Today is my Unoversary
Almost 15 years ago, I adopted the screen name, “TheOnliestNumber.” Unfortunately I have lost the password and even access to the ISP email that it was set up for. I adopted that screen name as I broke up with my girlfriend of 2 ½ years. It was, for me a realization of no longer being a half and no longer being a pair and all it means. This is the geek/nerd equivalent of a tattoo or what teenagers do when they change their wardrobe in order to wrap themselves up into a personality.
Here, as I celebrate my unoversary, I realize that like most wisdom I gained in my teenage years, I have forgotten that lesson. I wish to share that lesson and immortalize the wisdom onto the internet, so that much like the small fabric signed a fish gave me at about the same time, I can randomly find it and look back at it and slap myself knowing that someone told me so and I even understood it.
One year ago, today, I went to court and my marriage was declared over. It was the most tremendous anti-climax ever. It was like 13 years of build up and then silence. I was waiting for the beat to drop.
I am a fan of electronic music. I’ve been to a few festivals and have idolized DJ Tiesto for far too long. I’ve had nights that last so long that the sun comes up twice. I wouldn’t trade a moment of that for the alternative. I am so happy that she coaxed me halfway out of my shell, then grabbed me and pulled me out altogether. I may have been a quiet guy and the least coordinated person in the club, but I learned to have fun. She taught me how to let loose and dance until the sweat flew every which way on the dance floor. The last 2 years of the legal entity known as our marriage was a slow fade out with a few bass kicks of the old beat.
She had flown down to appear in court and we sat in the waiting room together. When we were called before the judge, it seemed fairly unofficial at first, with them not even really asking for her to come into the courtroom. I suppose the courts are familiar with the petitioner attending and the other party not showing up. As we were seated before the judge, she read some official stuff and then asked for the reason of the divorce. I looked to my wife. She stared blankly at me. So I told the judge “We had grown apart.” The judge said that wasn’t enough, that it wasn’t a real reason. I again looked to my wife who said “It’s for you to say.” I considered this for a year, and it seemed I reconsidered it for another year in that courtroom. “She’s in love with someone else.”
“I guess that would do it.”
The last words I would hear before the invocation of the spell that undid my marriage. As we left the courthouse, I offered her a ride to her hotel. I felt numb in the silence that followed. I went to Denny’s and had breakfast for lunch. I really don’t know what else I did that day, but I couldn’t go home. Eventually I went to the bar we always used to go to. I sat down, had a beer and some food, quiet and withdrawn as I usually was there. In many ways, it was her bar.
I went back there on Tuesday, as it was becoming a weekly occurrence to cope with one of my classes. I was greeted much differently. Apparently some of the staff knew we were married. Some of the staff did not. Between the staff and the regulars, I was offered condolences and sympathy and encouragement. Apparently she had come in shortly after I’d left on the day of the divorce. It’s funny because I had not said a word about it. I have tried not to imagine what happened when she came in.
Since then, life has been like a cold spring. The roses on my patio just waiting to be planted are budding in January. I wouldn’t have been able to see them for what they are a year ago. Life has been cold and harsh, but I have grown and changed and life is good. Bad things happen; life is never bad.
Regardless, the lessons I began to learn, on that Tuesday night, have grown. It’s like taking the college version of classes you took in high school. I am not a half. I am not a pair. Any time I’ve felt like a half or a pair has been delusion. I am one. I will always be one. It is TheOnliestNumber. I am just looking for another 1 to stand next to. Some 1 to comfort me with her tenderness and share the weight of the world sometimes. Some 1 to look at and see all the strength in the universe so that I can recognize the strength within me. Some 1 to stand beside me for at least the next 30 years, through thick and thin and anger and love and everything else. I want some 1 who is comfortable being 1 and with me being 1 and never becoming a 2 or a ½.
Today is my Unoversary. Today I am one. Today I understand that. Today I celebrate that.