Snowflakes and Other Mistakes

18 May

I met a man on an airplane once who had just, that very morning, gotten out of federal prison for a “fight with my ex-wife.” He believed that Civil War soldiers appeared to him and spoke to him about the coming apocalypse. He married a childhood friend while he was in prison and she was waiting for him in Oklahoma where they would build an underground home together, after being officially joined in a “Native American” wedding ceremony. He had 3 cocaine-induced heart attacks. He made his daughter call him Big Daddy. This was a dangerous man, not because of his size or might. He was dangerous because he believed that the world was open to him in a way it wasn’t to others. I knew when I saw him walking down the narrow aisle of the airplane, clutching a manilla envelope with this name written on it, that he was going to sit next to me. When he asked me where I was flying to, I said Iowa. That was a lie.

My ex-husband thought he was special. He thought he deserved drugs and guitars when there were bills to be paid because he preferred to create, because his brother had been in a car accident, because he had me for a mean wife. He thought I should say thank you when he did the dishes, and that baffled me.

I am not special and thank the Lord, my parents never even once brought it up as a possibility. I have known my whole life that that I will work my whole life, usually for shitty people and not enough money. Bad things happen and there is no consolation prize, sadly. You just have to keep going and make dinner. And usually, it’s worth it.

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