Sunday, January 9, 2011

The Divorcee

She sat down toward our end of the long bar and ordered a glass of white wine. It was mid-morning on the Upper East Side, a weekday just before the holidays.

Her head was down or tilted slightly to watch one of the seven televisions surrounding us, until she overheard our conversation, about divorce.

She looked up then, alert and engaged. "Oh, I could tell you about divorce..." she said, and proceeded to.

"I was put out to pasture," she began. "One day, he just asked me to meet him at a hotel bar and he gave me a key to a storage space where he had put my stuff. He'd already had all the locks changed."

I somehow felt she wanted to say more.

"Why?" I asked.

She shook her head, like maybe she wasn't sure, but then answered, straight out. "He found my diaries..."

I ventured further cautiously. "So...then... did he kick you out because of something you did or something that you thought?"

She didn't skip a beat. "Something that I thought."

She had merely fantasized in writing what it might have been like if she'd gone down a different road, with a different man. That was it for him, he was done, ego blown to smithereens, unable to believe again in the pretty blonde he'd made his wife years earlier. They had no kids, just stuff, stuff and money they'd been dickering over with the assistance of pricey divorce lawyers ever since that day, ever since the reading of the diaries.

She ordered another glass of white wine and seemed to get lost in it, lost in memory and regret. I got up and gave her a gold star, which she promptly put on and smiled.

"Thank you," she said.

"I know it's hard," I said, "but keep trying."

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