Thursday, May 26, 2016

Funny People

Yes, the title is from the nepotism filled Sandler/Apatow film that I really didn't care for when I saw it years ago, but, it's the only title that came to mind. Funny, hilarious, humorous. I've heard them all. I'm not confident with many things, but who is? I know I'm funny. I enjoy making people laugh and seeing their reactions. What I'm currently experiencing is extremely difficult and I need humor to cope. Many of you that I'm close to know that I've been making jokes in regard to my divorce with the Plaintiff. Yes, she's now known to me as the Plaintiff going forward. Why? Why the hell not?
I figure if I can make everyone else laugh, then why can't I make myself giggle about all of this? So, below are some zingers I've been using. They're funny and sad, but humor and grief walk the same, fine line, and it's really just about context. So, in no particular order, here are some jokes about my divorce. Enjoy. Also, they might not all be comedic gems.

1) When I go to bars we use to frequent and the familiar bartender asks me: "Where's your wife?", and I reply with: "That's a good question, I don't know."

2) I'm going to hold off on throwing anyone birthday parties going forward, as it appears the last one didn't go as planned, due to it resulting in a divorce.

3) My previous ex took my air conditioner and my wife took our air mattress. I'm starting to think I should write my name on anything I own that contains the word "air".

4) When we all go to the courthouse, I can finally say to my wife and her family: "So this is where everyone has been? I never thought to look here."

5)  My birthday is coming up on June 19th, and I'm not sure if I should be expecting a gift from the Plaintiff. Maybe a card? Although, she did get me divorce papers...

6) Plaintiff, I know I changed the locks, but you're more than welcome to come over whenever you want when I'm not home.

7) Your Honor, I honestly just thought she went to Wawa to get coffee and gas these past 6 months.

8) So, that's a definite "No" in regard to attending Thanksgiving and Christmas?

9) Ok, Plaintiff, I know you want a divorce, but I have just one question: "Did you at least enjoy your birthday party?"

10) So instead of "I do.", it was more of a "I kinda do."?

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

E.T.

Abandoned, rejected, left behind and forgotten. These are the words that come to mind when I think of the friends and family I've lost, while going through this divorce. Although, at this point, I don't believe they deserve the title of ''family'' or "friend", or "human", for that matter. Yes, much like E.T., I waddled my little, wrinkly ass out of the space ship, wandered off too far and then, the bastards took off without me. Although, unlike E.T., I doubt I'll befriend a little boy, as the state of NJ frowns on that sort of thing, and I don't think "phoning home" is going to magically make them return. But, much like E.T. I do enjoy Reese's Pieces and drinking beer in a bathrobe. So, I'll take the good with the bad.
One of the harder things of this divorce, aside, from my wife leaving, is that everyone else went with her. It's understandable that her family would take her side, what family wouldn't? But, the first night she left, I attempted to contact each and every one of them, to see if she was okay, as she gave no indication of where she was going. No one answered my call. In the months that followed, friends that we had made together, neglected me in a similar manner. I did not reach out to any of them, but none of them attempted to reach out to me. So, yes, abandoned, rejected, left behind and forgotten.
Most of them, I knew and loved the entire eight years I've lived down here in NJ. I helped her parents when I could, respected her grandparents, and aunt, aided in moving her sister twice and parents just this past November. I had all of these people in my home numerous times over the years and most recently; for her birthday on January 2nd of this year. She left me January 6th. I've spoken to no one since her birthday.
So, yes, I'm angry, bitter, pissed, upset, and anything else I can feel at this time. I've been forgotten, made a phantom or ghost. Someone to never be spoken of, ever again. They made their choice, and whether they simply don't care or don't know what to do, the end result still represents apathy, neglect and rejection. Personally, that's something I could never do, but unfortunately, when shit goes south, you find out who people really are and what they can do; it's just a shame that most of the time, they simply do nothing. Now, if you'll excuse me, I need to go buy some candy and beer.

Wash...
Rinse...   
Repeat...

