I am finding it difficult to be married, at least when the reality is it is only on paper. My wife or the woman that was my wife is elsewhere and the whole thing is a nasty shade of grey, it makes me feel uncomfortable and unclear, I like black and white. Marriage to me is a statement, I have those troth plighting, ’til death do us part ideas about marriage ( though I should actually say I had them, until a scrawny, pork pie hatted snake sidled in but that would be diverging) it’s not real and I need out. To move on un-fettered I need to step away from the past and that means divorce.
According to the Office of National Statistics 42% of marriages end in Divorce, I had no idea the figure was so large or that I would become part of that figure, but with safety in numbers it should be a simple process to go through, after all there’s a whole industry out there for Divorce.
I pulled a list of local solicitors specialising in family law from the Net, I call the first on the list, Messrs. Asunder, Rip-Off & Charge, I ask over the phone for advice on a divorce, the lady at the other end doesn’t ask my name, my circumstances, or how I am, she simply says “To complete a divorce will cost in the region of £700 for a basic case.” I am taken aback, call me old-fashioned, I know that I am seeking a service and going to be a paying customer, but in a way this is a sort of a death, the death of a marriage, if it was a person, let’s say my Granny had died and I was calling up an undertaker surely their first words wouldn’t be “£500 for your basic coffin, if you want oak you are looking at a Grand, extra for brass fittings……………………………………………..
No, I want somebody to say, oh, I am sorry to hear that, please come in to our office and we can explain how we work and what we will do for you, not, its Gonna set you back £700………………………………….. I said as much to the lady on the phone, she sounded a little taken a back, especially when I asked her if she had thought about going on a customer service course, because I thought it might be a good idea. Well, after I had vented my spleen I decided to give up on talking to a solicitor, at least for the time being, if you happen to know one in W10 or the surrounding area who is a human being do let me know.
And so I continue my new life of fifty free and single, how is it going? It’s up & down, some-days I think I am getting somewhere, others I am going backwards, I have learnt a lot, both important and friviIous, I can make a mess, I can leave washing up in the sink for two days or more, nobody tells me I am lazy or disgusting, ( any more than two days and I start telling myself so it is much the same). I can watch Sci-Fi on the TV and I don’t get the mickey taken, that’s ok, but the novelty wears off. There’s way more room in the bed, but then at times I would just like to wake up in the morning, roll over and nuzzle up to someone special and cuddle, but that’s the way it goes.
I have dated, I have connected with women outside of my marriage, I have shared physical intimacy with a woman other than my wife for the first time in more than two decades, it was strange, it was tantalising, but ultimately real connection has so far eluded.
I know that I’m not on the scrap heap in terms of relationships though, funnily enough back in the day I used to joke with my ex. that she should watch out, I might trade her in for a younger model, she used to laugh and say good luck with that one! Secretly though I would think my goodness she is right, nobody would ever look at me. Now I know that’s not the case, that actually some women like me, that’s been a pleasant confidence booster, but it’s no panacea, the answer is more than simply a woman and a relationship.
With so much time to reflect on what was, what is and what can be I feel like I am like a human version of Colossus, straddled between two worlds, one foot planted in the past, one in the future, I am cemented between the two, my future has potential and opportunity, but I keep looking back over my shoulder, I’m in some sort of limbo, in the present but not present in it if that makes sense? Memories of the past, dreams and ideas of what can be, of potential, that word is really rattling around my head lately, the dictionary definition is perfect, latent or inherent capacity for growth, fulfilment. I ended up printing the definition and sticking it to the side of my PC screen, great buzz words for me to focus on, particularly when I’ve found it difficult to do so over the last few months.
At times in my life I have grabbed opportunity and potential firmly in both hands and flown with it, ability, capability, power, wherewithal, what it takes, when I’ve been focussed and been driven I’ve achieved striking things, but equally, I know that I can be the exact antithesis and get lost, in fear or inertia and live out the antonyms, impotence, inability, incapacity, incompetence, stupidity, weakness.
Potential and how I harness it has been very much on my mind, so when I picked up last Saturdays Guardian newspaper a long article about David Birnbaum was like a big flag waving in front of me. Here were pages about a man just a short time ago I would have thought of as a crack-pot and dismissed summarily, now his potted philosophy interests me, be he nutter or sage his ideas resonate.
The philosophy and indeed creed is about Potential, as the driving force for all life, natures quest for potential, indeed the antecedent for everything, before God, before Big Bang, before it all was potential, a power in itself inherent in everything. coincidence that it should be there again staring me in the face? I think there’s more to this than meets the eye.
The credo is simplistic and satisfying, potential is a power that existed before anything, it is where everything came from and the natural state of all matter is to seek out and quest for potential, as Birnbaum calls it Q4P, I like the idea, if people think he is a whacko, well what the hell, he just might be right. Potential permeates everything, even the void, potential can be for good or indeed bad, for happiness misery or all points in between, harness potential and then you can fly.
This gels for me I guess when I think about those miserable fu*ckers that we all know ( don’t include me in that thought please ) that go around permanently down in the mouth, there is always a problem, somebody is always doing something to them, if only xyz hadn’t happened everything would be ok. Their negativity attracts negativity, it pulls in negative potential, lets face it if you have a choice of seeing two people, one jolly & positive, or another miserable and negative, who are you going to choose? Unless you are a masochist Jolly Positive wins every time, potential attracts and its attractive!
How to use it and how to step into the future and discard the memories of the past, that’s the mind-fuck of the present for me, nothing has quite worked yet, and its darned frustrating.
The words of Malcolm X can be really something, he came out with some great stuff, though totally unconnected as a modus operandi I love the idea however unwholesome and non P.C. it may be: ” Be peaceful, be courteous, obey the law, respect everyone, but if somebody puts his hand on you – send him to the cemetery.”
But another from him that is more relevant
” Tomorrow belongs to those who prepare for it today”
OK Malcolm, lets see how it goes………………………………………..
- Has David Birnbaum solved the mystery of existence? (theguardian.com)
2 thoughts on “Malcolm X, Divorce & the Mystery of Existence”
Martin, love your latest words. With a little anger you words take on a whole new passionate and beautiful authenticity. I am a very old friend of Simon’s by the way. Spent many an evening on Ankerdine. I remember you for eating very big Sunday lunches! Feast well.
Thank you, I appreciate your comments and thanks for reading my meanderings!