At the age of 58 years old, more than half of it spent in a miserable excuse for a marriage, I walked away and never looked back. I make no excuses for my behavior, other than to say I have no idea what took me so long. None of my family or friends could believe I had managed to stay with that miserable excuse for a human being for nearly 35 years and still remained sane. Quite simply, I was committed to my only daughter and had vowed to do my damnedest to make sure she didn't end up like her mother. I wanted her, my daughter, to know she had a choice. She didn't need to turn out like my wife. But there were other forces at work apparently, beyond my influence and I died a little more each day as my daughter slowly, but surely, became my wife. My wife's behavior was a matter of choice and I had wanted to make sure my daughter knew there were alternatives. But to no avail.
The day my daughter left for University, I packed my bags, loaded up the car and drove away. I had paid for the first year of her schooling in advance, convinced there would be no need to pay for a second year. As with my wife and me, my beautiful daughter would find 'her man' in her first year, seduce and convince the sucker to get married, immediately if not sooner. She would drop out to raise the 1.2 kids of the average American family. A fucking disaster in the making, and I had decided that I was just going to let it to happen. What the fuck did I care, anyway? I wasn't planning to be there for the consequences.
There was a lot of yelling — and stuff — the day I left. The bitch was actually surprised I was leaving! I won't go into all the gory details of my departure, but if you happened to live in any of the neighboring states or provinces, you probably heard about it. It really wasn't as devastating as she made it out to be, and believe me, she talked and cried to anyone who would listen. Especially the battered women's advocates, until they finally figured out I had never abused her in any way. She did make the local evening news, as if she expected fucking public opinion to sway me. She was a bitch, pure and simple. Her actions only proved that. If I was a bastard for leaving her, shoot me. I had provided her an absolutely free living for 35 years and I was done. She only had sex with me, well, we hadn't 'cohabitated' for almost 19 years. I think the last time we fucked, we conceived my daughter. I don't know that we had ever made love. Just fucked.
Yeah, so I'm wimp. I was screwed up by my upbringing that taught me that a woman — any woman — was to be respected and honored. Cherished. I wish my church had taught me to just fuck the living daylights out of them, to teach me that they only deserved to be respected and honored and cherished when they earned it. The same as a man. Equality, my ass! They want all the benefits but don't want the ulcers, the heart attacks, the long hours and the shit-for-brains bosses. But I wasn't brought up to disrespect them that way and it took a lot of pain and agony for me to re-learn those lessons.
Kids today have it easier in some ways. They don't have all that religious baggage to bring into a relationship. They've got other problems, like learning to speak English good and adding two numbers to get the same answer twice, but that's the fucking school system. Shit, there was a report in the news recently that 30% of Washington, DC is illiterate, and I would swear most of that is on Capital Hill.
I had had a lawyer draw up papers giving the alleged woman I left behind complete ownership of the house, the other two cars, everything, and I had filed for a legal separation. If she wanted to file for a divorce, that was fine with me. For all appearances, the only thing of our bliss-less lives left to split were some anemic 401(k) retirement accounts that I had carefully nurtured to their near catatonic state. They were window dressing and worth little to me. She could have them, I just wanted to give her something to 'take' from me, one last time and be done with it. To all appearances and for all intents and purposes, I had put my entire soul and existence into my family and their welfare. I had gotten a mountain of shit for it. And I let her, and anyone listening that fateful day, know that. In fact, that whole last week, after it appeared as if I had finally had enough, I did a lot of yelling. And throwing things. God, that was fun!
You see, I had hidden away a lot of other assets. My departure was not a 'spur of the moment' idea, to bail out suddenly. This was a carefully planned and precisely calculated theater production. I had realized my predicament several years, about 10 years, earlier. I was unhappy and it wasn't going to improve. I tried to get her to counseling. I worked to find things in common with her, things that would interest both long after the daughter was gone. For twenty some-odd years I tried. Hell, I even tried to make love to her. OK, fuck her. But she was done with that. She actually flinched when I tried to touch her on her shoulder or arm. I really disgusted her.
