I wrote this a while ago, before I really started writing. I am setting it free.
As a teenager I imagined that when I was 30 I would have a husband, children, an orderly household, suitably accomplished career, hair that didn’t perpetually look like I was attached to a Van De Graaff Generator, and skin that was always perfectly moisturized.
30 hit, and I had none of those. I had a husband. But, we were beginning divorce proceedings. It’s a big word. Divorce. Your world as you know it falls out from under you, gets violently sucked into a whirlpool of what should have been, and suddenly you are standing at the edge of a precipice, staring out into an ocean of uncertainty.
I read Eat, Pray, Love. An adventure. That’s what I needed. A solitary journeying around the world, where I would find gastronomic bliss, spiritual enlightenment and The One (well, The Second And Hopefully Final One), and if I was really lucky, a sage sound-bite worthy guru of some sort. Unfortunately my wallet would allow no such indulgence. I would have to make do at home.
So eat, I did. Too much. Pray. More than I ever had before. And love. Yes. More like loved. Smothered by the people around me. No. Smothered implies suffocated. Not smothered. Infused, like fragrant vanilla in thick brandied cream. Or coated like velvety dark chocolate does to silken strawberries. Or simmered like chopped up onions turning golden brown in butter. Did I mention I ate a lot?
And then, exactly one year later, he left. Quite unceremoniously, disappeared, to another continent, another life. And like that, I knew. That ember of hope I had been clumsily fanning for 365 days started to extinguish. And it wasn’t panic I felt. Oddly it was calm. Truth be told, my damn arm ached from keeping that bloody flame alive. And my insides were covered in a thick layer of soot. So I started to do what any well brought up girl does when there is dirt coating anything.
I started to clean.
No, not the kind that leaves you sweaty and bothered. Well, ahem!
I changed my name back. And now when people ask, I say with mischief, ‘No, I didn’t get married, it was the other way actually’, and ‘No, don’t be sorry’ and ‘No, we couldn’t have worked it out’ or rather, ‘Fuck off and mind your own business’ or worse ‘Why am I not pregnant yet? Well, my name would have to be Mary, and it would have to be the second coming of…’
Aha. But no longer.
With my pink tipped toe-nails, scarlet red lipstick and that sway in the hips of a woman let loose, maybe I need to rename this piece ‘The Coming Of..’
photo credit: Photopin