Boxes and the Bitch
Sudden Clarity Clarence gets it...
The Possessed Becky Jo
God, I hated Becky Jo. We had been together for only a year, but it was the longest ride of my life. We had met through our mutual friend, Mr. World-Wide-Web and I guess you could say I fell for all her tricks, as if she was some kind of pop-up ad I made the mistake of clicking on. It makes me laugh to think of this, but if Lucifer, the devil himself could be a trickster, and once an angel- then Becky Jo wasn’t far behind. An entire year of my life lead to me spending an entire week picking up all her pieces for me to get them as far away from me as possible so that I’d never have to see her again.
My phone chimes to alert me of an text message. “Brian is coming. He’ll be helping me with my stuff.” It reads, and I pretend to ignore this. “Brian” is a mystery to me, and I aim to keep it that way as he is likely one of Becky’s “friends”. I sat in my kitchen and waited for her. Not that I was going to help her, I just needed to be alert in case her or her “friend” decided to help themselves to the rest of my house. Getting up from the table, I walked over to my fridge and looked for something to eat.
Ah, sweet bachelor heaven. A cold metal box in the kitchen used only for keeping the soda, beer, and expired milk from getting worse. I grab my Cherry-Pepsi calorie grenade and think to when would be a good time to crack open one of my beers and enjoy getting a little buzzed. Shall I get inebriated before she comes? Perhaps to loosen my nerves and fill my head with arrogance and pride for being RIGHT for a change.
“I’ll wait. When she’s gone, I’ll celebrate” I said aloud, proclaiming my thoughts verbally to my imaginary studio crowd and almost writing them as poetry. In that moment, I think of the cascade of cheers that you can hear after Al Bundy takes a shit and makes his way down the staircase.
She arrived at my home, totally uninvited, as similar as the day we met. I had the boxes of all her selfish little longings of her pathetic little life stacked with little to less care in my front porch. It had been over a week since I had touched a single box and two weeks since the day I started to pack them. A lesser guy would have left the handwritten letter made that week ago on the top box that read: “Take your shit, bitch.”, but I wasn’t about to grow so immature in this moment. This was my day to finally be right, to reclaim my pride.
Besides, I don’t want to be just a “guy”, I want to be a “man”.
The first thing I packed was all her fucking clothes. I shit you not, this piece of work was a fashionable disaster, amassing an inventory of enough clothes to feed a plague of moths ‘till bedlam. Her section of the closet filled up 3 Miller Light crates, packed away with an easy swipe of my arms that broke those plastic hangers. Cardboard containers stressed under pressure as I scooped piles of poorly-matched textiles into them, each article bought by my dollar. Each load was deposited without the care and concern that I would give my own threads. I remembered one box in particular that made my blood come to boil as I shuffled and toiled to pack the remains of all her ill-fitting underwear and lingerie. The box had split open and out slipped a brasserie; a large and lacey memory of a day gone bad.
She thumbed her way through a Victoria’s Secret catalog, and dreamed her little dreams as she dreamt of being...well, littler. While a large and fluffy gal is always a preference of mine, this rolly-polly lost the cuteness of her baby-fat and let herself go until she spilled out of regular denim, trying in vain to “flaunt it” with a muffin top. She refused to accept the reality that a bra built for the models of this catalog requires a diet of cocaine and postage paste, and still she pestered on by pointing to me the various styles and patterns she hoped could enhance her. That day, she kept on harping to me that I should open my wallet and pull out my plastic to spend the $300 greenbacks that I didn’t have. We debated, compromised, and the conversation gave way to a quarrel. She told me she would pay me back which was as well as a promise for gasoline to put out a candle.
“Can’t you wait until Christmas?” I asked, all in my futile attempt to buy time (but not the clothes). It would have been also an act of either stupidity or suicide to suggest that the panties meant for skinny, 6ft Germans were not for her and I was no fool. Sadly, the latter option made better sense.
“I need a new bra for my job interview.” She argued. Another lie, as this idle engine hadn’t the drive to keep a job longer than six months. What good would a bra have been, anyways?
“I can’t afford it right now, I’m sorry.” I said in closure, still resisting all her nags. Forgive me halfway to hell for putting the mortgage first.
The nags! Oh, those goddamned nags! With a final “No” from my lips and foot firmly to the ground, I braced myself inside for tropical depression storm that was Becky Jo. She flung the first object she could grab from the nearby coffee table and turned it into a missile towards furthest wall. Her $100 cell phone, bought on my dime, turning to plastic confetti. The shattering of the phone met it’s match to the sound of bellowing curses and screams aimed toward me for not letting this unreasonable trainwreck have her way. She ended the fight by driving off for the night, seeking a God-knows-who to do God-knows-what. Maybe a “friend” with a white-trash libido, a hefty baggie of herbal essence, and a low amount of self-respect.
Maybe I could have bought those things, but I had bills to take care of and her mouth to stuff. I venture to think that I could have bought her anything in the world she wanted. Her destructive personality wasn’t helping the situation at all, and the money that could have been buying our future was being spent needlessly on the present. It was no good for my confidence to know that I was being taken advantage of so much, even when being fair and smart. It was like dealing with a 2-year-old kid that didn’t get her favorite toy at Walmart and I was forced to listen to screams of contempt.
