top five, all time things that i love about wendy…



now playing: karla bonoff, “restless nights”



a valentines’ day memorial list, if you will.

(with whatever necessary apologies to nick hornby….this might read better if you can imagine john cusack reading them off into the camera, but this’ll have to do. i’m on a budget.)

ok, in no particular order – number one:

some people smile with their lips, some people use some of their face – wendy smiles with her whole body. and everyone around her knows it when she does. she adds something to the air around her that wasn’t there before she was.

number two:

she’s not afraid to show the world that she remembers what it’s like to inhabit the innocence of a child…taking pleasure in little things that other people who’ve forgotten will take for granted. she still delights in sesame street, for instance. (not to mention that awful computer-animated disney show, roly-poly-oley…or whatever it’s called.) granted, sometimes this means that she cries at times that are uncomfortable or maybe inconvienent, but i don’t think you get one without the other.

number three:

i know she thinks this is why i married her, but it’s not. still, i’d be remiss to leave this off my top five, all time list – she knows her guitars. trust me, this is pretty huge. she can tell the seemingly insignificant differences between a les paul standard and a les paul custom from a sizable distance…and while this part maybe doesn’t reflect on wendy directly, i love the reaction that i get when i tell other people that she can do that…that little hint of envy that shows up on my friends’ faces. it’s just one of many amazing things that she can do.

number four:

i know this is a direct cop from the book/movie, but it’s no less true…i love the way she smells. it’s some kind of mystery of human chemistry, but some people just feel like…home.

she fits.

number five:

i love the fact that (on the all-too rare occasions when i was able to make time to do so) she could make the world outside the door disappear just by sitting down on the sofa with me and reading a book next to me or watching TV with me. i didn’t always love her choices in programming, but every now and then we’d do it right – pop some popcorn, put on a movie, and ignore the phone and just enjoy each other. those are the moments that i want to take with me when this comes to its inevitable conclusion.

sure, i could make a top five, all time list of the things about laur – uh, wendy – that make me crazy, but that’s the kind of thinking that got me here….

favorite toys



now playing: lifehouse, “simon”

when i was a kid (and i mean kid – barely old enough to remember this, but i remember it nonetheless), i lived in a small apartment with my mom and dad and my baby brother – my mom was working at this place adjacent to it, if i remember correctly, but all those kinds of details are a blur to me now.

here’s what i do remember.

my dad had gotten me a toy guitar – it was as big as i was, and it was made of wood, not plastic, and it had real strings on it. hell, it might not have been a toy, i don’t know. he had given me one later in life that he’d found in a house that he was working in that was a real one, but it didn’t have any strings on it. at this point in my life, i’m almost sure it was a martin 00-17 or 000-17, because many years later when i owned one, it felt instantly familiar…the color of the wood, the feel of the neck…and i remembered that guitar that my dad found in the house in memphis the minute i played it.

but anyway, this guitar that he’d gotten me when i was still essentially a toddler…it did feel to me, at the time, that it was as big as i was, and i thought it was indestructible.

anyway, to this day, i still don’t know why i did this. all i know was that i did it, and i got my ass beat for it.

(maybe it says something about human nature that we still analyze our motives for things that we did as tiny children, even decades later, but i digress…)

the guitar was laying on the sofa. and i was climbing on the sofa, which was up against a wall of the apartment, and i managed to get up onto the back of the sofa and i was standing on the back of the sofa, with my back against the wall.

i sidestepped over to the part of the back of the sofa that was right above the guitar, and i jumped off the back of the sofa and extended my legs and landed, ass-first, on my favorite toy…i felt the top of it crunch under me, and i laughed.

i was sitting in a pile of splinters that used to be my guitar, and i was laughing. i don’t know why i thought it was funny…maybe the way it felt when i landed on it, i don’t know. but i had just succeeded in destroying my guitar, and i had no clue why i’d done it.

so, obvious ending…dad grabs me from the wreckage and beats my ass, asks why i did it and i said i didn’t know, which probably only pissed him off more – after all, adults assume that all actions have logical motivations, right?

i know i do…

i find myself remembering this tonight, though, and for the longest time i wasn’t sure why it had occured to me…but i think there’s a parable in that story, where it pertains to my life as it’s going right now.

