Home » A Wasted Life » Hear Me Roar!

Hear Me Roar!

J*** and I exchanged a few emails after our last meeting.  They were strained and full of insults (from both sides.)  I turned the emotional thermostat up all the way and opened every single vent.  I ended one message by telling J*** that he had never failed to remind me that he liked “strong, self-confident women who pushed back” and asked him how he liked “a woman who roared?”
He replied that there was “a difference between pushing back and being a vindictive bitch.”
Ah, the sweet darlin’ was going to regret saying that to me.
He calmed down and later wrote an apology.  He tempered his insults by telling me that I “was a really good writer.”  Coming from arguably one of the best editors who has ever been in the business, I took that as a compliment but I am keenly aware that J*** can successfully placate most people with what he refers to as his “fatal H*** charm.”  He also has unapologetic expertise when it comes to pretending lugubriousness.
I decided to write him a twelve page letter after the “vindictive bitch” comment and I did not hold back.  I would describe it as scathing and unmerciful but it was exactly how I felt.  In that letter, I told him that when I asked him how he liked a woman who roared, I meant it.  I told him that “I had roared and he was going to hear it.”
I decided to enlighten people about what had happened to us and I spelled it out in great detail.  It had been nine years since I left J*** and during those years, I imagine he had told everybody what he said he was going to tell his mama and daddy, which was that I left him because he had been fired.  He didn’t seem to be concerned with the implied assumption that I was nothing but a gold-digger.
I know he had never admitted what he had done because he is a coward.  He was much more comfortable “throwing me under the bus” than accepting responsibility for destroying our marriage.  Had he admitted what he had done, he couldn’t have enjoyed the enormous amount of sympathy that he received, especially from women.
I wrote letters to people I knew and I wrote letters to people I had never met.  A few of the people gave the letters to J***.  Most of them didn’t, although they told him that I had written to them.
Was that being “vindictive” or was that a roar?”
I’m not sure J*** really knew what to think about what I had done.  It was territory that he had never had to face.  The real J*** H*** had been exposed for exactly who he was and now people knew what he had done.
The impact of those letters remained dormant in his mind for a while because our next grandchild was about to be born, not to mention that he was relishing the prospect of his impending retirement.
Our son had been named after J***  just as J*** had been named after his daddy.  It was fully expected that this child would carry on the name because we knew it was going to be a boy.
Our son called me and told me that the baby had arrived.  Right after, J*** texted me and said “it’s an old stinkin’ boy” and then asked me what I thought.  I said that I was happy for them but I was also a little bit worried.
J*** texted back and said “NOT ME!  J*** C**** H*** IV!”  He wasn’t concerned about how our sons’ girlfriend was or what the future held for them.   ALL HE CARED ABOUT WAS THAT GODDAMN NAME! 
Did he really believe that name still had any value?  He had basically destroyed our family with his past and present adultery, had tarnished me with an incurable disease and was leaving behind a life-long profession with a reputation as being one of the most abusive tyrants who had ever darkened a newspaper doorway.  Even one of his closest friends had said “nobody denies that J*** has talent, but everybody hates him.”  That name to me, was about as valuable as if it had been Manson.
Our grandson was ultimately given another name and as of this posting, more than a year later, J*** has never seen him.
I received a letter from the L*** C***** courthouse but I didn’t even bother to open it.  A few days later, I got an angry email from J***, asking me what the hell it was about.  He had gotten the same letter but he opened it.  It was a summons for both of us to appear in court.  I told him that I would call and find out what was going on.
I called the court and told them that J*** lived five hundred miles away, couldn’t come down and that I had asked for a postponement.  The clerk said “obviously, it wasn’t granted.”  I asked her what would happen if he didn’t show up and she said he would be in “contempt of court.  This is not a request.  This is an order.”  I asked her what my options were and she said that I had none.  I told her that I could drop the suit and she said I could and suggested that I come do that.
I did and then let J*** know.  He said that I had done the right thing and that he thought it would be easier for HIM to file in S**** C******* and for me not to assume any negative meaning when he became the “plaintiff.”  He wanted to file based on “living apart.”  I had done some research and………….that was not going to happen.  I didn’t tell him that I intended to retain an attorney in S**** C******* and would be filing for adultery.
