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How to Get Out of a Bad Marriage: A Locomotive Lullaby
She slid into the marriage craving the satin of his touch, the smooth and sensual cadence of his voice. It seemed a dream at the time, he so striking a man, she, so unsure. They began their dance without thought to the glaring differences between the two, letting the magic sweep them far, far away from what was truth.
He was a methodical man. He had a way with details which suited him to his work as a chemist. Such a promising future he had; the scientific community waited breathlessly for his newest bubbling brilliance. A superstar at work and at play. His classical guitar lulled her dark moments and she thought she knew love.
He was exotic, born in African Kampala, and oh, so very handsome, alluring. She was thrilled by his attentions; a man such as this had never entered her world. And so in many ways, over time, he took her into his.
"This train is fun, Mama!"
She snapped back from once fond reveries and looked at her young son, the blonde child who inspired this escape. His 6 year term on earth had been severely flawed until now and she was determined to salvage what she could of his young soul, as well as her own. She gazed at his blue-green eyes as he spotted cattle and mountains, now rivers and prairies. Then, the boy slept, rocking now as he had not so long ago in the cradle.
She married the man with high hopes. He married her with expectations-conditions. Her wardrobe was comfortably shabby when they'd met; he dressed her to meet his standards. She complied, happy to be so adorned. She was a woman who could be shaped, and was.
Come Away With Me
The boy's father had begged her not to leave long before, but who was he to her now? An unfortunate part of her past, one lost to other women and drugs. She had divorced him cleanly and took possession of the child. And so she had left the sunny state with the scientist, confident that a new and glamorous life lay 2,000 miles to the East. He had convinced her to leave her animals, to sell her home, to come with him.
The only thing she did not abandon was her son. To the chemist's dismay, the child was to be endured if he wanted her. And so he grudgingly endured.
The woman battled with herself, knowing of his distaste for the boy. Yet, she was determined to make this marriage work. A new family unit, yes-possible and perfect in her mind. The three arrived and found themselves inhabiting a lovely, albeit large home on a sparkling lake. Oh, the newness of it all, she thought, how terribly ideal.
At first, the man seemed eager to be a good father to the child, often taking him fishing on the lake. She could see them from the kitchen window and prayed for a bonding to occur. Over the months his impatience began to show itself. The boy's toy fishing poles began appearing on the roof of the house. He explained that the boy was far too impatient when fishing, thus the man threw them there as punishment. She began to see an anger in the man she had not seen before.
Perhaps his cruelty was warranted, she thought, but in the end she could not accept it. Her eyes had finally opened. There were other instances of abuse that she simply can't write of today, but suffice it to say that her boy was physically as well as emotionally abused.
So she began to drink. Blot it all out. Her attendance to homemaking chores suffered, and the man, disgusted, came home one day with the solution. He was a chemist, after all, and had access to chemicals that would help his wife perform to his standards.
Smooth as he had been when they'd met, he convinced her to give the powder a try. Such fun! And the energy. She forgot the bottle and relished in her new-found enthusiasm. The man was satisfied most days, some not. But she was gloriously happy no matter his mood-she would do better. She tried for a year, an eternity.
While watching the agonizingly slow car chase of O.J. Simpson, she woke up. Everything became clear in a similarly slow-motion fashion-her and her son's lives had been derailed by the man-and she had to admit, by her ridiculous fantasies. The next morning, she rose, saw the man off to work, and gathered her son. A pittance of belongings were taken, the rest would be sent for or sold. She bid a bitter adieu to the house and boarded the train.
The locomotive ride was soothing and she had time to reflect on her mistakes, her childish dreams. Here now, was her young boy, hopefully not damaged beyond repair-she would see to that.