My brother is trying to teach me the do’s and don’ts of becoming a real writer, and one thing he told me was to write more generalized and less specifically about people in my life, especially Chef. I have tried to write a generalized post this time but let’s face it. We all know the main characters of the play that is my life, and we know who the central antagonist has been for years now — my tragic ex.
A month and a half or so ago, I wrote in Treasury Department of Our Love how Chef was now living about a mile from The Blue House, alone for the first time, and not adjusting to being on his own very well. If I wondered about the depth of my forgiveness before, I don’t now. I genuinely want him to be happy again. Of course, it can never be with me, but that isn’t saying a whole lot really. I’m a mess in my own way, and he is a mess in his. The messes just don’t mesh anymore.
We have both become such different people, and maybe because we were so good together at one time, the idea of settling into something less isn’t very appealing. I really don’t feel sad for that loss anymore. I am dealing with all sorts of trials and tribulations in this new chapter, but I still wouldn’t want to go back to the way things were before. I was happy, but in a weird way, I am happier in this life, despite all the problems. That isn’t a slam on Chef. He and I were happy for decades together. If I have learned to appreciate just one thing about that time, it has been how wonderful a provider he was for our family, and how easy he made it seem. But the way things ended has changed us both, and I’m not fool enough to believe we can undo so much damage, no matter how desperately we may want to. Chef simply has his own take on the whole situation, and frankly, he’s driving me nuts.
Despite keeping strict boundaries between us, he still seems to think the right words, with the right delivery, and maybe a bit of cash, can make me want him back again. I remember those first days, when I was trying to find the magic formula, too, that would make all of what was happening be okay, forgivable, and forgettable. It took me months to realize, we kept fighting because I was pushing for him to say something that simply didn’t exist. Now, I get to live on this side of it while he figures out the same thing. Turns out, it sucks pretty bad on both sides. Color me….surprised.
Yesterday, he asked me to set up his new laptop with an anti-virus. In return, he agreed to take my battery up to the auto parts store to get it tested. We were, as usual, having car trouble. I was happy to oblige. I connected his computer to my network, installed the antivirus, removed some spam crap left behind by the first owner, and thought nothing about it again.
Later that evening, I was enjoying stand-up comedy at a local comedy club with several of my co-workers when DJ sent me a message that his father was in his car, just sitting in our driveway. Creepy, right?
Upon further inspection, it turned out that Chef was “borrowing” my internet on his laptop in his car, which is super not cool when you live in Meth Alley, like I do. Also, pretty clever of Chef. I can honestly say, I never saw that one coming! I’m changing the password in a little bit, mainly to close down any further midnight driveway WIFI theft, which in turn, will probably save Chef’s life. His white sedan with tinted windows looks suspicious already, but when you add in the luminous glow of a laptop screen, he might as well have a neon sign flashing “Undercover Cop” to everyone peeking out their windows at him. And you can rest assured, it has been noted that he is in MY driveway.
I called him and told him he was freaking out the kids and probably my criminal neighbors in his cop-like car with his glowing laptop, and to go home and ask the nice guy who lives next door if he minded sharing his internet with a lonely combat vet. Jeez. I just need to make it through one more week in this neighborhood without anymore problems. Surely that isn’t a lot to ask!!