I think that was the last straw, when I began to realize the relationship was a losing proposition. She had had a bad day. I just wanted to comfort her and I tried to give her a little hug. It was definitely not sexual, believe me, I was just trying to support her emotionally. Fucking load of crap that is, that "sensitivity" shit.
Anyway, the amount of cash I had been able to squirrel away was substantial. Hell, it was better than substantial. I had been planning my escape for nearly a decade, and I had made it appeared as if all the money had been frittered away on frivolous, but believable expenditures. I made it look as if I had visited a lot of hookers. Of course, I had to do some actual research on that topic and lay a trail, to make it look authentic. But for all the money, I must have been a really horny bastard there for several years.
In addition, when I wasn't not whoring around, I must have started betting heavily on the ponies during my middle-aged crisis. Being meticulous, of course, I kept records. Damn it all if I didn't leave them in my desk, too! Oh my God, what would she think when she found those records. And all the receipts for lavish jewelry and gifts (all quietly returned, of course)! And a journal of my exploits. I was pretty proud of that piece of fiction, if I do say so myself! Despicable, depraved and degenerate. I hit the Trifecta at around 50 years old and went downhill from there.
All told, I had over $3 million squirreled away in various small out of the way banks in safety deposit boxes — all under fictitious names, of course. It was all in cash and her lawyer could look all he wanted to. It wouldn't be found. And I didn't intend to be found, either.
I loaded my shit that wouldn't fit into my car in a small U-Haul pull behind trailer and headed in a generally southern direction. I had to meander around for a few weeks, visiting all of my friendly banks and retrieving my money. No sense leaving it behind as I had no intention of ever returning. I wasn't really sure what my intentions were at that point, if I had to be honest, but I knew for sure as fuck I wasn't going to come back here to these parts without being in chains or dead.
The trailer I had rented was the smallest one U-Haul carries and it was still more than half empty. I had taken my computer, my clothes and the one fraternity photo my my ex-wife had not managed to throw out, even after all of these years. Not that the picture meant anything to me after all of this time. I didn't even remember the other guys in the photo and they meant nothing to me. But the memory of the photo did. It was taken at a time before I met my wife. The peacefulness of that photo represented meant a Hell of a lot to me and over time that memory had become my goal.
I realize a couple of boxes in a tiny trailer were not much to show for 35 years of hard labor, but at last I was free. FREE! For the first time since I gotten out from under my Mom and Dad's roof, I was free and on my own. I didn't have to answer to anyone. Not my boss, not my wife, not my daughter. No bills, no subscriptions, no fucking cat or even a goldfish. I was free.
After I had cleaned out the bank boxes and had the cash safely stashed in the trailer, I just drove. I wasn't headed anywhere specific but I knew that wherever it was that I was headed, it was going to be warm. I meandered generally south along the interstates for several days, stopping where it pleased me, eating what I wanted and listening to my music on the CD player. My music, not hers. Not my wife's or my daughter's. My music. God, that felt good!
My musical tastes are simple and run from Bach to Garth Brooks, a cappella to ABBA. One of the things I had learned early on living with my wife and daughter was that if I liked it, they would hate it. That limited their music selections to pretty much anyone named Britney, Mandy and whoever else could chew bubblegum and hold a microphone at the same time. Or could paint their entire bodies with blue paint. But now it was just me and my music and the road. It was wonderful.
I had never been to the Florida Keys — too many bugs for my wife to even consider for a vacation destination —and I kind of had a vague sense in the back of my mind that I wanted to see them. I had this intriguing mental picture of me sitting on the beach under a swaying palm tree, typing on a laptop I had yet to acquire and pretending I was a modern-day Hemingway. OK, it was a fantasy, but at least in my fantasies I could pretend to be able to write.
.... There is more of this story ...