Home » A Wasted Life » Nothing Had Changed

Nothing Had Changed

Things went along the same way they always had.  He would work long hours and I would be at home, waiting.
Now and then, he would say that he would like to have a beer with his brother.  His brother and his wife would come over and sometimes brought their two sons.  Everybody would be out on the patio, drinking and talking.  Most of the time, I would sit in the den.  I didn’t drink, as I have said and nobody ever talked to me anyway.
On one of the visits, his brothers’ sons walked into my house, went over to the refrigerator and poured themselves a big glass of chocolate milk.  Not only did they not speak to me, they didn’t even look at me.  Later, his brother came in and I was getting some water.  It was like he couldn’t figure out how to address a “non person” so he finally said “getting some water?”  I hoped he could see the contempt on my face when I simply said, yes.  All he could muster was “water’s good.”  That supercilious attitude was not only directed toward me but was also toward my children and I hated it.
It was time for another visit from his mama and daddy.  I was dreading it as usual. This time however, I was surprised when they showed up and she was sober.  It was one of the only two times I would ever see that.
We played cards and it was fun.  It was remarkable to see the difference in this woman.  While we were playing, R*** and I would spell complete sentences to each other.  J***s’ daddy looked at him and asked if he knew what we were talking about.  J*** said he didn’t have a clue.  I have never known anybody else who could keep up with me without even a blip.  It was strange that this woman and I both had that ability.
It was to be short-lived.  The next day, she started drinking.  It was time for dinner and she was going through my cabinets looking for macaroni.  I didn’t have any and you would have thought I deserved to be taken out in the back yard and beaten.  She said “how can you call yourself a wife and not have any macaroni in the house?”  I was tired of her treatment and that was the straw that broke the camels’ back.  They were never invited to our house again.
J***s’ friend from Denmark made several visits.  When he walked in the door, he would throw me his car keys.  His visits always meant a couple of nights of good eating and lots of drinking.  He never spent any time talking to me but he was respectful because I was the designated driver.  I understood it was probably the only reason I was invited to go with them.
I eventually became aware that for all of those years, because I refused to drink, he thought I was an alcoholic….and he wasn’t the only one.
Our friend S*** would come to see us often…..to make his famous chicken and play golf with J***.  I would make my famous home fries to go with the chicken and other food.  S*** loved them and asked me what I had put on them.  I said parsley.  He asked me if I was sure.  He said it tasted like thyme.  I told him that I didn’t even know what thyme was and I ought to know what was in my spice cabinet.  I took out the bottle and imagine my surprise when it was thyme.  We both laughed our eyes out.
S*** and I were early risers and while J*** was still in the bed, we would watch movies together or just sit there and chat.  Never once did he make me feel like a non-person.
I had decided to start playing golf because it was something I could do with J***.  I could hit the ball hard and I could hit it straight but I couldn’t putt worth a damn.  I didn’t care….I just played.
J***s’ friend G***** and his wife L*** came to visit and we all decided to play golf.  It was going well, I thought.  I wasn’t competitive so I didn’t really care who “won.”  J*** was having a terrible game and I guess he was a little embarrassed in front of G*****.
At some point, I made the mistake of walking in front of him.  He grabbed my arm and jerked me back so hard that he almost pulled me down and screamed “GET OUT OF THE FUCKING WAY.”  G***** and L*** both heard him but didn’t say anything.  Why would they?  G***** had never had a conversation with me and all L*** had ever said to me was “make me a quilt.  I like flowers.” Just seconds later, G***** walked in front of J*** and all he said was “watch your noggin, G******. ”
A few days later, J*** was getting ready for work and said he would get us a tee-time for Saturday.  I told him I wasn’t playing golf with him anymore.  He asked me why and I said “because you make me feel bad.”  He didn’t come over and put his arm around me and tell me that he was sorry.  He just said FUCK and walked out of the room.  I imagine that he made somebody pay at work that day.
“A Taste of C********* was an event that we had always attended.  This year,  J*** had thrown out his back.  We got there and I spent most of my time getting his food and drinks for him and bringing them to the table but I  didn’t mind.  Since he couldn’t get up and mill around as he had always done, everybody came to the table.  One young reporter that he knew asked him exactly what it was that he did.  J*** held his arms out and said “I’m GOD.”
The next day I told J*** that he shouldn’t have said what he said about being God.  He just smiled and said “God understands.”
We didn’t have the typical “friends” that we hung out with all the time.  We had a few couples over to the house and everybody sat around and drank and talked.  They would knock over their drinks and break my crystal and it didn’t seem to bother anybody but me.  It would be the usual newspaper talk, and of course I wasn’t included in the conversations.  I didn’t particularly want any of them to come back over.
J*** accused me of not liking anybody.  It was true.  I didn’t like most of them, but mostly…..I didn’t like him.  I couldn’t stand to be around him when he was drinking and I had gotten tired of being all but ignored.
When it was just the two of us and it would get late, he would ask me if I was ready to go to bed.  We’d go upstairs and I would get in the bed and he would go in the bathroom with a book.  He would literally stay in there reading and smoking for hours and hours and hours.  Those books were apparently much more interesting than I was.  That had been the routine for years and I often wondered what he would have thought or done if the roles had been reversed.

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s