This is an essay I wrote... a long time ago!
Tonight I was invited to Los Gatos to meet with a few friends … some I knew, and others I just met. It wasn't until after we parted and I was walking towards my car that I realized just five years ago I had been married in the church a block down the road. On the way home I heard a radio talk show host tell the story of a man divorced from his wife who had just been awarded land that he bought with his own money while married to her. The woman claimed at the trial that, although she loved her husband, she was never physically attracted to him and could not stand having sex with him for seventeen years. The jury found the woman guilty of defrauding her ex-husband. This took place in Michigan, if I'm not mistaken. Good for the people who live there! They have a common sense approach to the contractual nature of marriage. In California we have something entirely different.
One of the couples I met have three boys; ages four, six, and eight. The wife had apparently just turned thirty. She didn't look a day over twenty-two, but I must just be getting too old (at thirty six) to tell the age of attractive mothers who are younger than myself. We talked a long time about what it's like to have three young boys around the house. She said that she's finished having kids for now, but if there was a good chance of having a daughter, she'd bear another child in a quick minute. The two of them talked about how important it is to have plastic sheets when you've got growing boys who have to be awakened every night to make sure they get to the bathroom. I could not bring myself to ask just exactly what a plastic sheet is — is it really plastic, is it just waterproof, what's it like to sleep on — so I let that one go. It has been added to the list of things I'm curious about, and may experience if I am ever a parent.
This time around I did not have the opportunity to be a parent. My wife announced after three and a half years of marriage that she is a Lesbian. She told me that she has always been attracted to other women, that she knew this from a very long time ago, that she was told by the fundamentalist Christian church she had attended during her adolescence that homosexuality is a matter of choice so she decided to be heterosexual, but that it was all useless. She needed to get out of our marriage as quickly as was possible so she could discover the full extent of her sexuality. This all came out over a three month period. She had a therapist prior to, and during that time who helped her come out of the closet before she let me in on her life altering secret. It all seemed to happen very fast. One day we were happily married, the next day my wife is in therapy for some mysterious reason, the next she's muttering about how she's questioning everything (including her sexuality), the next we are in marriage counseling, then boom — the mystery is over — she is a Lesbian woman who can no longer struggle with the tug of war within her.
In California we endure the monstrosity of law called no-fault divorce. It's evil twin sister is called community property. I now find myself in the unenviable and unfortunate position of being a man facing a multitude of serious and concurrent financial problems, from foreclosure on our home to personal bankruptcy because my wife simply would not pay any of the joint bills we owe for the two years we've been separated. The opportunities for work as a computer programming consultant have dried up in this economy and I struggle to survive from one week to the next.
I recently met a twenty year old woman who will be marrying her twenty four year old fiancée in a few months. We played in an orchestra together and got to know each other during breaks in rehearsal. I offered her the music I composed and had performed at my own wedding because I wish to give her and her husband-to-be something that was pure and positive from my marriage. She seems so young and inexperienced to me. She is a junior in college and will be married before she is finished. To the people of my Vietnam-Watergate generation getting married while still in college was almost unheard of!
A short while ago I looked at my birth certificate, which my mother sent me because she thought it was high time I hold on to it. I was surprised to find that my father was twenty one and my mother was twenty when I was born, the second of six children. Then the next huge revelation … my parents were grandparents when they were my age.
The radio talk show host wanted to know what people thought of the decision of the jury to essentially punish a woman for attempting to profit from a marriage she fraudulently perpetuated. Oh, how I wished I had a cellular phone in my car at the time! I would tell the listeners a thing or two about how sacred the marriage contract is and about how a life can be so utterly devastated by the intentional abuse of that contract. I wanted to rail against the injustice of it all and how no one can imagine the pain of divorce until it happens to them, and the terrible consequences of unfaithful marriage, and the anguish a soul can feel when the chance to procreate has been snatched away; but I didn't call, even when I got home and had the chance to do so.
Instead, I have made another squeeze on the venom that needs to be excised from my life. I think about the people I met tonight; the couple that is, the couple that will be, the guy who is still trying to figure out that there is no such thing as a true Playboy, and me. I weep for the children I did not have with the wife who did not deserve me — and I honor young parents who are the creators of civilization and the world to be.
About this blog.
This blog is a place where many of the confluences of my life can be shared. I am, at the core, a creative person. I approach everything from that basis... whether composing symphonies, playing the cello, being a serial entrepreneur, writing sermons and essays, flying airplanes, or creating software apps. I am deeply passionate about creativity, issues of social justice, and spiritual enrichment. These are fundamental to everything I do. Welcome to my journey!