Since I can remember, I’ve had a go to phrase. “The opposite of love isn’t hate, it’s indifference.”
Love is self explanatory. Hate is a bit more complicated because it sometimes takes a long time for someone to realize that in order to hate someone, they have to care about them. That in itself takes energy which means we’re invested. Indifference can be a beautiful state of being because it means that you’re no longer wasting your energy on something that either doesn’t benefit you, isn’t productive, is bad for you, doesn’t serve you, doesn’t want you, or you’ve simply outgrown.
A year and five months ago the person whom I’d loved for almost nine years stood in front of me with drunken, watery eyes and told me he was no longer in love with me. I asked him at the time why he was still putting lunch box love letters in my lunch every day and he told me it was fucking killing him to do so.
I lived with him for four months after that day and made offers on three homes until I was able to leave with only my clothes and a king sized mattress and moved into the house I bought entirely on my own. A house untainted by memories of the promises made, and broken.
When he first told me I panicked. I was 51 years old and had a good job but was homeless. Starting over again was frightening and overwhelming and I no longer knew who I was. At first I tried bargaining. I offered to go to counseling with him. And then I became angry.
I used every trick in the book to try to get him to respond to me. Nothing worked, thankfully. I had told him if I caught him screwing someone else before I was out of the house I’d cut off his favorite body part and feed it to him.
Years prior he had told me he loved me the first time by telling me to listen to the Garth Brooks song “Shameless”. Stupidly I had gotten a tattoo because I was so touched by the gesture and these days I can’t wait until it’s erased.
After my threat of castration coupled with the fact he knows I’m a sadist, I can’t say I was completely surprised when the custom forged ax I’d had made for him by an Irish blacksmith that last Christmas disappeared off the wall. Meanwhile while we were living in opposite ends of the house I was working my way through the Craigslist personals in a sad attempt to heal my broken heart. (What’s the quickest way to get over somebody? To get under somebody else har har.) Sadly, that only made things feel that much more pathetic and what’s up with all the twenty something’s that want to bang fifty year olds? I joked that I was offering a public service, their future wives and girlfriends would thank me.
During our conversation the night that we ended he had told me that he wanted a child and he wanted to get married, just not to me.
Fast forward to last night. Muse is coming home and I finally have my third bedroom set up as a guest room…and a dungeon. And we’re hosting Thanksgiving dinner.
Picture this. My very Christian 4’10 Mother, my eccentric stepfather who’s dying of stage 4 colon cancer, my 23 year old bisexual masochistic son and his redneck twin brother, my Trump voting brother and sister in law who have been together since he knocked her up at 15 (26 years ago), my lesbian former play partner AND my trans girlfriend are all gonna be here.
I needed a lock on that bedroom door. My family all knows about my lifestyle and it’s bad enough that they tease me about the “engine lift” in my art room, they don’t need to see the “dog box” in my guest room. I called my good friend Guy, a locksmith. He came over and during the course of catching up I’d mentioned it was weird how the ex had suddenly started basically throwing the dogs in the house when he came by to drop them off anymore.
“Yeah, I saw he got married a couple of weeks ago.”
Oh? I didn’t know. And strangely, it didn’t hurt. I actually found it funny that he was obviously scared to tell me.
Tonight he came by to pick the dogs up. We live less than a mile from each other and share custody of a Rottweiler, Sheldon and a Chihuahua/peke named Spike. When all of this initially happened he felt so guilty he wouldn’t have fought me on anything I wanted out of him, but he loves the boys as much as I do so we share time with them.
He knocked on the door. I made sure I was busy in the kitchen and yelled for him to come in. I told him their leashes were in the other room and distracted him with info about texts I’d received regarding Spikes upcoming appointment.
Then I told him congratulations. He stopped. Congratulations? Yep. “On, the thing”…he asks.
Your wedding. I say. Yes.
Yes, I know. Yes, I know about (her name) and I’ve known about her since before I left your house.
Actually that part was a little white lie. I figured the part out about her during a break in a threesome with one of my closest girlfriends and a guy we were banging shortly after moving into my place. Talk about cock blocking. Clit blocking?!?
Anywho. I told him tonight we weren’t friends. But I’m not angry, and we’re good coparents to the boys. Don’t make it weird.
My life is already weird enough.
And indifference feels fucking awesome.