in some ways, i feel as though right now i’m suspended in mid-air, having just jumped from the back of the sofa…and my ass is careening through the air toward something that, in moments, will be destroyed on impact as a result of my actions, and i’m powerless to stop it from happening, now that my feet have left the point at which i still had other options.

now that i’ve jumped, my only option is to brace for the impact.

not your average sunday morning



now playing: shane nicholson, “life on mars”


for better or worse, i think the songs from shane’s album are going to be forever tied to the end of this relationship. i just can’t stop listening to this album. so – sorry, shane. and to eastmountainsouth, too.

your music has henceforth been consigned to the bittersweet.

i haven’t perceived any real change in my habits, but somehow i’ve lost six pounds in the last two weeks. go figure.

the only reason i know this is because i was standing on the shipping scale a couple of weeks ago while i was working on the computer next to it, and i saw how much i weighed then…this morning i noticed that the pants i’m wearing are fitting a little more loosely than they normally do, so i walked down after i got settled in at work, and lo and behold – i seem to have misplaced six pounds. dunno what happened.

i accepted keith’s invitation to play the gig with his band last night, and walked away with some extra cushion to my budget for the week, which was a nice bonus. and i actually enjoyed playing with them…it was my first actual publig gig since the dissolution of stone road, and it was nice to be up and in front of a crowd again. i still don’t know how i’d feel about playing country music full time, but i felt pretty good about it last night.

well, except for one little thing.

after the first set, i walked into the back and turned on my cellphone (which i’d turned off in the afternoon when i went to work and had neglected to turn back on) and had four voicemails, all from jill.

it turns out she had a situation on her hands.

now, i don’t know why it didn’t occur to me – well, no, that’s not true. i did know why. it didn’t occur to me that something like this would happen because i had faith in my daughters’ sense of what’s appropriate and what’s not. i really never thought in a million years she’d come to where she’s come to.

anyway, yesterday after she returned from school, she told her mom that she and her stepsister chelsea were going for a walk and off they went.

after a couple of hours had passed, her mom started to wonder where she’d gotten to…she usually ends up at her friend frankies’ house. but when a call to frankie’s failed to turn her up, her mom started to worry.

cut to about an hour later, which finds jill standing in front of Loser Boyfriend’s house on 8th street in the city.

she knocks on the door, and an older guy answers, and she asks for jayda…and this guy (apparently either the dad or the uncle or whoever…you never really fuckin’ know) says she’s not there, and he closes the door and locks it. so she knocks on it again, and Loser Boyfriend comes down and says that they were there earlier, but that they left – and jill (God love her at times like these, she’s fuckin’ ferocious) tells him that if the girls aren’t outside the house in two minutes, she’s calling the police. (which i would’ve done the minute i got there, personally…)

and sure enough, a couple of minutes later, out they come.

i’ve told jayda since before she was old enough for it to be an issue that i would trust her until she gave me a reason not to.

that day has officially arrived.

as i was saying, though, maybe it should have occured to me that she might consider doing something like this from the moment that i made it clear to her that i didn’t care for the guy. after all, her mother has already made that clear to her, and i think she saw her time at my house as the only real opportunity that she had to spend any time with him outside of school. once that appeared to be gone, she obviously felt that she had to resort to shit like this to see this asshole.

i wonder if she stopped for a moment to consider what her life would be like after she got caught.

because now, her social life outside of school is, for any and all practical purposes, over. there’ll be no picking her and her friends up and taking them to or retrieving them from the mall, the movies, nothing. her life will consist of getting up and going to school and coming home to whichever house is home that night and sitting there until it’s time to get up and do it again. having already lost her cellphone, i’d say that it’s a certainty at this point that she won’t be getting it back at all, and i told her mother last night to make sure that she knew the whereabouts of dylan’s, since i’ll be keeping it in my posession until such time as he pulls his academic shit together. i talked to wendy briefly about possibly getting a cheap replacement for jayda’s and giving it to her parents so she could keep in touch. all the cellphones are still on wendy’s account right now – we haven’t split them off yet – so it’d be an alternative to cancelling the account altogether and paying the early termination fees that would go along with cancelling the account altogether.

i just can’t, for the life of me, figure out how we got to this place.

