I was surprised to get a call from my mom the other night that her marriage to my stepdad has faltered. It's mainly a case of one party being too controlling. I don't get wanting to control others. I feel that my will for another is their will for themselves, kind of how I feel God feels about us. Why would you want to constrain those you love? Resentment is sure to build in such cases.
They did quite a number on keeping the extent of their troubles hidden. Other than some strange goings-on on Christmas Eve, I wouldn't have figured their union was in any danger. Interesting how people put a happy face on their lives when it's anything but. Some are the same on Facebook, nothing but positivity. You know they can't be like that in real life and if they are, you married the wrong person.
When I first received word that my parents were contemplating divorce twenty-eight years ago, I was watching Olivia Newton-John's concert special on HBO.
It is forever linked now with that evening. One of my siblings told me what was going on and I went to the source to see if it was true. My dad was sitting on top of my mom in the living room, but this was no sex act. He was asking why she wished to dissolve the partnership.
This happened at almost the exact moment that I was first experiencing puberty. I'd go to my 7th grade classes and get what I liked to call "tenny" (tension) headaches on many a day. My grades went into the toilet and I came to rely more on my grandmother as I began to feel more distant from my parents.
My dad moved out of the house and into an apartment complex. One evening, I went there with my siblings. It was small, but sufficient, I suppose, for a now-single man. I noticed a jar full of quarters on the nightstand. I asked if I could have some. He said that he was saving them for something or another. A moment or two later, when he wasn't looking, I took a couple dollars' worth out of it and said that I was going to head over to the mall; it was located just two blocks away.
The shopping center was mighty quiet on that evening. I headed the length of the mall to my favorite haunt, the Electric Rainbow arcade. Halfway there, I saw a girl who was in one of my classes, Courtney. She was the one who as a 1st grader, I fantasized chose me to play with out of all the boys in our class. She looked fantastic that night, a vision with beautiful blond hair and preppy clothes. She may have gazed at me as we passed each other. I wasn't sure if she even knew who I was.
I set to playing some of my favorite video games: the sitdown version of Turbo, Star Wars, Joust, stuff like that. Playing those games helped me decompress a bit. They gave me peace when that was in very short supply. I left the arcade and just a couple steps later, saw Courtney again, heading in the opposite direction as before.
This time, she smiled and said, "Hi". I said "Hi" back to her and was on cloud nine as I walked past the rest of the stores. I was living in a broken home now, but it needn't be my destiny. Someday in the not-too-distant future, I would have a family of my own and all this heartache would be a thing of the past.
Tracks I listened to while composing this:
Take Good Care Of My Heart - Jermaine Jackson & Whitney Houston
New Girl Now - Honeymoon Suite
I Go Crazy - Paul Davis
How Much I Feel - Ambrosia