Whoa! Didja get the numbers off that truck?!?


2001-08-25 - 8:53 p.m.

JohnnieV gets hitched, Part Two:

Here’s Part One

She missed her son. She wanted to go back home. Let’s skip the trip to Spring Lake, she said. Whatever, I said. Let’s get on with this married life stuff. This is what grown ups do.

We picked up Kevin at Mr. And Mrs. Dairy Farmers house and went home to enjoy the week off at our riverside palace. We returned a few wedding presents and kept the cash. We stupidly went to the county pound and brought back a cute little German Sheperd/Collie pup and named her Abby. We had a good time on that week off.

We acted like a married couple. I built a doghouse for Abby because in Deborah’s world dogs belonged outside. It wasn’t that way in my world but what the heck. We had a dinner party, Deborah pulled out all the stops. My old friend Al knew me well enough to know I didn’t have dinner parties.

We went through the winter, the first Christmas, Saturday morning chats in the kitchen together, watching the long winter snow melt. The summer was good, but I started to feel that empty feeling. There were intermittent fights, and the end of sex as we knew it. I didn’t know it at the time, but you cannot love someone you don’t respect.

The weather got colder. She did too. She had quit her job a while ago to be a full time mommy for Kevin and the burn rate on my wages was catching up… the fuse was getting shorter. Plus she was at home all day by herself and she was getting Bored. So to alleviate things I scraped up some cash and we went to see a band play at the Lone Star Saloon.

Oh what a great time she had! She loved the music, the night out, and I actually thought I might get lucky that night. I don’t think I did. But it sure inspired her to go out again. But this time she didn’t go with me; she went with her friend down the street, another bored “housewife.” The nights out started happening on a regular basis. Why not, she had a built in babysitter… me. I got to know Kevin pretty well and he was good company for a four year old. We walked to the park a lot. He tentatively started calling me “Dad.” It was okay, but I knew who the real Dad was. It would have broken the real Dad’s heart to hear that I’d bet. It did feel nice though, when he’d snuggle up next to me on the couch as we watched TV together.

She was a regular at the bar at the local Holiday Inn. She had a close group of friends and what a good time she had. I was especially perplexed by her references to an 18 year old kid, a son of the Inn’s managers. His name was Bobby. She’d often come home late from her outings and dial Bobby up as soon as she got home. I would lie on my side of the bed and listen as my stomach ached.

Sometime during that late Fall, I gained the ability to fall asleep before she’d get home. There was no more lying awake waiting for her. The conversation died between us too. I knew she had something else going on the side, but I had no proof. Then it went from bizarre to unbelievable.

I still remember the scene. She was sitting on the countertop in the kitchen, proposing a new “arrangement” for us. It was obvious the marriage was dead; but we could still stay together. We could start to “see other people” but have the convenience of a shared household. (And she has the convenience of a full time babysitter, and my wages. How nice.) I was too stunned to answer.

She looked really slutty for that year’s Christmas party at work. She wore a gold sequined tube top underneath some sort of black blazer. It showcased her assets. We mixed, we mingled, we ate, and we danced the obligatory dance. And she got the itch to leave. But I wanted to stay. Fine, I said… actually I’d have more fun without her. I knew where she was going anyhow. She took the car because I knew I could get a ride home from someone I knew there.

That’s when I really started to have a good time. I got loosened up with some Cutty Sark, and partied with my friends. Near the end of the night I hooked up with my old girlfriend Nancy. We went back to her apartment and screwed.

I felt intense guilt. This was not the right thing to do. But it was acceptable within the boundaries of Deborah’s new plan, right?

Nancy gave me a ride home. She dropped me off a block away so that the bad muffler on her car would not be heard by my loving bride, supposedly asleep in our bed. I still remember walking that block to my home in the cold dark night air, assembling the shattered reality I’d made for myself. I couldn’t write a wilder story than the one I was living. And I was surprised to see her in our bed. The one time I come home later than her, and she’s awake for me.

“Hi, have a good time?” she said.

“Yeah I did, it’s nice to be with all those people.” I replied tentatively.

“Who gave you a ride home?”

“Nancy did,” I said. Oh, she knew all about Nancy.

“Did you fuck her?”

“Yes.”

The emotion poured out of her like a small thermonuclear explosion. How dare I do such a thing? What a betrayal! I didn’t sleep in that bed that night. I slept in Kevin’s bed that night. Actually it was my old one from when I was single. Home again. We never slept together after that.

She offered up her Plan, and when I lived my half of it the shit hit the fan. I was filled with remorse. I wanted to fix what was beyond fixing. She assembled her old bed in our bedroom, and the waterbed we shared in our brief marriage went downstairs with me in the guest bedroom where I set up living quarters. She decided to move back to Hastings to live with some friends of hers. I was gone when she moved out. I paid for the truck. She took some of my stuff too, the bitch. My friend Bob moved in with me after that, so we could share living expenses… I was strapped. We had parties and good times and fun until the landlord decided to sell the place. We both moved out in June of 1982.

I didn’t even know I was divorced until my copy of the decree arrived in the mail late that summer. I remembered signing something at her lawyer’s office in the spring.

Deborah got married again. Kevin is about 25 years old now. I hope he’s all right.







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