Two Steps Forward, One Step Back

Poster promoting 2016 Adams Morgan Porch Fest

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.

Stay in touch. Connect. Comment.

4 thoughts on “Two Steps Forward, One Step Back

  1. Okay. You know this is making me nuts. LOL Where does this saga begin? Where’s the first post? I gotta read from the beginning. What happened? How is it figured after twenty eight years that the grass is going to be greener on the other side. Does she have a new man already? Why do I feel like I’m participating in a Charlie Kaufmann film? And does anyone else think about how much he looks like Malcolm Gladwelll? Well, sometimes he looks like Charlie Kaufman when Kaufman doesn’t have a beard. Pot? My tea pots cold.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Wow! If you look up feedback in Wikipedia, there’s a picture of your awe-inspiring comment.

      The blog is chronological. You can choose “Posts” from the menu and scroll down, and down, and down, and down. to my first post which I wrote in July.

      The saga began a lot earlier than that.

      I think we had lost all the distractions that prevent two people from having to face the fact that they are both lonely. We were. Our youngest daughter had left for college a year earlier. We became a cliche´of empty nesters.

      There was no third party. There was no betrayal. There was just loneliness and resentment.

      I don’t think she has a new man already. She’s busy. Extremely busy.

      As far as Mr. Kaufmann goes, maybe eternal sunshine, though I tend to lean towards Wes Anderson or perhaps the Farrelly Brothers.

      Have you considered a cozy for your tea pot?


      Liked by 2 people

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