Thursday, 11 February 2010
five years ago today...
Five years ago today I never thought this is where I would be.
On this day, at this time, five years ago I was in the middle of celebrating the fact that chris and I had just entered the world of wedded bliss… we had put the finishing touches on the venue where we would party until the wee hours of the morning. We were accepting hugs and cards from all our nearest and dearest who we had invited to share our special day with us. We were dancing our first dance as a married couple to ‘Je T'aime.’ We were happy and madly in love.
I can remember that. I can remember very clearly now all the emotions I went through surrounding being away from him prior to my moving here… I can remember the way it felt the day I got to the airport that final time, November 19th 2004… I can remember exactly what it felt like the night before we got married when I arrived back at our flat... Danie, suitably drunk, was forbidden to go in because chris and his ‘stags’ were there and the clock had already ticked over to the day of our wedding... Nobody wanted to risk the possibility of bad luck, so they barricaded me outside, hysterical, on the steps for nearly twenty minutes until all the boys left and I was allowed to go in and collapse on my bed in an elated, almost-bride mess.
I can remember waking up in the morning to the sound of my mobile going… the voice at the other end was my almost-husband. We talked in hushed tones about how excited we were… talked about our nights and how much we missed one another (despite the fact that we were mere YARDS apart) and mused about the wedding and how much fun it was going to be. I remember how much my head hurt the instant I hung up the phone, the previous night’s antics combined with the fact that someone had set off the fire alarm in our flat did not go down well. I remember the flurry of excitement that my bedroom immediately became the instant I put Pulp on and opened my door. Girls prancing in and out, hairspray, glitter, curling irons, something old, something borrowed, something new and the dress… my navy blue dress of wonder, to be paired only with my silver veil and shoes for the purpose of walking down the aisle and marrying him… chris… the boy I had met two years prior… the boy that had had the pull on me to drag me 8,000 miles away from all my family and friends with the promise of a wonderful life together.
Five years ago today I never could have imagined that I would be two days into my decree nisi after being separated from my husband for five months.
Today I have been desperately trying to clutch onto the memories of each of our previous four wedding anniversaries… what we did on them and how we celebrated the union of our lives…
The first year I recall us having only recently moved into our first house together. 5 harcourt street played host to us celebrating our first 365 days together as man and wife… I recall getting him books and a card… he got me a card. Some sort of a meal was involved… perhaps even a meal out. I don’t remember anything else.
I have absolutely no memory of our second anniversary and how we celebrated it… I want to say that perhaps we went out for a meal?
The third year was celebrated in ANOTHER new home… my current one. We had not long moved in again and we were still reeling from the glee that surrounded the amazing wonder of thick walls, a giant garden and a landlord that wasn’t satan. I recall this year being incredibly strained… we were very unhappy… struggling to have a day pass that didn’t feature and revolve around an argument about money, our sex life or dane. My precious kasey was due to arrive the next day and, from what I can recall, chris and I ordered in chinese food, were disgusted with the service and watched ‘Fido.’
The fourth and final anniversary we celebrated together was… hrm… again, I am struggling to recall. Again, I remember ordering food in and sitting in the lounge watching films with chevy. We laid on the floor with a serious pile of duvets and lots of snuggles and photos. THE Incident had taken place five months prior and we were still running on a fairly mechanical basis from that… I remember loving him that night; lying on the floor talking and loving the fact that I had his face there with me. I remember feeling pleased that I hadn’t left him in September.
I think I could speak for both us of when I say that never on that night would we have dreamed that in a mere seven months we would be in that very same room deciding that we couldn’t do it anymore… that there simply wasn’t enough left in either of us.
At one a.m. yesterday my mobile began to vibrate with the promise of a new text, when I grabbed it, expecting it to be another text from pow pow I was surprised to see ‘ESTRANGED’ as the sender. I had avoided sending him any form of communication on our Decree Nisi day as he had made it seem as though my contact was very unwelcome.