It was November and I had to make another trip up there to get my things out of his storage unit.  We met and had breakfast first.  While we were eating, I asked him why he lied to me when he said that he and his attachment weren’t living together.  He threw out his hands and said “she has a house!”  I said “yes.  She has a house that she’s not living in because she’s living with you.”  He was trying to deflect the question by offering information about her “residence.”
He knew that I knew that they had been living together since before I had asked him in June.  He shamefully looked down and in almost a whisper said “she’s there most of the time.”  Finally.  The truth reared its noble head.
This man is the king of many things and he believes that his deflections are credible but he forgets that although I am not educated, I am far from being an idiot.  I asked him if it was absolutely impossible for him to tell the truth about anything or if it was just impossible for him to tell me the truth about anything.
J*** looked at me and said “did you send J** a letter?”  I told him I had not…..and I knew why he was asking.  J*** had to go to C****** and had emailed J** to see if he wanted to have dinner.  J** had cavalierly answered “can’t make it.”  J** had also been invited to J***s’ retirement party.  He had declined that as well and had waited until the last minute to send his regrets, which were the same…”can’t make it.”
To J***, it had to have been my fault that he had effectively been minimized to unimportant.  It couldn’t have been that J*** had completely ignored J** for almost fourteen years.
J*** always thought that he could disregard people and because he was the GREAT J*** H***, when he snapped his fingers, they were to jump at the chance to be honored by his presence.  J** was his own man and didn’t tolerate that kind of self-serving attitude.
J** said that he had toyed with the idea of going to J***s’ retirement party and taking me as his “date.”  I can only hazard a guess about to how that might have gone but I think it might have been hilarious.  Obviously, I wasn’t invited.  I wonder why?  If I had been, J***s’ attachment and I could have toasted to what a wonderful guy he is!
J** abandoned the idea and stated the real reason.  He said “P****, he wasn’t worth the airfare.”  J** had teased me about “not getting a letter” but he didn’t need one.  He had known all along what J*** had done.
J*** said “I have no idea how many letters you wrote.”  Those letters had obviously made an impression on him.  He asked me if I had gotten any responses and I told him that I had gotten responses from everybody.  He asked me what they said.  I said “put it this way.  Not one person defended you.  Not one person defended your attachment and not one person portrayed either one of you as fine, upstanding citizens who were a real asset to the community.”  He curled his lip and attempted a laugh.
I told him that I wanted to tell him before I forgot, that if he wanted his children and grandchildren to have anything for Christmas this year, he was going to have to do it himself.  I wasn’t going to do it for him anymore.
The conversation shifted and he became defensive.  He said “everybody thinks I’m trying to be a better man for (my attachment) and that I want to be a good influence on her daughter…….I DON’T GIVE A SHIT ABOUT HER FUCKING DAUGHTER!  ARE YOU KIDDING ME?  I COULD CARE LESS ABOUT HER FUCKING DAUGHTER!”  Wow.  I wonder how his attachment would have felt if she had heard him say that?  Maybe I should send her the recording.  It would not only be difficult for him to deny what he said, it would be interesting to watch him try to lie his way out hearing his own voice.
I went on to tell J*** that I had decided that I wanted alimony.  He looked at me like he was getting ready to pull out a knife, literally eviscerate me and then with his familiar clenched teethed, rabid dog snarl said “I’m not paying you fucking alimony!”  If rage had been dynamite, his face would have exploded and wiped out the entire Huddle House.
I wondered if he had ever looked at my face and been able to see the complete and utter contempt…..or if he had ever been able to see the obvious repulsion…..or if he had ever been able to see the almost total disconnect……or if he had ever been able to see the unmistakable lack of anything even closely resembling love…..but I’m sure he didn’t.  Who could NOT love J*** H***?
I had brought a few more things to return to J*** and when we got to the storage unit, I gave them to him.  One of them was this huge, glorious clock that he had given me for our thirty-fifth anniversary.  His shoulders dropped and he quietly and mournfully said “not the clock.”  I had really enjoyed that clock but I couldn’t have it around me.  I was thinking that it might make a nice Christmas present for his attachment.  I wouldn’t put it past him for one second to give it to her.  As long as she didn’t know I had it first, she would think he had given her a very nice present.  As I said, J*** has no qualms about re-gifting when the opportunity presents itself.
When we were leaving, he said “so, what now?  You want to take my fucking social security?”
He never ceased to amaze me.  He was whining about what he thinks I want to “take” from him.  What had he taken from me?  More importantly……what had he GIVEN TO me?

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