Giggling In Jail

Image By: rcourtie

(Excerpt From Facebook Ate My Marriage.  Republished with permission from Hell Bent Press and the Author)

Chapter 15:  Morose at Home or Giggling in Jail

“I have been thinking about your situation,” Dr. Douglas begins, as we sit down for our biweekly dinner at Vitoli’s.

“Which situation is that? My near death, my hearing in family court in Pennsylvania, my imminent financial crisis that is accompanying my general state of insolvency?” I ask, as the intervening weeks and months have started to take their toll on my general capacity for forbearance.

“Your divorce,” Dr. Douglas answers unperturbed, but adding a meaningful glance that suggests future outbursts will not be met with similar tolerance.

“And what have you concluded?” I ask, not entirely chastened by the glance.

“Well, you wanted to know if you were doing the right thing, and it got me to thinking about the whole question,” Dr. Douglas said, gesturing with his glass of cab.

For Dr. Douglas, this was a demonstration of hitherto unknown depths of human consideration and intellectual process. So I listened attentively.

“As I told you last time, she would slap your ass in jail,” he reported with great accuracy on his own observations.

“That you did,” I said, considering whether I should be drinking wine as the designated driver.

“Well, that is what it all really comes down to in this world – the two categories,” Dr. Douglas said with a look that was now meant to inform me that this was the important bit of the conversation.

“Which categories?” I asked, missing the important bit entirely and opting for the cabernet sauvignon despite my role as the designated driver.

“Cusper, you’re a statistic,” Dr. Douglas said, as if this clarified anything.

“I expect I am, probably several,” I said generously, not seeing why I should be limited to a singular.

“No, no, no,” Dr. Douglas set down his glass with some force. “Professional, married to a professional, survived graduate school with your marriage and family intact, survived nine years of practicing together, marriage and family intact, then you come to Florida, no more marriage, no more family. You are a statistic,” he pronounced decisively.

“Ah, that statistic. Yes, I see,” I said in a placating tone, as I had no objective information to confirm or deny the impact of Florida on marriages.

“It’s a fucking fly-by-night state. It’s what happens here,” Dr. Douglas said with a professional insight that was suitably understated.

“And you moved here because?” I asked.

“Money, pure and simple. Population of narcissistic and badly aging, desperate for one last gasp at their youth and physical perfection. Can’t give ‘em great bodies, but can give ’em great teeth, for a price,” he flashed his vulpine grin.

“So, you avoided being a statistic by?” I asked, more than a bit curious.

“Cast iron pre-nup. She so much as looks cross-eyed at me and she is out on the street without a sniff of alimony,” he said with a great deal of self-satisfaction.

“So, where does that statistic issue take me?” I inquired, hoping that if we moved past this I could ogle a waitress or do something productive to overcome my aversion reaction.

“The only two choices you have in divorce: moping at home or giggling in jail,” the vulpine grin broadened. “As I see it, you have taken the first choice. It is safe, it is good for your family, but of course it is going to rip you apart. The anger, the betrayal, the sense of grievance that you can never really express, never really share, and never really take to the one person most deserving of this righteous rage: DeeAnn.”

“Yes, I can see your point, but the fact is DeeAnn would not see herself as responsible. That is the whole reason I had to divorce her, she won’t be responsible for anything – herself, her practice or even her responsibility to be honest. If she can’t be honest with herself, why would I reasonably expect her to be honest in accepting my grievances?”

“Cusper, this is why you are a moper and an associate after owning your own practice. It isn’t a logical issue – it is an animal issue. I am not saying you want to be the asshole giggling in jail. But I can tell you that he is in a hell of a lot better mental state than you are at this moment, because he had his say. He got to yell, he got scream, he got to throw things. Sure, he might get the crap kicked out of him in jail, may never see his kids again, might spend several years behind bars, but he had his say. You haven’t. All you have done is what you have been doing since you came to this state – taken it. Day in, day out, taking the nonsense. Even after she left, you are still running on the hamster wheel she demanded you climb onto. For what? So you can watch your house go down in a foreclosure and get sued by the second mortgage holder? You haven’t seen your kids in how long?”

“Three months,” I mumbled.

“And that was what? A quick hug and off onto a flight back to Florida?”


“I can’t hear you,” Dr. Douglas said, raising a hand to his ear and leaning towards me in a theatrical manner.

“Yes,” I answered sullenly.

“Exactly my point. But the good news is: if you take it just a little bit longer, you might get 15 minutes with Kenny, Jane and Heath, in another six months,” Dr. Douglas said smugly.

“Heather, Kiefer and Julie,” I mumbled. I no longer felt like attempting to ogle a waitress; moping at home sounded the reasonable choice.

“Whatever. The point is you need to find something else, another way. Otherwise you are going to get even more screwed over and screwed up than you already are,” Dr. Douglas said, raising his glass of wine aloft, in a sort of triumphant pronouncement.

It was at this moment that I had a brainwave on exactly what I would do, and it wasn’t going to involve moping at home or giggling in jail, though that second option did sound tempting.


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