- 5:43 p.m.
See. It’s me!
A long over due:
I hadn’t really been able to do my usual OCCASSIONAL SURVEILLANCE(ish) of the comings and goings of BILL AND SUE lately, due to all the goings and comings around here, but that came to an end (the NON-OCCASSIONAL SURVEILLANCE(ish)) when SUE CALLED and left a message last Friday afternoon.
Friday morning I had completed my workout (breathe, stretch, oy, lift, bend, squat; repeat 40 times), SHOWERED, SHAMPOOED & SHINED, then sat at my desk and thought about what I could PROCRASTINATE ABOUT that day.
I sat in front of my computer (Hello sleek, sexy iMAC) and opened and closed several small writing projects I’m working on/not working on/sigh-ing and oh-my-ing about and then STARED OUT MY WINDOW like someone’s SLOW COUSIN or ONE OF THE WOMEN in the COSMETICS DEPARTMENT at Barneys/Bloomingdales/Nordstrom.
Sigh. Look at pretty palm trees. Sigh. Wonder what life’s all about. Sigh. Think about all the work I’m NOT doing. Sigh. Listen to the running water. Sigh. (Repeat 40 times).
The phone rang and CALLER ID said “Blocked Call”. Now, we have a few folks who come up as “Blocked Call” (secret, complicated people?) and I was in SUCH A RHYTHMN with my thinking and sighing, that I let it go to VOICEMAIL.
The thinking and sighing continued for another 20 minutes or so, and then I remembered the VOICEMAIL and went and checked it.
It was SUE. SUE! (not even one of the secretive or complicated or trauma-ridden folks I was thinking it could be). No, SUE… Sue would be good to hear from. I needed an UPDATE. I hadn’t been SURVEILLING (?) and this would be my chance to catch up.
Sue’s message was as follows:
SUE: Hi, It’s SUE. I have something to tell you girls… and BILL’s not home right now, so give me a call back when you get the message.
I ran to the front of the house, and: (cue “disappointing” sound effect, like—a fog horn sounding 3 times in a row) BILL’s car was in the driveway. Oh no!! Surely I couldn’t call SUE now. BILL was there.
So, I sat. I wondered. I watched. BILL was out front. Watering. Watering their long driveway (something he’s VERY good at). Checking things. Sitting out on their front porch…meandering from one place to another. NOTHING. BILL was doing NOTHING… nothing but STOPPING ME from getting SUE’S NEWS.
Over the weekend, I must admit, I slipped back into SURVEILLANCE MODE (ish).
When we left for a jog around the lake Saturday morning, BILL was out front again, watering down that thirsty driveway. I realized that sometime in the last few weeks/months… BILL has stopped saying hello. HELLO (or “Hi”) used to be BILL’S big thing. He was known for it. Of course nothing ever really got past that… no real questions were asked or answered, but at least you got the HELLO. It hit me… I realized… BILL must somehow LINK or BLAME or BE UPSET WITH… us. MY AMAZING GIRLFRIEND /SAME-SEX PARTNER/LADY-LOVER/MEAL TICKET/FRIENDLY NEIGHBOR and I. You know, I guess because of the LESBIAN THING… and now SUE with the LESBIAN THING… but THAT’s just WRONG. We didn’t do it. That’s like when people started FILING LAWSUITS AGAINST McDONALDS because they got fat!
Wait… it’s NOTHING like that. How did I think it was like that?
Anyway… BILL was EVERYWHERE in front of or IN that house over the weekend.
Every time I looked or we went somewhere or came home… BILL was pulling into the driveway or moving his car or watering down the driveway. And… and…. SUE was NOWHERE to be seen. This, of course (OF COURSE!) worried me, as I imagined that FINALLY, finally… BILL had DONE HER IN. Maybe she’d had a DREAM that he was going to do it… and she called to tell us about the dream… and then, before she could tell us… HE DID IT!
Maybe he was OVER-WATERING THE DRIVEWAY because he couldn’t wash away the vision of SUE’S BLOOD covering their never-updated bathroom tile from the 1970’s?
I tortured myself (as always) with the thoughts. I half-filled myself with panic, on behalf of SUE, who I hadn’t seen since she left the message on Friday.
HOWEVER…. Sunday came, and it was ALL ABOUT THE EMMY’S (Sorry Sue). Friends gathered. We watched. We reviewed outfits. We did SHOTS OF TEQUILLA when people we knew LOST in their category. Good times with a few of the ladies in the house.
