Groceries

What you can never be prepared to know about divorce is how it changes your view of parking lots. You pause and take a deep breath. Scanning the rows as you pass them by, your eyes intently watching for that familiar vehicle. It makes my mouth dry. What if they are in there? What if they are getting groceries too? What if they are with someone that is not you?

I walked the aisles like a zombie. The bags underneath my sockets were pulling my weary eyes down. My eyes were red and raw and tired. It was the first time I went grocery shopping on my own. I broke down in the frozen food section. Who knew bagged broccoli and shredded cheese could bring a man to tears?

If focusing on the big picture – the “this all adds up logically” part of what is going on – then it seems as though I am alright. On a massive scale, I am finding peace and forgiveness and hope and all the other things one needs to move on. It is the small things that still break me. Like for example, sometimes before I go to sleep, if I lay really still, it feels like I am still in our bed. Logically I know that cannot be true, we haven’t occupied our bed together for some time now. But underneath logic, in some small place, I think how I can shift my weight and roll over and reach for you. That I can feel the softness of your shirt or the warmth of your skin. I feel like I am collecting these small things the same way that we collect grocery bags shoved into the corner of a pantry.

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Tree

“From a certain point onward there is no longer any turning back. That is the point that must be reached.” – Franz Kafka

The wooden box was made to look like an antique book. The dust jacket was designed like an ancient map. The lid was tied by cotton twine. Inside the cover there was a message left many years ago. Back when love seemed like forever. It’s false pages were misleading from the outside just as the message was misleading within. Inside the box were poetic words and ghost stories.

The tree was always special. He found it by accident. Its twisted roots were pulled half from the earth. It rested on its side like a sleeping giant taking shallow breaths as it buried its branches into the ground. He took you to the tree, his special place. His refuge. His calm. The tree was him and he was the tree. He showed you the tree. He watched you climb its branches and rest under its limbs.