“Kathy, I’m lost”, I said,
Though I knew she was sleeping.
“I’m empty and aching and
I don’t know why.”

I am looking at motorcycles-researching is too strong a word. For a while I looked at scooters, but then I realised that if I wanted a scooter with a 50cc engine I would need a motorcycle license. If I’m going to need a motorcycle license, then I may as well get a motorcycle. I’m thinking a Triumph or an Indian or a Victory or a Norton (if my legs are long enough) but I haven’t ruled out a Honda. I’m partial to cruisers and touring bikes with their low slung bodies and graceful lines. Moto Guzzis are cool but I would have to resist the temptation to transform myself into Delphine Seyrig in Daughters of Darkness. Then again, maybe I should. BMWs, with the exception of the R Nine T and the R Nine T Scrambler, look like insects. They have exoskeletons not bodies. I want a body.

I look at these bikes and think where do I want to go? What route would I take? What am I running from?

This morning I received a text message from my ex asking if I wanted the Weber gas grill. She is “making me give mine up,” he said. I squinted at the screen, knowing what was coming and wondering if he had the balls to actually say the words. It’s your house, I told him, why are you giving up your grill when it’s your house? Hers is bigger and supposedly better, he replied. I told him I couldn’t have a gas grill. Still nothing. Finally I asked if she was giving him her grill, that’s when he told me they were moving in. She’s moving in with him. Next month. I can’t even get a date and she and her kids are moving in to what was my house. The deed was in my name. The mortgage was in my name. He bought me out of the house when we split. The children going to share the guest bedroom because he’s not about to give up his office. I texted my sister and told her. She replied that the text exchange wasn’t about the gas grill, it was to tell me that they were living together, except that when it came down to it he didn’t want to tell me. He never wants to be the bad guy. He wants to have coffee. He wants me to find someone. He wants everything to be nice. I want him gone. I want to erase him from my mind. I want to turn back the clock. I want to punch him in the face. I want to call him a coward.

Last Wednesday, I got the results from my latest prolactin test and it is elevated again. Basically, after seven years of normal, my prolactin level has doubled in the past year. Doubled. Given my history, I had a transphenoidal ademomectomy in 2009, either it’s some kind of pituitary hyperplasia or it’s another tumour. Either, my endocrinologist said, can be manged by radiosurgery or medication or both. Recurrence of hyperprolactinemia is not all that uncommon. It occurs in ± 30% of patients, particularly those with macroadenoma (tumours ≥ 1cm). My tumour was approximately 9mm. It did not respond to medication and was removed. The recovery was awful. I never want to go through that again. My MRI is on Friday. I told my friend Kristina and she cried. When does it end for you? she asked. I’ve asked myself that question a lot recently. It has been 10 years of compound stress. In 2006 we were waiting to hear if he had a postdoc. In 2007 we headed out west for his first postdoc and I was out of work for six months. In 2009 we moved again, I had kidney surgery, brain surgery, was out of work for a year, and he lost his funding. In 2010 we moved again and it was the beginning of Infertility Follies. In 2012 I had a hysterectomy. In 2013 the company I work for was bought out for the first time. That company was bought out later in 2013. I lost my job in 2014. Infertility Follies and my marriage ended in 2015. My brain went on the fritz again in 2016.

Lately, though, I have been thinking about what comes after-apart from picking yourself up, dusting yourself off, and starting all over again. I’ve had the luxury of lots of alone time to think. I’ve been thinking of my part in the demise of my marriage. There are lots of articles about why marriages fail: you fall out of love, you see each other more as siblings than a married couple, you grow apart, you’re too compatible, you’re not compatible, you don’t communicate. I have yet to see one that mentions that you were not able to fulfill your biological imperative. I know when he stopped loving me, but when did I stop loving him? When did I start to fear him? When did he become so irrational? At first I thought that I stopped loving him when we first moved here. I didn’t think I would have taken part in Infertility Follies if I didn’t care about him. and there was the difference. I had stopped loving him but I hadn’t stopped caring about him. I was so beaten down by everything I wasn’t strong enough to say no more. I was a willing participant in something I didn’t want. We’d also stopped talking to each other. Instead of talking to me he talked at me. He pontificated about subjects that mattered to him, but wasn’t interested in my opinion. When I tried to communicate my feelings, they were wrong. His slights were not slights but my over-sensitivity. He told me flat out one day that he didn’t care about my job and didn’t think it was worth discussing. I decided that if something as basic as the workday wasn’t worth discussing and I didn’t want to get into any more bouts of belittlement, I should just keep my mouth shut, which is exactly what I did. He dictated conversation we stopped engaging.

I’m beginning to think I should have dusted myself off and started over somewhere else. Everything I’ve read says this is an emotional response. I shouldn’t act on these impulses. Don’t move. Don’t switch jobs. Ride out the anger and the grief and the resentment. Wait before you jump on your iron horse and ride. I keep thinking of my life in parallel universes and they are never that different from this one. In all of these universes I am alone filled with a longing, an itch I cannot scratch. I’m supposed to wait until I have healed. Every time I think I’m healing something comes along and removes the bandage. How the fuck am I supposed to heal. Something will come along when you least expected it. With 122.6 unmarried women for 100 married men, I doubt it even more than I did yesterday. Fuck it. I’m getting a motorcycle. I’m gone.

“Counting the cars
On the New Jersey Turnpike
They’ve all come
To look for America


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