I'm all geared up to finish the separation story! But first...
That electrician dude was buggin' me during the telling of the separation awhile back about being a cocktease (he may not have used that actual phrase, but it was implied) with regards to hinting around about the time I punched Brian in the mouth but then not telling the story, so I'll get that out of the way because I don't appreciate being called a tease.
It was March of 2002 and we'd been staying at Grace's house during the week but going our separate ways on the weekends. Though I do have some fond memories from this weird time, the majority of it wreaked havoc on my emotional state and everything else. I got down to 104 pounds (DAMN, that was cool! Not really. But sort of!) and I was becoming a card-carrying pill-popper. My dad had just passed away on top of everything else, so when I got the phone call that a good friend of ours had just died unexpectedly, it almost did me in.
Mario was thirty-three years old, had just married his longtime girlfriend and mother of his child, my good friend Arlene. We'd spent a lot of time with them; they were one of the only good things about our time in Lake City. We loved joking about us being the only white people to ever hang out at their house and their church. Mario loved leaving stupid phone messages to me pretending to be someone else and always made me laugh. Arlene gave me strength and inspiration during the shitty time just by telling me some of the stories she and Mario had been through only to finally be happily getting married and completely in love. God really has a cruel sense of timing sometimes. Mario had severe asthma. And was a smoker. He died from an acute asthmatic attack at home with Arlene and the kids around him. Before the ambulance got there he managed to tell their oldest son he would need to be the man of the house and help his mother take care of things from then on.
Brian was just as devastated, if not more than I was, as he and Mario were really close by that point. Mario told Brian once, "Why did you have to hurt Kim like that? Why couldn't you just have an affair and keep quiet about it like every other dude?" That was Mario's humor and it still makes me laugh to think about it now. I let Brian know I'd tell him when the funeral would be, and he could either come with me or go by himself. I did tell him bringing the girlfriend probably wouldn't be wise, as Arlene would have not minded one bit to interrupt the services in order to kick her ass, black girl style. (Her words) In fact, she told me that would be very enjoyable to her and all I had to do was say the word. And Brian knew Arlene well and was smart enough to take the hint seriously.
The funeral ended up being that weekend, on Saturday. I tried getting in touch with Brian to let him know the time and place, but he'd already left to be with Whorezilla for the weekend and I couldn't get him on the phone. I think I had a cell phone at the time but he didn't and of course she didn't have a home phone at her place - I mean why break stereotype like that? I left word with as many mutual friends as I could and stopped worrying about it.
I drove the almost two hour trip by myself and made plans to stay with friends for the night, knowing I'd be in no shape to drive back after all that (remember the pill-popping). The funeral was at their church, where we'd been to visit a few times, but was way out in the country, dirt roads and all. I impressed myself by remembering how to get there. I also horrified myself by barfing all over the inside of the car five minutes before arriving. (For me, heat + pills + nerves = vom) When I pulled the car into the long line of parked vehicles, I was glad to see one of Mario's cousins approaching. He was so sad, there in his dark suit, suffering from heat exhaustion, but then cracked a big smile when he saw me. And I was like, "Psst! Tommy! I need some help over here!" I showed him the barf chunks, which had somehow mostly missed my clothes and he ran to get me a wet towel. I made myself presentable, but I can truly say that was one long, hot, heartbreaking day. Brian never showed up which I thought was very weird, but chalked it up to the ditch witch not allowing him to go since of course I was there, and where better to reconcile oru marriage than at a good friend's funeral. I apologzied to Arlene for him and she told me it was okay; she'd slap him the next time she saw him but for me to tell him she loved him too. God, I'm freaking crying again right now. Awesome.
Back at Grace's house Sunday late afternoon, Brian showed up a few hours after I did and I couldn't wait to hear what stupid excuse he'd have for not going. But oh no - surprise, HE was pissed at ME! Um, excuse me, whatthefuck did you just say? We took our argument from the front yard, COPS style, into the garage/laundry room where we could fight in private. He started bitching - and he was seriously red-faced pissed off - carrying on about how could I not tell him when or where the funeral was, that no matter what was going on with us that was so selfish of me and he couldn't believe I'd do something that shitty. He said something like, "I wasn't going to bring HER, if that's what you were worried about."
Aaaaand, CRACK. Right-handed uppercut to the jaw, and it connected perfectly. Now I'm glad there were no witnesses (I exposed Elizabeth to way too much as it was; she didn't need to see my first foray into domestic violence) but at the time I remember thinking, Damn, that was a great punch! He just looked at me all shocked and shit. It says a lot that he didn't hit me back, because I believe anyone, ANYONE who hits somebody should at least expect the same in return. But he didn't. I yelled something original like You have some fucking nerve, expletive, expletive, bad name, expletive. And ARE YOU HAPPY YOU'RE SO FUCKED UP OVER THIS BITCH YOU MISSED ONE OF YOUR BEST FRIEND'S FUNERAL??? Hurtful. But I was so mad/sad/tired/insane by that point. Two funerals in under three weeks. My husband half living with me, half with another girl. I'm in no way trying to justify my hitting. It makes me ashamed when I think about it now, but these days if I bring it up he says I barely grazed him anyway.(FALSE)
I do remember another feeling along with the shock and satisfaction. And that was feeling absolutely sick. My fist connecting with the face of the person I love more than anyone in the world? It was nauseating. I'm so sorry and sad it even happened. But it did, so remembering it now just makes me really thankful (again) we made it through all that shit and lived to tell about it. I just called him to say hi because I was feeling guilty after this and said Remember the time I gave you that righteous uppercut? He said, No, I only remember getting hit if it actually hurt, so why would I remember that? Then he laughed at me.
These days are much happier and we keep the hitting where it belongs, in the bedroom.