Tuesday, January 13, 2015

The End

I drove down to Hastings on a warm autumn day in 1998 to sign divorce papers. My buddy Vinny had been an invaluable friend to me that whole summer. I called in a final divorce-related favor. I asked him to come along for the trip. I couldn’t do it alone.

We drove past countless good family law attorneys to get to Hastings.  But my friend Stacy, who had just begun her first year of law school, lived in Hastings and worked a little for an attorney there. She drafted the papers to save me some money. And she was there on that warm autumn day. She showed me where to sign. We chatted a little after I had. It was nice to see her.

After he died, one of Kurt Vonnegut’s daughters wrote of the best advice he had given her. She’d gone to him when she was a teenager with some question about the world, about the Way of Things, and he’d responded, “What are you asking me for? I just got here too.”  She wrote that she’d been reassured by that answer. It told her what she was beginning to suspect: that no one knew what the fuck he or she was doing; everyone was making it up as they went along.


My friend Stacy and I got married in 2001. Now we’re getting divorced because neither of us knows what we’re doing. We just got here too.


I know people who think I should be angrier than I am, who think I deserve to be treated better than I have been by, well by life I guess. I am not one of these people. Here’s how I see it: I think my parents had sex circa July 6, 1973. They’d been married just over two years at that time so I imagine it was just garden-variety sex. Listen kids: sometimes when a man and woman have sex his sperm meets up with her egg and nothing magical happens. Very garden-variety science happens, has been happening for millions of years. Yes so on April 6, 1974 a garden-variety boy (who I’ve been told looked a bit like a bald turkey) came screeching onto a garden-variety planet called earth, born of garden-variety sex and boring as shit biology. He didn’t ask to be there but there he was and there he’d be until biology quit happening in what was now him. So there. I think I am here and I’ll get what I get or can take and that’s that. And it’s enough. But I’m not more than I am. I am some (too many) pounds of flesh who just happens to be here and who deserves nothing, bad or good.


I texted my buddy Vinny this morning. “I signed the papers this morning, Vin. I like to do these things in Hastings, you know. Stacy was there this time too! I think she’s bad luck.”


I drove a few blocks in Hastings this morning, a bitterly cold winter day, to sign divorce papers.  My old friend Stacy was there. She’s been a family law attorney for 12 years now. It was her office. She drafted the papers to save me money. She showed me where to sign. We chatted a little after I had. It was nice to see her.

1 comment:

  1. I love that you invoked the name of Vonnegut, as this posting invokes his spirit.

    It is perfect.