Joel
3 min readFeb 7, 2016

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A rant written around the time my wife left

When I though about speaking. tonight, I had a Linda Blair moment and was possessed to write about how it is that my wife and I separated after 33 years. It started with us sitting on the it-converts to a bed couch and me being the dumb ass male that I am I did not notice the dark Harry Potter like cloud forming above her head. This is not working is all she said and approaching it with my male reptilian brain-my if its broke fix it brain I said. Don’t worry I’ll get a screwdriver.

And so it began my fall into despair, dealing with telling the kids, the heartbreak of her moving some not all of her things out of the house the variation on the theme question, where’s Wendy. The aching sadness of morning coffee alone, random crying jags brought on by something as benign as spotting her LL Bean snow boots in the hall closet. Waking up in the middle of the night and knowing I was having a heart attack and her not being there to tell me it was just the Nachos.

Fantasizing about grandchildren not yet born but now sure to be enjoyed and loved separately. The realization that there wouldn’t be any more Chanukah parties, Thanksgiving dinners or evenings alone with my partner for 33 years. Because much of those activities are built around the mother-female energy and when it comes to using the right dishes or cooking a holiday meal that requires the concurrent arrival of ingredients in a pot or remembering which daughters birthday was June 6 and which was June 12, that’s not me. I was the “the Dad”, the guy known as Crapman the one my wife, my kids, my friends call to fix things to make things whole, the one that got the FUCK CANCER hats made when Cindy was dying, the one you call to drive you home or take you away.

Yet to come was my was the all too soon putting up of my match.com profile with my painfully honest up to the moment photograph, followed by the bad dates with women who were 20 lbs and ten years North of their profile. And response always the same, -Of course you do- when asked, “ I look just like my photo right?”.

However I had thought I was pretty clear I was a vegetarian and a liberal. Not someone that scrapes up road kill and calls it tenderized meat, nor supports Rick Warrens agenda, no not even after his inauguration reconciliation invocation. Not yet known what that I would not be able to face the reality of her new boyfriend who, much like Bizzaro Superman, was the anti-Joel. A fulltime waiter and organic farmer who believed in Alien abductions and that the Universe actually had a plan, just like my local Zoning office. And she would tell me that he would be the one to open up the possibilities of her soul. And that all my years of working and earning a good living, as we used to say on the Lower East Side, when the Lower East Side was the Lower East Side. Of our being there for each other, consoling each other over the deaths of all to young family members, sharing in the births of our amazing daughters, supporting her frail moments and her mine, rarely if ever missing dinner with the family, the old school door opening rock of fucking Gibraltar that I am was going to be replaced by all that. All that was yet to come, all that was waiting for me in the year ahead, but in that moment, sitting on the couch with her saying this is not working, all I said was I’ll get a screwdriver. #love #life #relationships #rant #poem

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Joel

Dad, photographer, poet, intense conversationalist, entrepreneur, New Yorker, martinis, jazz lover.