Wednesday, January 18, 2012
General ramblings on the dissolution of a relationship: part 1.1
It's always strange when normally insignificant events become inextricably soldered to our lives by happenstance, by coincidence, by picking a particular treadmill. My ex- first "knew" (though didn't yet have medical confirmation) that she was pregnant when, one day at the gym, she began to sob when the television announced Tim Russert's death. I was the politics junkie; she barely knew who Tim Russert was. For months after, any mention of Russert had the power to make her eye twitch a little, her mouth turn down.
That summer I was falling down a lot, but not yet the heavy-drinking bad boyfriend I was to become. I suffered from constant fatigue, beaten immune system: part of me thought I was dying; the other part just assumed it was stress brought on by the news. Turns out I was very sick, and never really learned why, though I did learn that I had compressed vertebrae and pretty serious diabetes. This didn't help any, but once I was diagnosed, the constant illness waned a bit. I was more or less going through the motions at work, knowing that budget cuts were on the horizon and knowing that my illness and low seniority didn't bode well for my future in this, the only job I'd ever really enjoyed.
Of course, I also was dealing with anxiety and panic that mounted each day. The depression I had once sought to control with pharmaceuticals began to intensify to the point that getting out of bed was a sisyphean chore. And there were good things in the evenings. S. and I would perch on the couch and watch punk-rock videos (mine) or French films (hers), eat whatever we wanted, and generally try to forget that we didn't really like each other a lot of the time.
The idea that things would just be better when the baby arrived began to comfort me though intellectually I was well award that it was a ludicrous thought. I looked forward to being a domestic being. I looked forward to being a dad. This, I thought, would make me a better partner.
I had a certain naivete, a boundless misplaced faith in us. In myself.