Saturday had the hallmarks of a bad day. Weekends aren’t easy.
At six in the morning, watching CNN, I heard my ex-wife’s voice on the television. She’s a litigator in the middle of a big lawsuit. Big enough to be on all the major networks.
I won’t say more except I am extremely proud of her and confident she’ll kick ass.
Hearing her voice like that could’ve been devastating. I didn’t allow it to be. Instead, I showered, and went to Starbucks. Read the digital paper(s). Perused social media. So forth and so on.
I moved on.
It was a blustery, rainy morning in DC. The day before I had bought ingredients for roasted fennel carrot soup. So I headed home to make it when my phone rang. It was my youngest daughter, Lexi, the junior at a Big Ten college.
Friday morning, over text, Lexi accepted my offer to proofread an essay due that night. She emailed it to me in the evening. The essay was well-written. My suggestions minimal. I sent Lexi my edits.
Fast forward to my walk home from Starbucks Saturday when Lexi called, on her way to the airport, picking up her middle sister who was visiting for the weekend.
Lexi was appreciative for my edits. We had a great conversation! We talked about her paper, her semester, her upcoming semester abroad, internships. We even discussed when I’d visit her in Rome this Spring!
I’m not sure I can convey how gratifying it was having an actual chat with my daughter.
At home, I started roasting fennel bulbs and carrots. I texted my best friends, Frannie and Marty and we decided to lunch together. While the soup cooked, I did laundry and cleaned my apartment.
I’m not saying I definitely would have spiraled into mourning for the entire weekend without Lexi’s call, but it wouldn’t have surprised me.
Even before the call, I was making plans, intent on not getting pulled into the whirlpool of mourning that inevitably ends with me numb from booze and pot.
After lunch, Marty, Frannie and I made our way to see a friend whose band was performing in a Washington, DC neighborhood, Adams Morgan. It was part of “PorchFest” an annual event.
My ex-wife and I lived in Adams Morgan for five years when we married in 1988.
There was a group of thirty or so people watching the band perform. Most of the audience around my age. Almost all seemed to be there with significant others.
I tried to squelch the flood of memories of a time that was so long ago.
I wanted to leave almost the minute I arrived but I stuck it out and got through the forty-five minute set. After the show I returned home, made dinner and went to bed early. Sober.
And that’s a victory. Or to put it differently, two steps forard and one step back, is still a step in the right direction.
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