The text simply read, ‘today was the day. Night.x’
Obviously, I knew he was referring to the penultimate stage of our divorce… the announcement of our intentions in court and the posting of a notice for the next six weeks and one day. I replied saying that he was sassy and I was going to say something but thought he might crap his pants (I’m delightful, yes?). The day dragged on with a series of texts and emails between him and I discussing his feelings about the whole thing… we decided to meet up for a drink in town.
I arrived, snow-swept, to see him with a pint and a shot of whiskey, his favourite. We chatted about the projects we are each working on and about our significant others… it was nice, like that scene in ‘the breakup’ where they meet up at the end of the film and chat… it was like that. We talked and it was okay. At the end of it we hugged, we hugged and I waivered. The instant my arms were around him his smell enveloped me and I remembered everything… I remembered waking up on mornings when he had work before I had gotten up and going to the toilet to find it smelled so much like him. I used to stand in the hall for minutes just smelling the air. I remembered the day he came home with that cologne and how much we laughed at the others he had brought with it… their horrific, flowery stenches. We held one another for a short period and then I helped him out with his double bass and we hugged once more outside before he gave me a fabulous forehead kiss and went one way whilst I went the other.
I feel like yesterday was important because I need to see him to offer myself… hrm… I don’t want to say ‘closure’ because I feel like I’ve HAD that… I think I just need to be able to look at him and know absolutely that this is okay… I need to keep checking it, just to make sure. Like, I KNOW it’s okay, but I sometimes need to remind myself by going and seeing his face… I also really, REALLY don’t want to lose him as a friend. He has been huge in my life and we always got on when we weren’t trying to be husband and wife. I really don’t want to lose this amazingly funny, knowledgeable, fun person from my life. Like pow pow and janey, he’s another one of those people that I will never find another of. No matter what kind of ugly we have gone through in our time together, we are still the same people we always were and they are the people that initially started talking in that chatroom seven years ago.
Divorce aside, I have been living in between states of bliss.
I am still counting down the days until my life actually turns into a Hollywood movie… until I get to be happier than I think I have ever been in my entire life… until my big, beautiful bag of muffins arrives. As of this moment, he will be leaving Iraq in (hopefully) twenty-two days. Leaving Iraq and making his way to my little part of the world that I have prepared specially for his visit.
All things muffin-related have been incredible. I feel like at the moment, right now, there is no way I could love him any more than I already do… I arrived home last night with a parcel in my hands, a parcel that he had posted nearly three weeks prior. I waited until he got back online and whacked on my webcam so he could see my excited expressions and witness me following through with my ridiculous ‘smelling things’ ritual (yes, anytime I get anything new… ANYTHING. I have to smell it, smell it for ages). I opened the parcel to see a letter first… a letter addressed simply to ‘little bear’ in the most fabulous of handwriting. I opened it, smelled it and read it. Next was a shirt. Then a henry rollins book… one that is a special first edition signed by henry rollins. Then we had a patch that he has had since 2007 that displays his rank. Next to the patch was a pair of dogtags he had specially made for me… all items were smelled thoroughly and cuddled.
Underneath these was the thing that destroyed me. It was a shirt that he had worn… I lifted it out and smelled it, I immediately began to cry. The smell was… fuck, I can’t even explain it. It was the very distinct smell of BOY that was new and was an actual, real smell that I could associate with him… this was a smell that he picked out and put on himself on a daily basis… a smell that was his and only his. The sweet combination of Iraqi laundry detergent, old spice and axe… the smell that is like no other smell I have ever smelled. A smell I can't seem to get enough of... I keep going back for more and more.
I can't wait to be able to ACTUALLY smell him... to ACTUALLY have him here in front of me, at the mercy of my nose... that will make all my little life perfect.
Muffin-related things aside, I am fabulous. Alastair and I have been busy working on Johnny things and that has just been amazing. We have gotten so close as a result of working on this together and that fact pleases me more than anything in the entire world. I love the friendship that he and i have developed... he's such a special boy.
So there we are... Danie, pleased beyond believe and humbled by the whole divorce thing.