from early on in their lives, my kids’ personalities seemed to be fleshed out pretty vividly…dylan was the introspective dreamer – the mix of shy and goofy that he seemed to inherit from his father. jayda was the bubbly, happy and yet centered and responsible of the pair. she was always ahead of her time in her ability to reason and to relate to people. she was incredibly intelligent and intuitive, where other people were concerned.

i would never in a million years have thought that she’d have ended up making some of the choices she’s made.

ever since Loser Asshole Boyfriend (LAB for short…that’s what we’ll call him from this point forward) has come into the picture, she’s been different. i can’t really put my finger on it – what it is specifically that has sparked this change in her, but it seems too chronologically close to be coincidental. She’s affected an accent that seems to be a permanent thing now – i can’t even imagine how that came to pass, but she talks now as if english was a second language to her. i’ve heard her affect this in the past, in the presence of certain people, but when the partner in conversation eventually disappeared, so did the vocal affectation. now it almost seems to be a permanent thing.

her ambition – once so obvious – has started to wither as well.

so much of what i love about my daughter is still present, but i’m starting to wonder how long i can count on that. she’s still an excellent student – her grades haven’t slipped at all. i’ve seen no evidence of any kind of introduction to anything that could be considered substance abuse on her part…i think she still has a disdain for that, to some extent. and up until very recently, she used to call me at work and we’d talk about her day, about school, about whatever…but that hasn’t happened for a while now.

i’ve watched as one by one, certain friends of hers have become sexually active – some of them girls i’ve known since they were toddlers. now i have to wonder if my daughter has joined the club.

also, without going too far down the path of trashing LAB and his family, i have to wonder what kind of fucking lowlife would stand in the doorway of their house and lie to a parent about the whereabouts of their child? i mean, as an adult, (not counting them as parents because frankly, i don’t know who the fuck they were) i’d think that’d be below you if you had a single ounce of decency as a human being.

not something that you’ll find in the LAB household, obviously.

i know my kids aren’t five and seven anymore. i know they’re older and that their social structures are different now. i don’t know when being in a relationship as a teenager took on such a premium. i can’t even begin to go into how much things have changed now from when i was in high school, even though we’re talking twenty years’ time, but at what point did the act of being in a relationship (or not) take on so much importance in one’s social standing? i never had a steady girlfriend in high school, and even then, i didn’t feel like i was missing out on anything by not being with someone…nor did i feel judged by the people i surrounded myself with for not keeping a girlfriend. jayda, though, seems to see it as a necessity. i don’t know, maybe it’s not that – it’s not as though she’s unattractive, and wouldn’t have options at a given time…but the choices she’s made in that department have, at times, concerned me quite a bit.

never more than now, though…that’s for damn sure.

never more than now.

last night, after the gig, i went back to keiths’ house and curled up with a pillow in the guest room and laid awake for what must’ve been at least an hour thinking about all this, and what (if anything) i can do to try to reverse the course she’s hell bent on staying on. jill told me last night that jayda told her that her dad hates her. i don’t know how much of that is the typical melodramatic teenage embellishment of our last couple of conversations, or if she really, truly believes that.

the fact is, though, if i didn’t love her, i wouldn’t care what she does with herself or her life. i’d give her free reign to go spend as much time with LAB as she wanted. hell, get a whole slew of LABs and divide your time among them as you see fit. it wouldn’t matter to me if i felt the way about her that she’s convinced that i do.

i think, though, that as advanced as jayda is on so many levels, that inside she’s still a little girl in some ways. and right now, she wants to think that any attempt on the part of her mother and i to keep her from something that she wants is an act of hatred. i remember that mindset pretty well myself.

i don’t think you grow out of that at her age. that comes later, when you have an appreciation for what it means to be a parent, maybe.

i guess that if i needed something extra to make these next few months a little more trying than they’re already gonna be, i need look no further.

