There were many times
When I came close to leaving my wife.
I would take some clothes
and my favorite movies with me
to my parent’s house,
dead set on not going back.
But then she would come over
And talk me out of it.
When it finally happened though
this is how it went down:
It was the Fourth of July
and I was driving home
from my job at a group home for the developmentally disabled,
Fireworks bursting all around me
up in the Arizona sky.
I was caught up in a full-blown panic attack
from the thought of my twelve-hour shift
the next day with no pain pills or any relief
I have a severe back injury from a car wreck
and that day I had hurt it worse
moving someone from their wheelchair into the shower.
It felt like a railroad spike
had been rammed into the center of my spine.
then walking up the stairs to our apartment
I couldn’t stop crying.
I had lost all control.
Walking in the front door,
my wife was cooking and my son crawled on the floor.
I went straight to the bathroom,
Needed to calm down and compose myself,
but I just couldn’t stop crying.
Hell I couldn’t even catch my breath.
My wife walked in.
“What’s wrong? Why are you crying?”
“I hurt my back really bad today at work … and I have a twelve-hour shift tomorrow
and no pain pills, no nothing. It just hurts so bad …”
She rolled her big blue eyes and scoffed at me.
“Ugh. That’s no reason to be ******* crying. Quit being a baby.”
Out the door she went with a slam.
THAT was my wife? My true love?
The thought drove me insane.
Growing old with her hateful eyes
always glaring at me.
I ate dinner in silence,
put the baby to bed
and smoked so much ****
I felt nothing
neither physical nor mental.
I couldn’t smoke **** before or at work, however,
I did have morals.
Those people in the group home were my responsibility.
The baby woke up crying around five a.m.
I had to start my shift at eight a.m.
It was the wife’s day off.
“Hey … hey … wake up. Can you get him? Please?”
“Arrgg. No. Just get up with him.” She groaned and rolled back over.
“Please? I gotta be up in two hours.”
“Ugh. NO. It’s my day off.”
“Exactly. You can take a nap with him later. I gotta work twelve hours today.”
“I said NO. I didn’t want a baby in the first place. Remember?”
She said that all the time. It made my blood ******’ boil.
“Then maybe you should’ve kept your ******* legs closed.”
turning away from her, on my side
The baby kept crying,
screaming, now a blood-curdling sound.
The next thing I saw were
of red, black, and white
as her small, but bony,
rock hard fist
hit the side of my temple.
“YOU ******’ ****,” I screamed
jumping up and out of bed.
Picking the baby up,
he rested his little head on my shoulder,
and finally stopped crying.
I walked the floor,
pacing back and forth,
my back aching,
my head throbbing & pulsating
as the goose-egg lump
She sat upright in bed.
Her arms crossed, her icy glare
burning a hole through my head.
She didn’t look the same anymore.
When we met
her eyes were full of good
Replaced now with
little saggy *******,
wiry, stringy, mess of hair—
like a Barbie doll left outside too long.
And that face
held so much hate.
My God, that face of hers.
She despised me.
Everything I did and said
just ****** her off.
From the bedroom window
I stood watching the cars
move along down the street,
thinking of it all.
all the shiners, lumps, goose-eggs, cuts, and bruises
she had left on me over the past nine months.
When she used to look at me with those
big blue eyes,
there was love, lust, and a future.
Now it was hate, hate, hate
I thought of all this
watching those cars drive down the street
when it suddenly became clear to me,
I could be in one of those cars too.
Driving somewhere, anywhere, far from her.
My son, was my son
I'd always be there for him
and have my time with him.
But her time?
It was up.
The switch in my mind was flipped. And broken off.
I kissed my son, put him on the bed and
went into the closet.
Getting my ****.
“No, no, no, no. You can’t leave. You CAN’T.”
She started to panic.
“Watch me. This is it, you hateful *****. Get out of my way.”
She ran behind me,
followed me down the stairs, all the way to the car,
shrieking, screaming continuously,
and slobbering and gasping for air,
throwing herself in my path.
From her over sized eyes,
now filled with tiny red veins.
“We can go to counseling, we can work it out.”
“I don’t WANT to work it out. I don’t love you anymore.
Now would you get back upstairs? You left the baby all by himself up there.”
She didn’t hear me.
Just kept on trying to convince me.
I managed to get my clothes in the car,
but then she wouldn’t let me
close my door.
“I can’t believe this. I can’t believe you. You’re just leaving your child?”
“No. I’m leaving YOU. Now get back upstairs and be a mother.
You’re done being a wife.”
I had to pry her claws off the driver’s side door to leave.
Looking in the rear view
I saw her skinny body running up the stairs
back to our apartment
and the baby.
My first meal as a free man
was an egg & cheese biscuit.
I sat in my parked car
in the parking lot of a park
listening to my iPod
“Don’t Think Twice, It’s All Right” by Bob Dylan
suddenly came on.
I took it as a sign