Curve Ball

Sometimes life throws you a curve ball. Or a curve knife—ha ha ha! Didn’t see that coming, that lethal throw out of (as it were) left field. Great joke! Maybe this explains the mythical figure of the trickster, Wily Coyote, the idea that there is a divinity whose job it is to Fuck You Up. Wouldn’t that be a great job description? “Go forth and fuck with people, for all eternity!” Sigh. At least that dill-hole is employed.

This is the third layoff in our little marital world, along with one “take this job and shove it” and one where the boss got to the shoving first. I’m not all that depressed, really—this not being the first, and the sky not having fallen. But it is, well—it’s always an adjustment, financially (duh) as well as in our relationship, renegotiating who does what and who gives whom a hard time about “pulling his weight.” All those conversations, the score-keeping, the usually running tally that goes on between husbands and wives—all that becomes verboten, too mean, too trenchant, too violent, too unnecessary. Not that I mourn the loss of the score sheet, but it’s an adjustment, nonetheless, and it takes time. I myself, unemployed, said many times, teary-eyed, “I’m doing my best!” Sometimes my best was watching TV and taking the dog for a walk, and I understood how that could be infuriating, but there were times when everything I was doing seemed so futile, so pointless, that I just couldn’t torture myself by doing it any more.

I think that’s the most infuriating thing for the One Who Is Employed—that you can’t control the other person, that it affects them more than it affects you, but that it does affect you, and you feel like that should Matter, and your partner feels like you should Shut the Fuck Up.

I have hope; I won’t despair. After the last time, I prayed—well, I’ll be honest with you. After the last time, it felt like a sin, all my despair, all the tears, the recriminations, the anger. Like a sin, to have wasted so many months of my life worrying, unhappy, when I was healthy, with every comfort, not starving, a good husband, friends who didn’t care that I was unemployed. It felt like a sin, all that despair, so I cried about that, and vowed to do better. I didn’t know there would be a test.

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