Tuesday, August 1 2000
This morning as I prepared for work, I found myself looking over the Westside Rentals printouts that Kim had left on her desk. The properties were so humble, so beneath our station: here a one room shack for $99/month, there a condo-to-share for $500. It was such a sad sight, considering all the promise we'd had back when we'd valiantly scraped together the money we needed to buy our townhouse. This was the economic day after, the hangover of relative poverty to follow the opulent decadence once afforded by our combined incomes. For me, it's definitely going to be tight. I'm going to need to find a renter, and I'll probably need to do piece-work for hire. I suppose I could always revert back to my old ramen-eating ways. Ramen isn't too bad, but shit, I'm 32 years old now.
In the evening when I headed home from work, I felt unusually free. Nobody had any right to worry about where I was. Shit - I could even take the long way home if that was what I wanted to do. So I rode my bike all the way east to Bundy and headed north from there. It wasn't really the long way home, but it was a slight change of scene, the sort of thing a free man is free to view. It's the subtle little freedoms such as these that you don't really notice losing when they're snatched away.
When I saw that Kim's Volvo was parked in the underground garage, I decided to take a little detour up to the Ralph's in nearby Brentwood (for vodka, bread & cheese). I needed a little time to decide how to handle this situation. I suspected that Kim might make a big tearful scene begging for my reconsideration. So I rehearsed a response. It was going to be something like, "I've already tasted freedom. There's no way you can get me back in that cage!"
But I never had to use it. Kim was quietly reading a book in bed. Sophie was happy to see me, but it was pretty clear to me that she knew something had changed. When I saw her I almost started crying. That's a custody case I could never win.
After a relaxing disturbance-free bath, I spent the night sleeping on a couch downstairs. Kim left me completely alone, something she would have never done three days ago. Things really have changed. My freedom is being allowed. If Kim had treated me like this back when we were actually going out, now that would have been the stuff of a soulmate!
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