last night, after i finally fell asleep, i dreamed that i got a call to sub for jeff pevar in the touring band for crosby stills and nash – not that any of this has any foundation whatsoever in truth, but kenny passarelli was playing bass for them, and when jeff had to leave the tour, he recommended me to the band, and they hired me based on his recommendation. not that any of this happened in the dream, but i remember that being the reason i was there. they were playing at a theatre in new jersey somewhere, and i got there early and set up next to kenny, and we were chatting as i set up. the lights went down and they walked onstage and started while i was still getting my equipment set up, but i was ready by the second verse of the first song – which was “do for the others”, a stephen song. i put a kick-ass, david lindley-style lap steel part on the song and stills turned around and smiled at me.

after the show, he came over and we were chatting – he looked a lot younger than he looks now in my dream, and we were chatting about some of my instruments and i was asking him questions about his playing. after we finished talking, i noticed that the theatre had almost completely emptied out, and i said something about having to go, and he asked me where i was going, and i said that i had to get up to go to work in the morning.

he said, “stay right here for a minute,” and walked away for just a second, and came back and said that he was going to go talk to david and graham about having me stay with the tour…they were going to be playing this particular hall for six more nights, and then moving on to someplace in upstate new york for a week, and would i come along if i got the gig…

and then i woke up.

i do wish i’d stayed asleep long enough to ask him what chord voicing he used for the intro to “carry on”, though.

always wondered about that….




now playing: dan fogelberg, “since you’ve asked”


i don’t even know where to begin…to try and sum up this week.

it’s all but over now, although this huge project that i have due on monday morning will easily drag the week well into, and past, the weekend. i had a visit from our CEO this afternoon regarding an unrelated matter, and i told him what i was in the middle of…”i’m starting to have dreams about it,” i told him.

i don’t think my relationship with my daughter has recovered from the events surrounding her losing her cellphone, and some of the things i said to her on sunday night after we dropped her boyfriend off at his house during the first ten minutes of the fourth quarter of the super bowl. i think we will, eventually, get past this, and i do have a lot of faith in jayda…i think that some of the fears that i have about her immediate path are probably unfounded, but the voices in my head definitely know how devil’s advocate works.

last night was parent-teacher conference night for dylan…which is an abbreviated way of saying that it’s time once again to take away all of dylan’s shit. last night i referred to it as the “walk of shame” when we were leaving mrs. morrisey’s classroom to head down to the conference.

the fact is, dylan’s grades are not horrible. they could definitely be worse, and they’d be what he deserved if he were, in fact, an average or below average student. and maybe he is an average or below average student…but the evidence points in other directions. for instance, the thing that kept him from excelling in a couple of his classes was simply not bringing home tests to be signed. i said to mr. ward (his science teacher) that this wasn’t homework…it was a “to do” list. there’s no real work involved in getting someone else to sign a paper, but apparently where dylan is concerned, this is just too great a burden to bear.

and the thing is, it’s not as though the tests he has to bring in for signatures have awful grades on them…his test scores are actually quite good. so why, one would ask, is this such a huge mental block for him?

i sure as hell wish i knew.

but, also, it’s not just that…there are tests he’s neglected to make up, he hadn’t turned in his vocabulary notebook to his english teacher…and when he’s out, as he was a couple of times this year for extended periods of time, he can’t be bothered to take the intiative to find out what he has to make up to get caught up with the rest of his class.

it seems to boil down to a potentially fatal mixture of laziness and apathy. the kind that finds you working as head fry cook at thirty-five and sharing a two bedroom apartment with three other people.

i know he’s capable of more than that. and i think that eventually, if something touches that tiny spot in his head and trips off that lever that i believe to be in there, then he’ll find his passion and perhaps some motivation will come hand in hand with that. but, the thing is, being smart never outweighs being lazy…so he has to overcome that in order for his brain to serve him well at all.

tonight (should i ever be able to fall asleep) will be spent on the sofa at my ex-girlfriend samantha’s house. shanna kicked my ass at mario-kart earlier tonight…then we watched a movie and she went to bed. right now it’s almost 1:30 in the morning, and i’m sitting in the dark on the sofa with my laptop fired up, writing because i can’t fall asleep, even though i should be damn near dead right now. tomorrow night, i’ve been asked to sit in with a friends’ band for a gig in fleetwood, and i’ll probably spend tomorrow night at his house, and i haven’t even thought about sunday yet – todd offered the sofa for sunday, but i honestly don’t know how sunday is going to pan out yet…for all i know at this point, i may work straight through sunday night into monday morning if this project at work continues to go the way it has…although there should be no interruptions at work this weekend…no one calling because they can’t retrieve their email, no one calling because their print jobs are locked up, none of that crap.

