Saturday, March 9
Most mornings I recite a Kabbalah meditation, scan the Zohar, chant “Om” three times, meditate over my intentions, and pray. My days feel better when I do. I ended my practice this morning and picked up my phone. There was a Facebook friend request from Nicole and I accepted. Another friend request popped up immediately from someone named Shireen. Figuring she was a “Diary of an Alcoholic Housewife” reader, I accepted.
“Hi, do you know who Nicole is???” Shireen messaged. “I was just wondering.”
I looked at Shireen’s picture. She was young and pretty. She looked a lot like Nicole. Then I remembered her name.
“I do,” I wrote. “Are you her daughter?”
“Is she real?”
“What do you mean by real?”
“Like an actual person.”
“That’s hard to answer. I’ve known her since we were in first grade. She was my best friend all through grade school. Your mom would jump in front of a train for me. I love her. But as you know, she’s pretty messed up.”
“Since it looks like a fake account,” Shireen wrote.
“She just friended me this morning,” I wrote. “I don’t think it’s fake.”
“Can you answer a question for me though?” Shireen asked.
“What high school did she go to?”
“Broadview Academy and Taft. She didn’t graduate.”
OMG, wow, you do know her! I’m sorry. It’s just hard for me to trust people when they say something but, yes, Taft. Wow.”
“I’ve know her since she and I were six. I remember you as a baby. You liked to eat pickles.”
“How old was I?”
“I don’t remember exactly. Are you the daughter who went to California and was raised by Nicole’s biological mother?”
“No. I’m Frank’s daughter.”
“Sorry. She had a lot of kids. Her second child is the one who went to California. I don’t believe I’ve met you. I lose touch with her for a while then she reappears. She’s living in McHenry now.”
“Oh, I’ve been looking for her and stuff. I think I answered the phone when she called once when I was little. I just don’t know what to do. :/”
“This must be very hard. You look a lot like her.”
“I look mostly like my dad, haha.”
“You’re very pretty, and so is your mom.”
“Thank-you, though. And yes, she is.”
I hoped Nicole wouldn’t say weird stuff or be wasted if Shireen called her. But I was pretty sure she would. Tom’s voice teacher called.
“The Cultural Center is closed today,” she said. “I’m really sorry for scheduling Tom’s makeup lesson on a closed day. How about the next three weeks he comes a half hour early for an hour lesson?”
“Perfect,” I said and hung up. I stared at my phone. The last thing I wanted to do was communicate with JB.
“Tom’s voice lesson is cancelled,” I texted JB.
“OK thanks,” he texted.
“How can you live with yourself?”
“It’s a struggle.”
“Oh right, you do that blocking thing. Do you actually believe your own bullshit?”
He didn’t answer. I sent another text.
“Is believing your lies prerequisite for continued breathing?”
“Tom and Blake are what keep me breathing,” JB responded. “And the hope that eventually you'll forgive me. It is a slim hope but I still hold onto it. I don’t believe my lies any more than you do. I'm sorry, I really am. Lets end this for now, please. Heading out to do stuff with Tom.”
“You’ve been a creep our entire marriage, haven’t you?”
No response. I sent another text.
“Blake was playing with your iPod touch when you first got it and was introduced to Ashley Madison. He said he stumbled across your dates’ pictures but didn’t get it at the time. And you tried to get me to be a swinger right after Tom was born.”
“I'm with Tom,” JB texted. “I'll respond more later. I'm sorry you are so upset. Yes, I am a twisted fuck in many ways but it's not as bad as you seem to think it is.”
“Right. I keep learning more shit about you because you're not that bad. When’s the first time you fucked someone else while we were married, beat off to phone and internet sex? How much did you spend on hookers, sex clubs?”
No response. Forty minutes went by. I texted again.
“How much of my adult life was shit going on in the background?”
“I deserve an honest answer,” I texted.
“You do,” JB finally responded. “I will answer later, but you really do have the worst of it already. Short answer is most of our marriage I wasn't doing sick shit, beyond in my fantasy life. I'll answer in more detail later, so please stop bombarding me with texts now. I agree you deserve answers.”
My morning prayer and meditation have worn off.