So here I am in my newly-emptied house. It's not really empty. Just the clothes and the books and the paintings and the man are gone.
For the past few days, he has been filling the SUV, newly registered in his name, with stuff. The garage, which we had specially fitted-out so it could be his studio, took the longest time. And made the smallest dent in my perception. But then, sometime yesterday or maybe the night before, I started to notice. A favorite painting that I sort of considered 'mine' was gone. And his clothes--there are few things sadder, it seems to me, than a closetfull of empty hangers. Of course, the good news is that I will probably never have to buy plastic hangers again, so many do I now have as spares.
Paintings off the walls and some transportable furniture left bare places that I couldn't leave alone. So I went trolling through my side of the garage and found a painting that I had done when I was about sixteen to hang where one of his had been. I quite like the painting; it's an abstract that I did in my aunt's studio one night while the grownups were talking 'round the table. It doesn't really fill the space, but it's better than blank wall, until I decide what I really do want there. And one of the Mission rockers that I bought at an auction in PA, that I put where his huge upholstered Bishop's chair had been. It's too small as well, but it will do the job. That all went out yesterday, and truth to tell, I felt quite sad all evening.
Today, he packed up his computer. But not before I undertook the Herculean task of deleting all of my files and programs. We shared that computer for a number of years and unwrapping my life on the hard drive from his was probably harder than the legal separation of property will be.
This is all so new and mostly, I don't know what to make of it. When I think of the reality of what's happening, I'm astonished, aghast, appalled. How can this be? How is it that in the space of what, six weeks, life as I knew it and expected it to be has been erased?
Still, I can't say I'm suffering mightily. I'm shocked and hurt and disappointed and mad--hey, I'm a candidate for the stages of mourning, aren't I! Elizabeth Kubler-Ross, writ large. But I'm sleeping well, and my appetite isn't off. And I'm exercising--yes, yes, yes--on my new Pilates Reformer, so tomorrow is another day, etc. etc. etc.
Actually, Molly is the one that I feel the most for. So much of her life was spent with him. They had routines that she won't have with me. I won't be taking her to Starbucks every morning and sharing my scone with her. Nor will she accompany me on trips hither and yon, although I do have her carseat (yes, Molly has a car seat, of course) in my car. But they used to spend some good portion of the day driving. And if he was in the garage painting, she was there with him. She doesn't understand what's going on. All she knows is, something's wrong with my people. Today I sat on the sofa with her after he had driven off and she scrunched herself up small, shoved her head under my hip and jammed the rest of her body as close to mine as she could get. I think she would have gotten inside me if she could. And then she'd be sure that I too wouldn't leave her.