Monday morning… and suddenly my WEEK took over. Aided/disabled by my EMMY-HANGOVER (ish)… I started my week and it kept going. NOTE: I have NO IDEA what I did with the earlier part of my week. Please let me know if you see it. I do know, however, that I still ONLY saw BILL and NOT SUE. No SUE.
WEDNESDAY came… and my THERAPY (ish). Ugh. Heavy-duty BIG TIME weepy stuff. Issues. Things. Challenges. More things… and still yet even more additional challenges. I wiped the tears away (that’s right, she’s life-like and she cries REAL TEARS)… hung up the phone (thank you PHONE THERAPY LADY-GODDESS) and just as I hung it up (seriously, that quickly… in an instant, really) The phone rang. At first I thought it might be my THERAPIST (ish) calling me back with one more, painful and challenging (yet necessary) observation… but it wasn’t. It was SUE!
That’s right, you heard me. She was fine. She was alive and on the phone… and it was SUE!
She wondered if she could come over… she had some “News”. (Yes, for those of you following along since the beginning, SUE always calls first with the “I have news/I have to tell you something” message, and then she comes to our house.)
SO…..even though I had just spent the previous hour being EMOTIONALLY EXFOLLIATED (if you will) and was all WEEPY… I HAD to hear SUE’S NEWS.
ME: Of course, come on over SUE.
The doorbell was ringing, even as I was still pressing END on the phone.
Yes, THAT quickly she was at our door.
I explained that I’d gotten her message last week, but hadn’t had the chance to GET TO HER, as BILL seemed to be OMNIPRESENT over the last several days. She told me she knew I must have been wondering and she realized that there had been no way for me to GET TO HER. She thanked me for thinking of her in the days since then.
Okay… so, did I mention that SUE was absolutely LIT? She was sparkling. Glowing. Kicky!
Here’s how her NEWS unfolded to me:
SUE: “Well, you know that BILL and I have both been seeing THERAPISTS separately. BILL has refused to continue. He hates it. He told me that he thought I was just going through MENAPAUSE and that this will pass. Meanwhile, I’ve been continuing MY THERAPY… and I’ve been going to SOME LESBIAN EVENTS and I’ve made some FRIENDS (yippee!) and…. well…. BILL and I are SEPERATING. I’m buying a townhouse… and moving out.”
Me: “Wow”. (That explains the sparkling and the kicky!)
Me: (continued) “Friends! Sue, I’m so happy you’ve made some friends!!”
SUE: Yes, they’re wonderful and FUN and they’ve really made all the difference….”
Sue went on to tell me that ONE of her NEW FRIENDS is a 22-year-old woman who she has such a great time with. Wow. Fantastic. Sue, you devil!
(okay, not THAT way…but still… GOOD for SUE, right?)
Apparently, SUE has been VERY PATIENT with BILL… but he refuses to acknowledge the reality of this whole thing… and now refuses therapy… so, SUE and her therapist came to the decision that she needs to TAKE THIS STEP. Get her own place. Come and go as she pleases… without BILLS JUDGEMENT.
Now, please realize: At first, I felt really BAD for BILL. This was his wife of 35 years… but, to see SUE… so ALIVE… and to realize that ALL ALONG… BILL has been draining the life and fun out of her… and she’s been LIVING WITH THIS HIDDEN TRUTH her whole life…. And finally, she realized: either I make the step now, or I slowly die, seated on the porch next to BILL who doesn’t really know how to LIVE.
THE MINIATURES were SUE’s idea… something, an activity they could work on together. If they hadn’t had THE MINIATURES… there would have been NOTHING… (except for the cats, and the watering of the driveway). All those years…
SUE chose to LIVE. She has chosen LIFE over RETIREMENT WITH BILL, which would lead to more depression and angst and in-activity.
SUE has put an offer in on a TOWNHOUSE, nearby… and she is excited to be taking back her life. She looks like a Fifty-something woman who is just starting her journey… and I’m proud of her.
She’s worried about BILL… and wants to stay friends and BE THERE for him… but she has FINALLY decided to BE THERE for herself. AGAIN with the "I’m proud of her".
There was more… bits and pieces of this and that… but I’ll fill y’all in on that in the coming days. Sooo...THAT was THE BIGGEST PART, anyway…
The “SUE’S CHOOSING LIFE” thing.
Okay…. OY with the "lotta" words.