Friday, December 7
I went for a long trail ride with Tabitha. I told her I’m worried about Tom.
“My friends had a very amicable divorce,” Tabitha said. “They got an apartment and instead of the kids moving from place to place, the parents trade weeks. The kids stay in the house and their parents take turns living in the apartment and the house. Do you think that’s something you and JB could do?”
“Ha, no. I don’t want to cohabit with JB. I don’t want to be pals. I don’t want to chit-chat. I don’t want to set up two homes together and slap each other on the ass as we pass between them. I don’t want to share sinks, toilets, refrigerators, beds. No.”
After riding I drove to the feed store and called my sister, even though I didn’t want to. I knew Trish would feel upset and left out if she heard about JB and me from someone else. She had a Hollywood picture in her head of what our sister relationship should look like. I’ve been trying to make that happen for her for years but failing miserably. When we’re in the same room it feels bad. Trish eyes me critically and looks at me like my existence annoys her. Her comments are barbed. She’s treated me like an adversary since we were children, and I've been avoiding her for about that long.
“I’m getting divorced,” I said when Trish picked up. “JB’s been cheating on me.”
“Oh my God!” Trish gasped. “I can’t believe it. JB? How did you find out?”
“He told me. He got a urinary tract infection from screwing someone in Thailand. He thought it was an STD.”
“Thailand! Those women are full of diseases. And he jumps on you constantly!”
“He says he cheated with a woman from Australia, but who knows. Could have been a Thai boy for all I know. I don’t know who the fuck he is.”
“I know flight attendants who fly there,” Trish said excitedly. “It’s disgusting! They see pilots going off with little girls at hotels. They’re loaded with diseases. Oh my God. Oh my God. I hope you’re getting tested. Did you get a lawyer? You need to be writing all of this down, documenting all of this.”
Trish sounded gleeful.
“Do you think JB’s been angry about your book, ‘Diary of an Alcoholic Housewife’ this whole time?” she continued. “Do you think he’s getting back at you for it?”
Trish’s excitement rattled me.
“When JB told me he cheated, I was grateful,” I said. “I had a good reason to leave.”
“Really?” Trish said defeatedly.
“JB says he’s racked up debt, too. I suppose it shouldn’t shock me. We refinanced the house a few years ago and I found $10,000 worth of debt he claimed was the result of paying Lakeside property taxes and life insurance premiums on business credit cards and not paying them off. I used the Christmas money Mom gave me to pay off the debt. He’s using the same excuses now to explain what he’s accumulated.”
“What?!” Trish squealed. “That was your money and you spent it cleaning up his debt?! I thought he made a lot of money. How could he run up that much debt? What was he spending it on?”
Trish was delighted again.
“Who knows,” I said.
“He screwed you out of a lot of money while he was fucking around behind your back!” Trish rephrased her statement and repeated it several different ways.
“All I can do is get rid of him and that’s what I’m doing,” I said irritably. “I have to go.”