                                                                             

Monday, May 16, 2016

Do the Right Thing...

"Be a good man." Words my father instilled in me since I was a young boy. Words I carried with me for a very long time. Unfortunately, as I go through this divorce that I didn't ask for nor want, I feel like anything but a "good man." I feel overwhelmed with anger, sadness, and grief. I feel compromised, morally, by circumstance, reactive to what has been done to me. "Be a good man" is a hard rule to abide by at this moment in time.
Everyone on the outside looking in thinks that my ex deserves anything and everything she has coming to her. On the flip side of that coin, most likely, everyone on her side of this fight, thinks I deserve everything that is coming to me, but, in the end, as I previously stated, no one wins. So far, divorce has been nothing more than a "tit for tat", a continued attempt of "You've done this, so I'll do that." It's continuous escalation, pure and simple; where only the lawyers benefit, as they siphon money from the substantial retainer that is meant to keep them in your employ, and protect you, legally. Well, at least mine. I doubt she's paying a fraction of what I'm paying in legal fees. Yay for her father being best friends with a lawyer!
But, despite all of this, I continue to "try" and do the right thing. More than what she deserves and, I think, more than what I deserve. I maintain and bear the sole financial responsibility of our home, despite the fact that she has chosen to no longer pay her half of the vested interest in a residence where we are currently both listed as co-owners on the deed. I still support her, by law, within the health care spectrum; and reside and remain as the caretaker of our residential investment. I, am, in no way, attempting to slander her, though, fact are facts, and the previously mentioned above statements are acts of shittiness; so, I'll let you, the reader, decide on her level of selfish/atrocious behavior she has exhibited, and decide if it's unfair and unwarranted. So, as previously inquired in other posts, what's my point? Simple, with respect to divorce, you both start out wanting to be civil and considerate of each other, but honestly, it just devolves into a chaotic mess, where you feel compromised on every level, and less like the "good man" you have strived to be most of your life. To me, that's one of the worst feelings I could ever experience. For what I've done and continue to do in the midst of this divorce, and the fact that, everyday, I have to look at myself in the mirror and be "ok" with choices I've made and will continue to make until this is all over.

Monday, May 9, 2016

All Dogs Go to Heaven

 Dogs. I love them. I love them more than people. I have two, well had two, as my wife and I have split up Homer and Hermes. When she abandoned our marriage over five months ago, she took both dogs with her. She offered to bring one back, of course, I advised her to keep both; as I had yet to realize where this fucking fiasco was going. As time passed, we agreed to split them up, and I now have Hermes. I have not seen Homer since he was taken on January 6th.
When I tell people this story, most react with: "Just get another dog." Clearly anyone who makes such an ignorant statement has never had a dog or pet. I don't want to simply replace him. I raised him and Hermes from when they were both puppies, along with my wife. They are my sons, and together with my wife, we were a family. So, no, I will not be replacing him. Unfortunately, dogs are considered property and there is no real right to shared custody in regard to a divorce. So, for the time being, I have to accept that I will most likely never see Homer again. That is painful and hard to swallow. 
I also feel bad for Hermes, as he lost his brother and his play mate. I know he looks for him around the house, as he does my wife, only to find empty rooms and silence. It's sad to see, but it is the reality going forward. I try to keep him busy as much as possible, taking him for walks, taking him up to NY with me when I travel, and spend as much free time with him that I can afford. We're best buds, braving this storm together. I'm happy to have him, because I need him right now as much as he needs me.
One last thing, people always ask what inspired their names. Homer is from the Greek author of "The Odyssey" and "The Iliad"...kidding, he's named after Homer Simpson. Although, Homer is quite intelligent, I just liked the name. Hermes origins are somewhat sadder. He was born to a litter of six pups, who were dumped on the side of the road in Georgia. He and his siblings were brought up to NJ to Puppies and More Rescue where my wife and I volunteered. We took in two pups, Maggie, she was brown and already spoken for; and Artemis, black, who I convinced my wife to adopt. Unfortunately, the entire litter came down with parvo, a disease that is caused due to the lack of nutrients provided by the mother.
Well, Maggie became ill, within two days of having her. During that time, I slept on the dining room floor with both of them because I did not want to leave them alone. She went to the vet and eventually passed. Our concerns grew for Artie, but had shown no signs until several days later. My wife took her one morning, I tearfully said goodbye and that I would see her again, and went to work.
We visited the remaining pups in quarantine, with IV's in their arms, all succumbing to parvo, except little Hermes, he was named Murphy at the time. He was up and his tail was wagging.
Artie passed a few days later along with the other pups. Hermes was the only survivor. We offered to take him and make the best we could from this horrible situation.
His name, like Homer and Artemis, has origins in Greek mythology. He is mainly considered as a god of transition and speed. But, he's also known as a Psychopomp or "guide of souls". So, he was there to help his siblings as they moved on from this world. So, yes, sad origins for a name, but good came from bad.
It's something I have to learn and accept about life. There is darkness and sadness, but born form both can be light and happiness, it just takes circumstance and time.