i’ll get it finished…because i have no other choice, really.

i still don’t know how i feel about the fact that i couldn’t have been able to tell the difference from last night at my house and any other night at my house…expectations sure can fuck things up if you give them room to. i really thought, based on how well things have gone between wendy and i literally from the moment that we had “the talk”, that this might not have been the case. certainly, i don’t hold out any hope for reconciliation at this point, because the wheels are in motion and there’s really no stopping them at this point, no matter what i might think.

and i think that, in a way, what happened last night was supposed to be a signpost…fate’s way of saying, “this is why this is happening. this is why this has come to this point in the first place. don’t forget the things that made you unhappy in this relationship in the first place.”

and that’s all valid, really. i married someone who literally lacks the ability to turn off the TV until she’s completely drained of energy and ready to fall asleep within minutes. and i need to respect the way that (among other things) has affected my ability to be compassionate towards her, the way it’s contributed to my resentment and anger over these past few years.

the fact is, this is who she is. and i need to accept that and allow for it and not be so personally arrogant as to think that because she’s with me, certain fundamental things about her are going to change.

life doesn’t work that way. no more for me than it has for her in her expectations that certain things about me might be changed.

and i think that last night, as she sat mesmerized by the television as the last hours of the evening frittered away, life was telling me something.

it was saying, “don’t be a chump, tom. this is reality. the lengths that you two have gone to to be more compassionate and more attentive and more loving over these past two weeks – that’s the fantasy. that’s you and her playing out what you thought you were getting. so, here, tom. take a good look, because this is what you’re giving up. now listen to me and take all this in before you do something stupid like spend sixty-five bucks to have roses delivered to the library on valentines’ day with that corny-assed card that you thought up last week. put it out of your mind, and focus on the task at hand.”

“….just let it go, man. let it go.”

so this morning i got up early, got ready for work, and grabbed my laptop, my cell phone, my camera, and a basket full of clothes, and left for work knowing that i wouldn’t be home for a minimum of a week….and possibly more, from what i understand.

and i know somehow…i don’t know how or why i know this, but i just know…that when i go back – when the work at hand is done and the parents have done this business and headed back south temporarily until such time as they return to help her move – things will be different.

again, i don’t know how i know…i just know.

this whole sense of resolving to enjoy each other that we’ve had for the past couple of weeks is going to fade into the shadows of the tasks at hand, and things are going to take on a whole new light. maybe it’ll be subtle, maybe it’ll be night and day…but i think that when i left the house this morning, it was the end of a very short era.

it’s hot in here. it’s going to be interesting trying to sleep, but i feel like i have to try, or the weekend is gonna suck more than it potentially could.

the waning hours



now playing: sex in the city, ad nauseum


so how, you might ask, did i spend the last night in the house with my soon-to-be ex-wife?

well, i rushed home from dylans’ parent-teacher conference to an empty house…wendy came home at about 20 before 9 with her dinner in a bag (so much for potentially taking her out to dinner). so, i left and went to queen city to grab a bite, since i was starving…and wendy called to remind me that someone had come to pick up their computer.

so i gulped down dinner, drove back to leesport to pick up the computer that i’d forgotten to bring home with me, and got home at around ten after ten. computer delivered, customer happy, evening over, for the most part.

since that time, wendy has been camped in front of the television, glued to the season four DVD of sex in the city. since mom and dad are arriving early tomorrow afternoon instead of late tomorrow afternoon/early tomorrow evening, i need to have myself ready to leave in the morning, ne’er to return.

i’m setting the alarm early in the morning, because i’m stopping at the shop on the way to work…i have laundry in the dryer which should be finished in a few minutes…at that point, i’ll be off to bed.

and my wife will still be camped in front of the TV. she’s moved on to the directors’ comments now….so it’s gonna be a long night for her.

obviously, i’ll be missed.

lethal emotional cocktail



now playing: michael mcdonald, “i can let go now”


i still remember seeing him play this song on saturday night live years ago, by himself…him on the piano.


first of all, birthday wishes to the Telecommunications Act of 1996 – on this day in that year, Bill Clinton signed the legislation that has become famous for allowing companies like Fox and Clear Channel Communications to swallow our media whole during a ceremony at the library of congress.

nine years later, i still have no fucking idea what he was thinking.

definitely the second worst move of his presidency.

