At one time, I was young. Rather, I was younger. Younger than I am now, and that is the nature of the unidirection quality of time. It’s too bad I can’t reverse time every so often to revel in some of the best occurrences of my life, although right now I can’t think of a single occurrence worthy of reliving because the best of these occurrences were pre-Susan… no, many were post-Susan as well… and there were a smattering of good thoughts during-Susan… and traversing back in time might require me to traipse through Susan Time.

Necessary exposition:

This Mesozoic distribution, cited as “Susan”, refers to my ex-wife whose name is Susan. It was not a good marriage. If our home was a sovereign nation, our national language was screaming at each other. I was not fluent in this language, and it is Susan’s native tongue. A forked tongue at that, like on a snake or a most demonic snake. That gives me an idea.

By exchanging one letter at a time, using real words, I’m going to prove and illustrate the very real connection between my ex-wife and the Prince of Being a Big Meanie. Here we go.

  • Susan
  • Sutan
  • Satan

“Sutan” is a real word, and indeed a proper name like “Susan” and “Satan.” Spooky, yes? Believe you me, I’ve always wondered if she was actually the Dark Lord of All Evil, the Dispenser of Misery, the Master of Abortions… only once removed.

So get this. After my divorce I was so beaten, black and blue, with no fresh wind on the street. There was no wind upon my back. I was held in a miserable stasis of miserable misery, weighted down by both bipolar depression and situational sadness, still at the whims of an ex-wife who felt perfectly within her authority to scream at me. Anywhere. Everywhere. I could be at the local Albertsons, and she was also at this grocery store, and she could whiff my broken scent, and she would traverse the whole store to scream at me and berate me by – I don’t know – insisting I’m a fucking loser who can’t even pick an acorn squash properly. And I would take it.

Too much. At what moment is something too much? As a peer, too much comes at that point where the awareness of how disempowered I allowed myself to become was immensely and intensely affecting my life in the worst possible ways. The ex-wife screamed at me at parent/teacher conferences for our son. She screamed at me at the AYSO soccer games where I was coach… and she was not. Worst of all, though, is she screamed at me in front of Scotto, and when I understood that without placing a limit on her abuse of me, my son would grow up thinking that it was okay to scream at someone else to dominate and disparage.

Enough. There was one other place where the ex-wife screamed, and that was when she was dropping off my son at our home (we had 50/50 custody, which displeased her greatly). The routine was I’d send Scotto in to mess with the rabbits or the Xbox or the trebuchet, and then I would hand my balls off to the ex-wife to hold while she screamed at me for whatever reason she could find. There was once a toxic weed growing in my front yard that could have killed Scotto if ingested, and to be fair this was truth and fact. The weed was toxic and could have killed my son, although only if he ate three cubic yards of the stuff every hour on the hour for ten years.

So, there was one day when she dropped off Scotto, and at my front door she screamed and screamed (usually accentuated with a good jab in the chest with one of her talons) about the slope of the driveway being too steep during the winter months on those rare occasions snow or ice accumulated for more than fourteen hours here in Albuquerque. It was an odd choice, this driveway contention, primarily because this round of screaming was over the July 4th weekend. She was always one to plan ahead with her abuse. I believe she has me scheduled for my death bed for that last shot before I ascended to chill with the Big JC and His Dad for forever and eternity and she’d have no access to me ever again (because she is Satan, you see, and Satan was already thrown out of Heaven for forever and eternity).

Re-empowerment. I chose this day to stand up for myself and my son, to stand tall for our life, and to remove her from influence over my bipolar symptoms and anxiety. And that’s what I did. I stood there. And I let her scream. And when she finished her auditory venom, I just stood there. With a smirk. She hated my smirk. I quite like it. It’s either charming or enraging, much like having a sexual relationship with me, but that’s something else entirely and I don’t want to give you the pleasure of envisioning me naked. My naked body, it’s quite the adonic gift. Think of Brad Pitt naked, only without the vagina.

I stood there.

And she drew in her first breath in eight minutes, and she waited for me to make excuses for my perceived failings, or to make apologies for being a crappy father, or to in some way cower and give her satisfaction, pleasure, and accomplishment that she had so much power over me. This day, I didn’t do this.

I stood there, and I smirked.

And she finally fumed, “Well? What do you have to say?”

And I replied, “Nothing. I’m just waiting.”

And she growled, “Waiting? Waiting for what?”

And I replied, “I’m waiting to see if the exorcism takes this time and the demon finally leaves the body.”

And I stood there and enjoyed another barrage of insults, accusations, criticisms, and venom for what must have been an hour. And I smirked. I’m still smirking. In fact, I’m smirking just now with fond recollection of how I took back all the power I was allowing her to have over me.

It was so worth it. For me as a peer, and me as a peer parent of my totally way cool son Scotto, it was so worth it.

Smirky smirk smirk smirky smirk.