Homer and Hermes Bruno, my sons.

Saturday, May 7, 2016

Aliens

Yes, I know, it's been awhile since I've posted anything. My apologies, as I am currently going through a divorce. Yes, despite my best efforts, my wife felt there was no salvaging our marriage and relationship of eight years. Despite selling my vast collection, despite seeking therapy, despite wanting to make things work, despite giving her time and space. She knew she no longer wanted to be married to me, but she selfishly waited to get through her best friend's wedding, (almost 20 days after she had made this critical decision), before she told me. I'll be honest, it's hard, and we have a ways to go until everything settles.
So for those of you contemplating divorce, consider everything that comes with it. Divorce is final. It's destructive, it decimates, it destroys, it hurts...no good comes from it. Honestly, when the dust settles, no one wins. So, yes, at this point, I don't consider myself the optimist. I'm leaning more towards a nihilistic view of things. The light at the end of the tunnel is so far off in the distance, I can't even see it.
Of course, first dealing with the separation, and the then hearing those four lovely words: "I want a divorce", which signals an even more depressing and lengthy path and passage of time, wears on you substantially. It crushes you in ways you never thought possible. Much like that time Linda Hamilton crushed the first T-800 in the hydraulic press at the end of "Terminator". Sorry, I should have lead with a spoiler alert.
So what's my point? My world is falling apart. All of it. I'm looking for something to tether me to the ground during this F5 tornado, much like Bill Paxton and Helen Hunt in "Twister", which is a great film, incidentally. This leads me into the title of this blog, Aliens. It is a 1986 sci-fi, action, horror film directed by pre-Titanic James Cameron. It's one of my favorite films of all time and still stands as one the best action films; with a strong female lead in Sigourney Weaver's Ellen Ripley, 30 years prior to Charlize Theron's Imperia Furiosa in "Mad Max: Fury Road".
In 1991, my father lost his job at IBM after being employed there for over 25 years. Massive layoffs were happening all over the company and the Mid-Hudson Valley was hit pretty hard. My father, my mother, my brother and I were now faced with a horrible reality. I was young then, 10, and I understood the implications of what had happened. I could see the worry and despair on my father's face, and the weight and concern he felt for his family and our future.
One Tuesday, shortly after he was laid off, he took me to Jamesway, (throwback department store for you kids, Google it), and bought me a toy, an action figure, Corporal James Hicks, from the Aliens toy line. He bought it for me, because he didn't want me to think, and see, that the world around us was crumbling. He instilled in me the hope, and belief that eventually, everything would be ok. In time, things worked out for the better; my father found another job and we all moved on with our lives. But, those times were dark and uncertain. Much like what I'm currently experiencing.
So, I decided to find my tether, my beacon. I went on eBay and for $11, I purchased the exact same action figure my father had bought me 24 years earlier. It's a symbol of hope, a reminder to me that though the world around me is crumbling, eventually it will get better. It has to...

  
Corporal Dwayne Hicks by Kenner