(and no, monica doesn’t get top honors…nafta does.)

so, i’m sitting here stewing, still pissed about the jayda cellphone situation, still stewing a little bit from the conversation she and i had on the way home on sunday night, giving way too much space to the voice that’s telling me what a shitty parent i’ve been, and how i haven’t taught my kids some of what i think should be their core values…

i talked to my daughter a few minutes ago – recapped what exactly it was that happened yesterday, told her that i had called the school to see if anyone had turned it in, so on and so forth…and the subject of “what to do” came up. she immediately went to “my birthday is in a month” and i cut her off and told her that the only way the phone was being restored to its original standing was if she paid to replace it with her own money. not birthday money, or any other money that originated from my wallet.her money.

you might imagine that this did not go over well.

in fact, it went over “not well” enough that she’s not coming over tonight (tuesdays and thursdays are usually my nights, for the uninitiated….).

so…i guess it could be said that i’ve definitely raised a pair of entitled kids.

hell, i’m not even sure how it is that i came to this point….but here i am.

and i’m heapin’ all that on top of everything else that’s going on right now.

makes for a pretty lethal emotional cocktail, to be sure.

i’m no good (and never have been, frankly) at self-diffusion. i don’t have any sort of self-repair functionality. i usually have to just sit with whatever is kicking my ass and feel whatever it is that i’m feeling until i’ve thought it through and am ready to move past it.

i’m three days and counting until i take my short vacation from living at home so that wendy and company can have whatever time they need to get a bead on a place forher to live…so that the two of us can put ourselves in places where we can no longer be a disappointment to one another. i’ve gotten generous offers of sofas from a couple of friends, and the plan (as it stands right now) is to spread myself out enough that no one person gets sick of havin’ me around…as i have no idea how long this is going to take.

i haven’t worn my wedding band now for almost three weeks, and there’s still a small indent in my finger where it used to be. i keep finding myself running my thumb over the place where it used to be, mimicking the motion i used to make when i’d spin it ’round my finger during idle moments.

use number 37 for wedding band: fidgeting accessory.

while she’s doing her best to pretend everything is no different than it was before, i keep flying back and forth across the room in my head, bouncing from the “i wish her and all evidence of her were gone already so i didn’t have to feel this” wall over to the “i can’t believe this is gonna be over soon” wall. and every time i land against the opposing surface, it seems like there’s a new bruise that i didn’t have before.

i just wanna go home and pile under the covers and shut the rest of the world off for the night. i don’t feel like listening to any shit from anyone in particular. in fact, i don’t even want to look at another human being right now.

i’ve had quite enough today.

as an aside, i’m considering making this a private journal – since the contents have very little to do with music or with my personal “career” as a musician. and, since it’s tied to a site which promotes this specific mission, i’m wondering if i might be mixing oil and water by including this as part of that site…whether it be politics or personal content, i’ve always struggled with the possibility (nay, the probability) that my journal is probably out of place on my site.

i guess i’m bringing this up because i’m curious as to what the few of you who read this on a regular basis think about that particular logic – am i being ridiculous, or should i hide this from the rest of the site?

i dunno…i’ve never been uncomfortable having it up and available – perhaps those who find themselves unwitting characters in my story might very well find it awkward, and they certainly have that right…no one has ever asked me specifically to exclude them from any given event, so i haven’t. this has been the one place that i can go and throw whatever i want against the wall – whether it sticks or not. so, i don’t plan to close the journal…just perhaps “un-link” it from my site and replace it with something more music-centric for the purposes of the site.

i’ve never felt the need to do that before, but i’m finding that it might be necessary at this point.

of course, tomorrow is another day and i may decide that i’m full of shit and just leave it where it is.

debatable logic



now playing: dar williams, “it’s a war in there”


well, what to say about the implosion of the eagles last night?

