Wednesday, April 01, 2009
Via Facebook Message, Early Last Week
"Are you okay?"
"Hello, stranger. What are you, psychic -- or am I just that obvious?"
"After how many years I think I can figure out when something's wrong. You've been spending a lot of time in Miami."
"Well done. No, I'm not okay. Jayne and I are separating."
"I was afraid of that. I'm so sorry."
"Yeah. Me too."
"How are you holding up, and how's the baby?"
"The baby's gorgeous. The husband, not so much."
"You never were."
"Not anymore, sweets."
"There's no way you broke radio silence just to rub salt in my wounds. Or did you?"
"No. Not this time. I'm truly sorry this is happening to you. You don't deserve it."
"Yeah, that's kind of what I was thinking -- that I've done my penance. Karma already kicked my ass for my past sins; now it's just being spiteful."
"Jayne's made it abundantly clear that she doesn't want to be married anymore."
"Ouch. So there's really no choice for you."
"It's kind of a 'how much more can I take and still respect myself?' thing at this point."
"Any idea what she's going to do now?"
"She's talking about possibly moving in with this 45 year old single friend of hers -- in Manhattan of course. That or moving Inara's crib into (what was formerly) our (tiny) bedroom and renting (what was formerly) Inara's (even tinier) bedroom out to a college student willing to play babysitter."
"She's going to cram her and her child into one room, hand that child over to a stranger all day, and pretend that it's a great situation?"
"Something like that, I guess. I don't know what she's thinking anymore. I don't doubt that she loves Inara, though, and that she probably sees it as making the best of a bad situation."
"What about you?"
"I've got a couple of really fantastic job opportunities that have popped up in Florida. Originally, Jayne and I had talked about moving down there because we can provide a lot more for Inara -- plus we have family there willing to act as a full-time nanny service for us and help wherever they can. Free daycare from a close relative, to me, beats Consuela from Ecuador to whom you're paying $400 a week. We both figured it might be best for Inara, since New York's almost unmanageable expense-wise without a child; with a baby, it's just a killer. The thing is that now I may be stuck having to go south alone. The jobs are still there (and God knows there's almost nothing in NYC right now) and it would allow me to provide for whatever's left of my family and rebuild a life. I just can't bear the possibility of not waking up to Inara every day."
"So Jayne won't leave New York?"
"Are you kidding? This place is the yellow sun she draws her power from. I think she'd sooner cut off her own arm."
"Then at this point you have to do what's best for you and Inara in the long run. You can't think of you and Jayne as a couple anymore."
"My God. If you'd have told me that a few years ago, I would've laughed at you. I never imagined that Jayne and I could end up like this. I believed so strongly in us."
"I know you did."
"I can't hate her. I'm angry and heartbroken, but I still can't hate her -- first of all because she's Jayne, and secondly because I won't live like that again. I'm not going to spend another year or so walking the earth carrying all that rage for someone who's devastated me."
"No book in this one then, eh?"
"Ha. No. No book. Besides, it's not that interesting a story. Boy-loves-girl, boy-loses-girl is pretty standard stuff. But it does hurt that she's the dedication in Dead Star Twilight. She was my happy ending."
"You of all people should know there are no happy endings."
"There was for you. How's married life treating you, by the way? Better than me, I hope."
"I've never been happier. Ever. He's the best man I know and the one I was always supposed to be with."
"I'm so thrilled for you, honey. I can't even express my joy. But see, you got your happy ending."
"I don't look at it as an ending, like I'm suddenly complete or something."
"Fair enough. But I'm still glad you got what you always deserved."
"You're just glad you're finally off the hook."
"Yeah, right. Speaking of which, any time you'd like to release the curse you put on me years ago, it'd be appreciated."
"This isn't my doing. I forgave you a long time ago. I forgave you for everything."
"Thank you. Thank you so much."
"Jayne may not have been the right person for you, but that doesn't mean that the right person isn't out there somewhere. The road ahead probably isn't clear through the pain you're feeling at the moment, but I've found that things have a way of working out."
"I wish I could believe that, I really do. But come on -- I'll soon be divorced for the third time. I think someone's trying to tell me something. I mean, it's pretty obvious that I'm impossible to live with; 50-million Elvis fans can't be wrong, if you get my drift. It's gotta be me, right? You know what my big fear is, though -- the thing I wake up at night in a cold sweat over? I've spent most of my adult life playing the part of the cynic -- the lovable misanthrope. But the truth is that I've always had faith in certain things. I've always believed in everlasting love. You don't get married three times and not buy into that ideal. Now, though, something's different. I'm older. I've been through so much anguish; some of it self-inflicted, some not. I'm just exhausted and I don't believe anymore. Not in love. Not in anything. If Jayne can be the right person, the person I'm absolutely sure of, then eventually turn out to be the wrong person -- the one who hurts me more than anyone else ever has -- how can I trust anything or anyone from here on out? How can I trust myself? If someone who's loved you and has been devoted to you for years can suddenly wake up one morning and decide that they don't want you anymore -- and there's nothing you can do about it -- how can you ever, ever feel safe? I'm so tired of hurting.
"I know. But you're looking at this the wrong way. You're forgetting the good times you had with Jayne. You're forgetting the times you were happy with her. You just expected them to last forever instead of accepting that it's the natural order that everything has a beginning and an end. Even relationships, sometimes.
"Jayne and I loved each other with all this passion. We were like the AIG of relationships: too big to fail."
"And we all know what happened to AIG."
"Yeah. I just miss her. I miss my wife."
"You'll get through this. I promise."
"Thank you. Again."
"Anytime. Take care of yourself, Chester."