Saturday, January 14, 2017

There Are People Who Will Want To Feed On Your Misery--"Thank You Ashley Madison" excerpt

     Monday, December 3

     I woke Tom for school. He opened his eyes and said, “I don’t want to go.”
     “Being busy, getting your mind off things, seeing your friends, it’d be good for you,” I said. I looked at the clock. I had an appointment downtown with the divorce attorney Matt recommended.
     “Going to Mikey’s didn’t make me feel better. I kept going to the bathroom to cry. I don’t want to cry in front of anybody.” Tears ran down Tom’s face. He wiped them angrily.
     “Nana and Aunt Lori are going to the Museum of Science and Industry today. I have an appointment in the city. Maybe I could drop you off at Nana’s and you could go with them?”
     Tom smiled and hopped out of bed. “Yeah, that sounds good.”
     “I’ll call Nana. You know she’ll say yes. I’ll call school and say you’re not coming.”
     “Are you going to say I’m sick?”
     “I’ll tell them you’re taking a mental health day. I already left a message for your school psychologist so you can talk to her. You can tell her things you don’t feel comfortable saying to Dad or me. Think that’s good?”
     Tom nodded and looked relieved.
     “Get dressed and let’s eat some breakfast.”
     I called the school.  “Oh, is he sick?” an office administrator asked.
     “He needs a mental health day. His father and I are getting divorced. I left a message with the school psychologist Thursday and she never got back to me. I’m upset about that.”
     “Uh, well, I’ll leave her another message if you want me to, but I think maybe the school social worker would be a better person. Ryan is his name. He’s a young guy. He’s really good. I know he’ll get back to you right away. The psychologist goes to all the schools. Ryan is here all the time.”
     “Thanks. Please have him call me.”
     “Should I leave the psychologist a message?”
     “No. Don’t bother with her.”
     I met with the divorce attorney and liked her. She slid a contract in front of me.
     “You can take the contract home and think about what you want to do,” Katherine said.
     “I know what I want to do. I want a divorce. I want to get this started now.” I began signing papers.
     “I’d really rather you read it before you signed it,” she laughed. “I’ll leave you alone and come back in a few minutes.”
     I read the contract, signed it, and Katherine said she’d send me a divorce petition.
     Matt, who leases an office in the same space Katherine does, kept popping in and out of the conference room. We went out for tea after and he asked me to have dinner Saturday night.
     “Be careful who you talk to,” Matt said. “There are people who will want to feed on your misery."
     I drove to my mother’s house and picked up Tom. We stopped at Kaufman’s Deli on our way home and stocked up on homemade soups and stews. I bought a loaf of fresh rye bread, a pound of warm corned beef, and Tom and I feasted on it for dinner.

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