I’m sitting here on my bed in my little pink and wood panel room, 7:13 pm. Texas finally decided to be winter. My little heater blowing hot air on the floor. I’m watching two cockroaches doing it on the wall, racing around in circles, and slipping in and out of a crack in the door jamb. I decided to give them pardon. At least someone will get-some in my room tonight.
It’s not the sex that I miss. Hell, I can’t remember the last time Glen and I were together that way. It’s the closeness I miss. We used to have this thing. We learned about it on t.v. It must have been a Steve Harvey idea. To be successful, couples should always have at least 1 six second kiss each day. And so we did… every day. Then every other day, and then once a week. When we remembered, it was like throwing a puppy a bone. And, all was magical again for six seconds in time.
A month or so before Glen’s D-Day, I remember being frisky with him in the living room. He must have showered and smelled nice that day. He said, “Look at me! Look!” as he pointed to his junk with two hands. “It’s dead! I’m dead down there! I couldn’t even if I wanted!”
I thought that maybe it was the booze or the depression drugs. It was ok. As long as we were together and had that 6 second kiss.That night I sat on the sofa and Glen in his chair, and watched t.v. Glen fell asleep with his head slumped over on his left side. He always said that as long as we were together, that we could do anything. I was so crazy about him and believed every word.
So here I am on our anniversary eve, December 30, 2016, watching cockroaches on the wall. It would have been 14 years for us. I spent the afternoon sulking in the living room watching Animal House and other feel good movies with my daughter and her common-law. When he decided to watch some stupid U-Boat shit movie, I decided it was time for the little pink room.
When Glen was in the hospital the first time, he had a 50/50 chance of surviving. None of his friends and coworkers called him or me. None came to see him. No cards. No letters. No text messages. Nothing. Hey… but some at least clicked the “like” button. So in my disgust over the people he loved the most, I decided to shame them on Facebook. I didn’t name names, but they knew. I simply said shame on you for not coming or calling. They were offended of course… and then cared even less. The only one who came was a guy who barely knew him. After Glen died, I never heard back from him again.
And the cockroaches go round and round. I just want a man with me right now to get my mind off this fucking shit. It’s not that I just want to leave this world and this town, I have to leave for my own sanity. My van broke down and is too dangerous to drive. I’ve had close friends, family, and strangers steal from me during my state of pain and grief. This place and this town is not my home. This is not my life.
When Glen returned from the hospital the first time, he just “drove” around town for hours… or so he said. One time, he took the dog to the river. It was at the river we went to together the summer before. “Gail?” I remember him being serious with me one day after he got back from the hospital the first time, “I want you to know that I never cheated on you with another woman.” At that moment, I couldn’t comprehend why he was saying this to me.
About six weeks after Glen passed on Thanksgiving Day, I was going through his email looking for pictures. There in black and white it said… he was cheating on me for the past 6 years. And most recently, he was cheating on me with another man. My head was filled with horror and rage. I ripped down the photo of him I cherished the most. He was standing in the snowfall in the mountains, his Steeler’s cap on his head and the sweetest smile to melt any heart. This was the photo he posted on Craigslist, of our special day, to lure men to have sex with him. I threw all his pictures and memory boards from the wake out the door. Anything that was him, I threw out the door. Later, I gave his box of ashes to his sister. I also pawned our wedding rings and bought a violin.
I still try to honor Glen’s memory by thinking about the good times, our Six Second Kisses. The last one was in the hospital. I leaned over his bed, not knowing it would be our last real kiss. I try to remember his laughter when watching the Comedy Channel and the silly way he tried to sing when we drove down the highway. Then, the memory falls away like sand… because the last person he had sex was not me. It was a stranger in the back of our van at the river… the dog at his side.
I want to scream at him and break him to his knees like he did to me in his drunken fits of rage. Him and all his worthless friends who stabbed us in the heart with their rejection and neglect. All I have now are two cockroaches doing it on the wall. Ok… I have more than that… a roof over my head, a dog on the floor, my daughter who makes awesome cookies, a good job, and two cockroaches on the wall. But you know, I have a chance that most women only dream about. I have the chance to start my life all over again. All I need to do is get out of this stinkin’ town.