Chapter Fifty One - Leaving Wife
We were sitting in front of the holo,
the announcer describing the first
actions of the war.
I, the only normal man who had
ever passed as a Gennie, turned
to my wife.
Of all the people in the Universe, there was no one better than me,
(save perhaps Firebird), who could bang lips and output sense.
Reality. Facts. Truth.
I turned to my wife, thinking, now is the time. Now is the time I tell her that I wasn't
on a health kick. I had never been on a health kick.
The Raw Beautiful Facts
The first time she'd seen me looking as if I'd been on a health kick, was fresh from
playing Krim the Gennie.
Krim, a Eugenic. Playing a Eugenic on the Eugenic Planet of Tellur. A planet no
normal had ever been.
Hold that a moment. Think of an 'average' Eugenic. Tall, perfect, beautiful, far
beyond human appearance. And I, a norm, looked that good, that I, with my
normal genetic endowment was born naturally perfect enough to pass.
This is the man who calls her 'wife', who shares her bed. This man.
This perfect man.
Let me take another step;
This time I'd come to her almost fresh from Hollywood, where I hand held an actor
who was playing me in the movie called Passing Perfect.
Does anyone need more data?
So there we are, sitting on the sofa. I'm looking perfect. I'm keeping up my Gennie
style. She should be pleased, awed, grateful.
And when I turn to speak to her, to tell her what no one else in the galaxy knows,
she looks at me. She looks at me with her big cow eyes, listening to me, until one
of the kids calls her.
"Mom! Tell Janey to stop!"
Instead of ignoring the whine, or shouting something, she gets up.
She gets up and goes to see what is happening.
And Reality bites
I am now pop eyed, open mouthed, astounded.
I can't believe this just happened.
I had said;
"Honey, let me tell you something about Gennies. I know them. I know them
better than anyone else, you see..."
"Mom! Tell Janey to stop!"
And my wife gives me a dopey smile, raises a finger, and goes to see what is happening.
I sit in a daze for thirty seconds, then flip the station to a football match.
I'm not watching the match, I'm trying not to explode.
And this is why I can't stay here.
This is why I can't live with this woman.
I know why I married her.
She was placid.
She was peaceful.
She was nice.
She had the brain of a cow.
This woman is so stupid that she goes off the scale.
Her stupidity is infinite.
Her husband, whom she hadn't seen for years is here with her.
Totally with her in the house.
And she unable to catch that fact, that centre piece ...that the man who married
her is here, with her, talking to her...not mundane stuff, but the virtual secrets of
the Universe... and she gets up, walks away.
There is one thing no man will put up with, (besides adultery); that is being
postponed for someone or something else.
No man wants to come after the children. It's one thing if food is rationed and
the mother is going to sacrifice herself to feed her children.
Even taking a portion of his food to feed the kids is acceptable.
But no husband, no husband about to share his soul with his wife will tolerate
being put on hold while she responds to the stupid whines of a mindless brat..
I sit on the lumpy sofa looking at the holo.
Wifey comes back after ten minutes, ten full minutes, cause I'm watching a
match, and time is being clicked in the left upper corner.
She comes in, slides next to me. She doesn't say anything for the next five
minutes. Actually, five point two minutes.
"The news is over?" she asks.
I don't answer. I pretend engrossment in the match. When it's done, I get up.
I get up from the sofa, go to our room to take a shower.
I am not going to sleep here.
I strip, I go in. It's not a long shower,
it's just to wash the dust of this
place from my body.
I come out.
I'm naked, gloriously, perfectly, naked. The most perfect man
this side of Gennie.
And I want her to see me.
She closes the bedroom door. I look at her, move past her, to the closet.
"I have to go," I say, pulling down my case.
"You always have to go. I always have to stay. You go. I have the children," she says.
"Don't start." I flick, wondering if she's aware of what she's done.
"I'm not starting. I'm finishing," she flips.
"Good. I'm finishing too."
"Where are you going?" she now asks.
"If you go away, don't come back."
I look at her now. I look at this woman I married. I try to recall if I was drunk or
had severe brain slippage.
This is not my life.
She is not the woman of my dreams.
Those are not the kids I imagined.
I don't like this room, I don't like anything.
I don't even like the planet.
I dress, loving the way the clothes fit on my body.
Feeling her eyes climbing over me.
When I'm done, I look at this woman.
Nothing special about her.
Had I been so starved for simple consideration that I'd grab onto a nobody
like her simply because she will make me breakfast?
"I mean it Doug," she says in this wavering voice, "if you leave now, don't come back."
I've got one divorce, shall I go for two?
I look at this stupid cow, shake my head, take my case, go down the steps.
She is saying something behind me, but I'm not listening. I don't have to listen
to her voice any more.
I go outside, she's still behind me, repeating her mantra. I don't answer,
I get into my car. I leave.
I go to the pier, spend time in a bar, take something to bed, get rid of it, then
go to my ship to sleep, the next wake up I get supplies. I'm still angry.
I know now why I went to wife number three.
Wife Number One was the 'Marriage of Equals' where 'her work was as important
Wife Number Two was the 'helpmeet', the 'little woman', who would join me in my life.
Wife Number Three...I don't remember what she was supposed to be.
I want a woman like Firebird. A woman who understands. Who has seen and knows,
can take care of herself, and can talk. Who has a brain and can talk.Who can listen, comprehend and say the right things.
I want someone in my life, besides me.
I checked my mail. Good, there's the divorce from One. The name of her shyster
is R.K. Small. I read the crap and write to him. I won't argue property or custody if
she leaves me alone forever. No demands for money, no contact. If she wants to
argue over property, I will demand a forced sale of the property and a sharing of
I know about divorce
The Truth of Doug
The first time I married I was a baby of nineteen, my wife was twenty one.
She was strong, captivating, brilliant.
We'd met at University.
Our eyes saw different things.
When it came time for divorce we both had lawyers arguing. Sitting there, looking
at each other, (me, wanting to take her to bed), hearing the law blasted across a
table, hearing it as if I was a defendant about to be sentenced to death.
I realised, I didn't want a divorce.
It had started as one of those arguments where no one wants to be wrong.
Being right we kept fighting. I don't know who won, but we lost the marriage.
I could see, in her eyes, as in my eyes, we really wanted to walk out of the
negotiating room and go home, but we'd gone so far, we couldn't turn back.
Two strong young people who were in love, neither one wanting to be the
first to say, "I'm sorry," afraid that the other would laugh.
Would refuse to resume the relationship.
So we sat.
And there were words about property and custody,
(because we had a child, a little boy called Devon).
Three years, nine months, twenty two days of forever.
I loved her, she loved me, but we loved our egos more.
She wouldn't bend, I wouldn't bend, and two lawyers
flung words at each other.
A break was called, I don't remember if it were me or Zandra who called it,
but my lawyer and I went out of the room for private discussion.
Zan and I didn't own much. There was a tiny cottage we had gotten on a
special low mortgage, a car, a few household items, and Devon.
I said to my lawyer;
"Can I give her everything and walk away? Not fight any more over who
owns what or visiting rights or custody or who said what did what....?"
"Yes. But in return she should forgo alimony and maintenance."
"Fine. Clean break. I don't want to see her, hear her voice, look at the kid,
I want out."
I'd said with the passion of a twenty two year old.
And that is what I got.
Which is why I wound up on Savorn, married to One.
Why I wound up on Bathel married to Two.
And I am not going to Ceres to see Three.
I wonder about Zandra.
I'd left Earth to get away from her and things that would remind me of her.
It worked. By the time I got back to Earth I was married to Darla.
I didn't look up Zandra.
I went to Smudge, I went to Savorn, I came back to Earth, I went to Bathel,
I married wife Two, I returned to Earth. I went to Smudge, on and on for a
decade, (marrying Three someplace in there).
I saw Zandra the same way I'd seen Firebird; on the monitors at the Museum.
She hadn't changed. Her hair was still worn in that shoulder length flop, she
still faced the world head on. I saw the boy, my son.
He was nearly as tall as her, and looked just like me.
I was going to go upstairs, say something, when, of course, a guy would
come to her, the boy would call him Daddy, and I thought; I asked for out,
I got out.
I had then gone to sub-basement three and didn't come out until long
after the museum was closed to the public.
I had regrets, sure. If I could go back to that glass inclosed room, to where
paid advocates divided up my world, I'd of grabbed Zandra's hand, pulled
her out, carried her away, made love to her and whatever it was that had
been so important then, I'd say, 'you're right'. I'd tell her she was right, I'd
tell her, tell anybody anything, just to keep the marriage.
Of course, I couldn't go back, and in my normal frame of mind wouldn't.
But right now, sitting in my boat at the pier, with so much I want to say,
I know Zandra would understand.