i think they had a solid shot until the last five minutes of the game, when they gave up and played as if their asses were already kicked…no no-huddle, no sense of urgency – it was as if they’d smoked too much dope at halftime, diggin’ on the nostagia-trip halftime show. i expected the game to be a lot more one-sided than it was, but they played tough…new england kept trying to run corey dillion to the left side of the line, over and over again, with the same result every time…he only began to have some degree of success when he started running to the opposite side of the line of scrimmage.

the eagles played the whole back half of the fourth quarter like a team that was down by twenty points and already beaten.

so, to summarize – the eagles beat themselves last night, just like they usually do in clutch situations.

in other news, wendy’s parents arrive in reading on friday – that’s this friday.

we’re not messin’ around, here.

one of the houses she’s looking at is literally a block away from where we live now…close enough that i could probably drop a football into her back yard from the sidewalk in front of my house. she seems perfectly comfortable with the concept, which strikes me as odd…i would think she’d want a bit more distance between the two of us. perhaps this is just me projecting my own feelings onto this – in that maybe i’d be a bit more comfortable with some additional distance. i’d rather not have to consciously subdue the temptation to keep tabs on her…to drive by on occasion to see if she has “company” and the like. and how would she feel about seeing a strange car in her old parking space, should the tables be turned? i mean, that particular phase (the curiosity phase, if you will) usually passes rather quickly, but then again, i’ve never had an ex end up quite so underfoot.

it took me a while to get a hand on the logic behind staying in pennsylvania in the first place…this one may take a while, too.

i might look at it differently if it were a situation where we’d be inclined to stay in touch after our separation, but i don’t think that’s going to be the case. she has a good relationship with the other two partners from what one might consider significant relationships…her ex-fiance’, steve (called “the toad” for the early part of our relationship), and her college boyfriend, adam (who lives just three hours south of us, in northern virginia). i would come right out and predict that wendy and adam stand a good chance of reconnecting after the dust settles here, but adam has a child by another woman who, while not romantically connected to him, is still very much a part of his life. and i’d have to say, based on the paranoia and thinly-veiled hostility that wendy has exhibited towards certain past girlfriends of mine, that this probably wouldn’t play very well with her on a real-life, day-to-day basis.

in theory, maybe.

in practice, probably not.

but then again, what do i know?

i know that she’s already bought tickets to an o’s-red sox game that they’re attending together in the spring…and i know that she’s had them for a while now. i know that she saw him last fall, but only bothered to formally come clean and tell me about it within the last couple of weeks. i know that she’s had a handful of pictures of his son incorporated into her computer screensaver for months now.

so, inasmuch as predictions go, it could be said that the writing is on the wall, and has been for some time now…but it’s not as if i busted my ass to do anything about it. in fact, if i were totally honest with myself, i think i’ve actually hoped at times that theywould end up together at some point. i’m sure that i’ve probably felt in the past that if they were to reconnect, then i’d be off the hook, somehow. whether that logic makes sense at all is highly debatable, but i’m sure that i’ve thought this at some point.

the circumstances of their breakup essentially had to do with distance and nothing else. there was no acrimony, no hard feelings, no bitterness toward the other…the only issue was that she was in one place and he was in another – or at least that’s the way it’s been outlined to me. so it’s almost as if they never actually “broke up”, in the traditional sense of the word.

but i’m relatively certain that, whatever might happen or not happen, i won’t be around to witness it.

because i don’t think that being friends after the split is in the cards for us. i don’t think there’s any genuine interest in that on either side of the table.

this is much more likely to be a “clean break” split…once the truck pulls away, that’ll be it. unless she leaves something behind or something trivial like that, that’ll be the last time i see her.

and i think i’ve made peace with that, too. there doesn’t seem to be much point in making it harder than it has to be by dragging things out. other than the sporadic “do you have my crowded house cd?” phone call, i think this whole thing will be forgotten in a years’ time. certainly, for her i would think it will…it might take a little longer for the individual keeping the house that we shared (moi), but i think that we’ve both been unhappy for long enough that there’s very little desire to think about revisiting any of this.

and right now, i feel pretty OK about that.

feel free to ask me again, though, in a couple of months.

especially if i have to drive by her house for whatever reason and see a car with virginia plates and a car seat parked on the curb.

i know how pathetic all this sounds…but let he who is without sin cast the first barb.