Saturday, February 24, 2018

Flush The Bugs--"Thank You Ashley Madison" excerpt

Thursday, April 11

     Yesterday, JB picked up Tom from school and took him to Starbucks to kill time before Tom’s voice lesson. While they were there, Tom threw up. JB and I’d planned to meet at Caribou Coffee this morning after he dropped Tom at school. JB needed to sign our tax returns and give me tax penalty checks for his 401K theft. We were also going to separate car titles, put JB’s name on the Cadillac, mine on the Tahoe.
     I was wide awake at five o’clock. I googled quit-claim deeds. I printed one out for the house as well as our Wisconsin property. JB had agreed to sign quit-claim deeds to those. He was keeping the Michigan house. I pulled our car titles from a file. I printed copies of our tax returns and our marital settlement agreement. I hopped in the shower and was dressing when the doorbell rang. I let Tom in and told JB I’d meet him at Caribou.
     “How are you feeling?” I asked Tom.
     Tom gave me the thumbs down. “My stomach feels bad, like I’m going to throw up.”
     “Have you gotten sick since yesterday?”
     “No. But I feel like I’m going to all the time.”
     I hugged him and kissed his head. “Go upstairs and get into your pajamas. I’ve got to meet Dad and run some errands. Have you had breakfast?”
     “Yeah. I ate at Dad’s.”
     “Drink a lot of water. Flush the bugs. You can lay in my bed and watch TV if you want to.”
     We hugged each other and rubbed each other’s backs. I grabbed the envelope I’d stuffed with paperwork and jumped in the car. JB was sitting at a table in the coffee house. I bought myself a cup of coffee, said hello to a few people I knew, and sat at his table. JB looked sullen. His gray cheeks sagged. He slid an envelope in front of me.
     “Here are the checks,” he said. “Two for the government, one for you.”
     I pulled out our tax documents. “You need to sign these,” I said, sliding our state and federal returns in front of him. “I’m going to the accountant after this. He’ll file for us electronically.”
     JB signed and slid them back.
     “Here’s your copy of our marital settlement agreement,” I said, sliding it in front of him. “I also have quit-claim deeds to the house and Minocqua. The titles to the cars are here, too. You need to sign the quit-claims in front of a notary public. Then we can go to the DMV and have our names taken off each other’s cars.”
     JB nodded solemnly.
     “You said you needed to talk to someone in your last email,” I said.
     “I don’t need to talk. I’m okay.”
     “You sure?”
     “Yeah, I’m fine.”
     “You could go to Adult Children of Alcoholics, ACOA meetings. I know people who go. They love it. They’re getting healthy. It’s free. Throw a couple bucks in the basket. That’s it.”
     JB nodded. His face brightened. “I’ll go,” he said.
     “I don’t know if you consider yourself a sex addict or not, but they’ve got 12-step meetings for that, too.”
     JB stiffened and stared at me angrily.
     “I don’t give a shit what you do,” I said, standing. “I’m just passing along ideas. Let’s get this stuff taken care of.”
     JB and I drove a couple of blocks to the DMV and were told we’d save $180 if we  changed our car titles after we were officially divorced. We drove to the bank and JB signed the quit-claim deeds. We parted ways. I dropped our tax documents at the accountant’s then drove to The Lake County Recorder of Deeds and filed the quit-claim for the house. The quit-claim for Minocqua I sent to another co-owner of the cabin who does the paperwork.
     I parked at home and sighed with relief. “Hello,” I sang upstairs as I walked in.
     “Hi,” Tom called down.
     “You on the computer?”
     Tom was watching music videos on YouTube.
     “How are you feeling?” I asked.
     Tom held out his hand and seesawed it.
     “You hungry?”
     “I’m going to make chicken noodle soup.”
     “That sounds good.”
     I cooked soup, taught yoga, flopped on my bed afterward, and lay motionless a long time.

1 comment: