After four weeks in Singapore, I arrived at JFK via the luxury seats in the bubble top of a Pan Am jumbo-jet. The kids rushed to hug me and I was glad to see their faces. My wife and CC were drunk and arguing but I ignored them until they continued to quarrel in the car. “Will you two shut up?” I hollered above their bitching.
“There are a couple joints in the glove box and cold beers in the little cooler by your feet,” CC told me. I hesitated wondering whether I needed to get high or was I feeling OK without marijuana but my addictions overwhelmed me like a long lost lover. I didn’t have a prayer it was as though the joint jumped into my mouth. After a couple beers, I could sense the euphoria but the bickering would not let me relax enough to feel any peace and before long I was on that old slippery slope though the gates to Hell.
As we pulled into our town, CC stopped the car in the middle of Main Street. He shouted something at Rachael as he put the car in park, opened the driver door and walked away. Without a word Rachael opened the back seat door and walked away in a different direction. I was left sitting with the kids in the car parked in the middle of the street with two doors open.
The cops were there before I knew what to say surely the truth sounded too crazy. The reasons for what just happened confused me so even putting together a lie was beyond my imagination. Maybe it was the joint or jet-lag that held me speechless but I settled for a version of the truth. “What’s the trouble?” the officer asked as he leaned into the car through the driver side. Without a driver behind the wheel it seemed like a fair question. “Officer, there was a domestic problem between my wife and best friend that happened just a minute ago. They argued, opened the car doors and walked away.
“Why is the car parked here with the doors open and you are in the passenger seat?” they questioned me. “I am not part of the problem and it happened so fast I haven’t had time to shut the doors and drive the car off the street.” “Do that now,” one officer barked. “Where are they going?” the other cop asked. “I’m not sure,” I had to admit, “he walked that way and she went down that sidewalk.”
All I cared about was getting my kids home so I climbed behind the wheel and slowly drove away. “Get in the car and shut up,” I yelled at Rachael who was walking home. I thought I would have a couple days to decompress and relax but I was already in the middle of a shit storm. “Welcome home!” I thought.
I decided, that night, to take a job in New Hampshire that was held open for me to interview when I returned. The adventure I had was precious it could not be erased by the insanity of home. Once I decided to move, panic settled in as I began to wonder how life would be so far from my contacts, friends and stomping grounds. But I couldn’t see the kids’ faces full of fear, disappointment and sadness anymore. Rachael and I were too busy in our self-centered world to notice the kids were watching the two most important people in their lives behave badly. It had to stop.
The job didn’t sound too exciting but we had to leave Connecticut before something really bad happened. I was anxious to close this chapter of our lives but I wondered what was behind the door that would open.
Next: Not everyone thought our change of scenery was a good idea. As a matter of fact, only my boss and I knew it was the right thing to do.
The articles published here by babyboomers.com are small excerpts of a 268 page manuscript titled “The Courage to Surrender” that I would like published. Call 678.361.4709 for information on the manuscript.