Almost four years now and it happened.
The event I’ve been anticipating and dreading since the text.
I saw him.
Let me go back a bit.
I received the text in July of 2009. I have had no direct communication with him since – only a single text conversation with my mother (detailed in the book) and through layers of lawyers during the divorce.
The divorce was final in March of 2010.
I kept up with his whereabouts (and his other wife’s location) during that time. The last time I looked was the day after the divorce was final. I have not know where he was living or who he was living with.
But today, I saw him.
I was at an annual Atlanta festival, one I used to go to with my ex and one which I now attend with my fiance and our friends. At the time I saw him, I was sitting on a tarp with a single friend while waiting on Brock and the others to make it to the park.
It’s strange. The last time I saw him was three years ago in court. My mom and I walked right past him and I didn’t recognize him, even though I knew he may be there. Today, I had not thought of him at all, yet when he crossed my path, I recognized him immediately.
He had the same walk. The same gray Banana Republic Shirt. The same hair. He was heavy. Fat, even. His weight varied quite a bit through our relationship, from a scrawny 160 on his broad 6’1″ frame to a high of 250. When I saw him in court, he was back to his skinny high school frame. Today? He must have been 280. His belly strained the fabric of his designer t-shirt.
But I knew him instantly.
He was hand in hand with a woman. It may have been the other wife. I’m not sure. She was blond and hippy like her, but I only knew her from pictures, phone and email so I cannot be positive. It doesn’t matter.
From our vantage point on a hill, I saw him several times. I felt sick. Ill. The shaking returned. Even now, home again after a purifying shower, I’m emotional yet I can pinpoint no singular emotion.
I certainly felt no love. No jealousy. No desire to speak to him.
I wasn’t angry.
But I feel violated in a way. I don’t want him here. In my circles. My city.
I came here for him but I’ve claimed it now.
I chose to not to run but also not to approach. I watched him for almost thirty minutes. By the time Brock and others showed up, the crowds had thickened and I did not see him again.
Part of me thought of alertng the swarms of police to the wanted felon in their midst. I guess they didn’t check for that when they checked IDs at the gate.
I watched him and I remembered being at that festival with him four years ago.
I watched him and I remembered a 4th of July festival on the second to last day we were together as husband and wife.
I watched him and felt a strange sense of disconnectedness, adrift from my old life.
I watched him and felt my body tremble with the release of emotion.
I watched him and felt relief that I faced the dragon.
I watched him and felt nothing.
So why am I still shaking?
Why the tears?
A few hours later… Raw.
And then humor returned…Slaying the Dragon