The second item that caught my eye as I was stuffing those cardboard “screw-yous” with ever-loving care was the pictures. Surely, they can all go too, as I cannot remember why I smiled for the camera. That Thanksgiving dinner at her family’s home was actually quite pleasant, dining on fine pheasant. Perhaps it was her adoption that was the reason she didn’t have the poise, grace, and intelligence of the ones that raised her, but that family seemed as if they walked out from the canvas of Norman Rockwell art. For those few hours, we wore our costumes of happiness. I felt safe, as there was little chance this time bomb would go off in the comfort of her fathers house. The family positioned itself around the fireplace looking like an exhibit of finely knitted Cosby sweaters and sunday-best smiles. The photograph of me and the misery holding our plates of fine-cooked poultry was a sight for Mr. LL Bean.
If they only had known that later that night her dark side would come out without the full moon to warrant its arrival. She went off like a time bomb when a text message from a coworker reached my phone. The dichotomy of this chick was a sight to behold, as she suddenly tried to put together in her warped mind that I was being unfaithful to her with someone I had known strictly professionally.
Her words rushed into my face by mere inches, spraying me with angry saliva. “You pussy! I can do SO MUCH BETTER THAN YOU!” She screamed out of false jealousy.
God help me, my hand twitched. I could have ended her little tirade with one swipe. I shoved my hands into my pockets in an effort to keep them tethered to my sides. Though I was strong enough to not raise my hand. Though... she had no problem raising hers.
She left my face red as a beet at one side, darted out the door, and knocked over a glass on purpose as she stormed away to see... some other “friend”. I couldn’t help to be relieved of her leaving, but that relief was short lived when I looked at the message that was sent to my phone from the coworker that set this rollercoaster of Hell into motion.
“Im gonna be L8 can you cover for me?” It read.
I tasted blood, my cheek almost pierced by one of my teeth. What was a man to do? Was I a victim or a fool? Where could this all go? And did I seriously just take a slap to the face for “Im gonna be L8 can you cover for me?” ?
Gazing at the tower of boxes, I struggle in vain to not remember another awful memory. A lone clear plastic tote box shows me the last thing I remember packing: her notebook laptop. The computer that broke the camel’s back and the night yours truly almost took that thing to the face.
While at work, I get a phonecall from my mother. My mother lives on the other side of the country in Florida, so calling her son in Michigan was a stretch. Apparently, Becky Jo had another meltdown and that monster done the unthinkable. Why a perfectly grown woman would ever engage in a Facebook fight with a teenager is beyond me, but the beast was nothing if not full of surprises.
“Your girlfriend just called your 15 year old little sister a “cunt” on Facebook!” My mother blasted to me over the phone. It’s hard to tell what dropped more: the phone receiver, or my jaw.
The drive home wasn’t me in a car, more so a chugging locomotive of anger and rage. I was a madman at the end of his rope, the last nerve, the final braincell, and out of patience. My sister was the world and Becky Jo had jumped the shark, crossed the line, burned the bridge, and torn the treaty. All the events of our only one year relationship had culminated into snowball of lies, cheating, abuse, and humiliation. I said a prayer to any and every God I knew of before I stepped into that house to face the balrog in yoga pants.
I stood tall, and she attempted to run the waterworks in her eyes to apologize. My arms were crossed, only uncrossing for me to show her where to go. I pointed at the door, I aimed my finger outside of my house. My hand turned to a pistol at her face, as I let lose all my pain unto her. She hears my side of the story for a change, and why I choose to defend my sister. It must have been all too much as she attempted a last ditch effort for my pity, a pathetic quest for my leniency.
Becky Jo held the kitchen knife to her wrists making the threat to do herself in if I were to kick her out. This was no new tactic, and I wasn’t about to fall for it and get myself shanked in the process. I’m no fool, and certainly no victim, so instead of trying to wrestle the weapon away from her, I reached for my weapon to dial 9-1-1. Never have I been so happy to see those blue and red lights in my kitchen window.
The men in blue arrive to separate us, and make no arrests- I wasn’t about to let her make up something to get my ass thrown in the clink as well. Becky Jo tried to tell the officers that I forced her to this, but the evidence is in my favor as the lawmen hear me tell the story about my war with this beast. They hear it all, about the tantrums, the violence, the abuse, and the “friends”. They conclude what I had been wanting for a year, that she should find a new place to live and she leaves my home . Again, she is with “friends”.
I watched her and her newest “catch” pile the cardboard “screw yous” into the back of her new “friend’s” pick-up truck. He looks happy, cracking a bad-toothed smile underneath his 6-inch goatee, and he doesn’t dare gaze my way. He’s a haggard-looking guy in a Tapout shirt and a wool cap that he wears even in the middle of summer. Why is this guy so happy? Will the tables turn, and will Becky Jo be on the receiving end of the abuse? Is it wrong to hope such a thing occurs? A guy like me can wish those ills, be tempted to become wrath and strike back.
Any guy can beat on a woman, even if justified...but I don’t strive to be just a “guy”. I want to be a “man”.