought of him there with her does. Yes, we are both a kind a widow, me and the dog. She doesn’t love me the same way. Doesn’t understand that he doesn’t care enough to take care of her. A pat on the head and then done.

Well, so it goes. A little benadryl can ease her nights. And my sanity. Because her sad lingering at the door breaks my heart.

What there is left to break.

The good news? I got my hair cut. It’s not perfect and I will never be able to use the implements of hair torture sufficiently to make it look good but…at least it looks presentable. And if someone decides to hire me that will be helpful, I guess. Some resumes submitted, a few jobs that seem just right, but I fear the worst. I always do. I am a pessimist and a planner so all of this uncertainty is horrible.

There was a man once who asked me a question – about my life or my fears or some sort of thing and it came to me in a moment. I had never felt safe a day in my life. When you are 30 years + it is a stunning revelation. It is why I don’t trust people. Safer that way. And each time I have…well, it hasn’t worked out that well for me so…best to stick to what I know – me, and mine. I think it very sad that he chose to do that – to rip away the only safety I’d ever felt – for the sake of his “happiness”. But at least I know now – a decade too late – but I know now.

Never again.

Here’s to the one on the other side of the river. At least he never lied about what it was.


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