Home » A Wasted Life » He Had Finally Made It To The Top

He Had Finally Made It To The Top

The ball was rolling.  J*** got the job in C*********.  He had his send-off party in O****** and was working his notice.  It was at that party when two different people came up to me and asked me how I could stand to be married to him…..and they were both his friends.  Were they mad at him for leaving?  Had he given them a hard time the day before?  I didn’t understand.
In October, J*** had started going to C********* and feeling his way around.  They had provided him with a new car as part of his job.  He was really pleased about that and left the old van with me.  It had become a laughing point with almost everybody.  It was dubbed “unsafe….even when parked.” The handle had fallen off of the drivers’ door and the top of the inside was held together with paperclips….but it still ran.
Once again, I was left with the task of getting the house ready to sell.  Once again, I was putting up ceilings and painting walls.  Once again, I was being left behind.
I was still working at the golf course during the day and at night I would come home and work on the house.  Late one night, I was trying to get one last piece of tile cut and almost sliced off my thumb.  It was a pretty impressive wound.  I sent B***** and her then boyfriend to the drug store to get some bandages.  I had to work the next day so I needed a way to cover it up.
That wound proved to be quite an advantage.  All the golfers asked me what happened.  I told them it would be a dollar to hear the story and two dollars to see my thumb.  Those golfers were raking out that money quicker than I could get the bandage off!  It healed pretty quickly but in another month, it became red and almost like it was infected, although it wasn’t.  I didn’t understand then, but I would eventually.
It was time for the annual newspaper awards and L****, the publisher suggested to J*** that I should be there.  I made the trip to C********* and we attended the banquet.
The awards were given and the boring programs were over so the drunken antics began.  Toward the end of the night, L****, who was hammered, decided to throw a bucket of ice water on somebody.  He missed and threw it on me.  I was absolutely soaked with freezing water.  It must have been hilarious because everybody stood there laughing, including J***.
J*** would make the trip home when he could and our friend, S*** would always come over to make his famous chicken.  I was telling him that I missed J*** and couldn’t wait to get the house sold and get up there.  He asked me why I didn’t  just go up there every weekend and I told him the drive was too far.  He asked me why I didn’t fly.  I told him I was scared of flying and besides, the last time I flew was going to be the last time I flew because of the way J*** had treated me.
I told him about going to Chicago, for J***s’ old mentors’ retirement party.  J*** and I got on the plane and were ready to take off.  I was terrified and he knew it.  I was holding onto the arms of the seat with a white-knuckle grip.  J*** raised his voice and said “I don’t understand it.  You aren’t afraid of anything.”  He made every head gesture and every hand gesture and did all the “tsk-ing.”  There was no disguising his impatience and disgust.  The flight attendant heard and saw him and I think she felt sorry for me.  She asked me if there was anything she could get for me and I asked her if she had milk.  She brought me those little pint cartons of milk during the whole flight.
J*** was just unmercifully mean to me.  It embarrassed me and really made me feel like shit.  I told S***….THAT’S why I won’t fly again.
He shook his head and said “I don’t know why”…..and then trailed off.  I don’t know if he was going to say that he didn’t know why J*** treated me the way he did or if he didn’t know why I let him.
In February, I made another trip to C********* to look for a house.  We had known the publisher and his wife J***,  for more than twenty years and she was a real estate agent.  She was going to help me find a house but instead, her daughter showed up.  She liked to sell multi-million dollar houses and we weren’t in the market for one of those so she sent her “newby” daughter.  I spent two days looking and finally found one that I liked.  J***  liked it, too so we made an offer and set a closing date for May 1st.
All of the children were there…….K**** and B***** were home from college and the house was full.  There were five cars in the driveway so it looked sort of like a party was going on all the time.  I did the best I could and then called a real estate agent.  She asked me if I could get rid of some of the cars and I told her no.  She decided to put in the description….”kids are home from school.  House is full.  Please ignore the cars and contents.”
The house was on the market!  We lived in a pretty desirable neighborhood so traffic was heavy and constant.
I was at work one day and I called J***.  I jokingly asked him how long he was going to be willing to leave me down there and he yelled…”I think the house ought to be on the market for more than five Goddamn minutes before you start hitting me with that bullshit!”  I didn’t ask him again but I didn’t have to.  The house sold in sixteen days.
Once again, the movers came in and reduced the house to a pile of boxes in one day.  I was anxious to get to C********* so I let the Realtor do the closing for us.  J*** was closing on the house in C********* the same day.  There were a few hiccups with both closings but it worked out okay.
J*** knew that I was on my way and told me not to show up until after seven.  Sure enough, I got to C********* at exactly seven.  I called him and told him I was there and was going to tell him that I would just find somewhere to wait but before I could, he yelled “Godamnit! I told you to not to get here until after seven.”  I apologized and then he told me to find somewhere to eat and he would come meet me.  I could only find one place that was open.  He met me, was obviously irritated and didn’t hide it.  He made me wish I had never even come up there.
The furniture was being delivered at eight o’clock the next morning.  I told J*** that we needed to spend the night at the new house and he was adamantly opposed.  I told him that there was no way I was going to get him up, wait for him to get ready and then make it to the house by eight.  He reluctantly agreed.  We spent the night on the floor in the bedroom.  I had taken care of getting all the utilities turned on….power, gas, cable….everything….except water.  That proved to be interestingly inconvenient.
The movers showed up exactly at eight.  I asked J*** to stay and help me but he wouldn’t.  He went to work.

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