Since my apparent inability to see things through to completion or successfully navigate the currents that would lead me to a successful completion is fresh on my mind and I sidetracked myself when it was my intention to tell you more about the significant relationships in my life, I figure now is as good a time as any…so, let’s get back on track here.
It was after the incident during which my ex-girlfriend was almost assaulted by the guy she left me for that I found myself in the unenviable position of needing to choose between two women who came into my life at approximately the same time and expressed a desire to become involved with me. This is not a fun position to be in, contrary to what you might believe.
I’ll start here with the one I didn’t choose, though I can’t for the life of me determine why I ever made that choice. Maybe I flipped a coin, out of sheer imbecility, and let that arbitrary chance make the choice for me? First off, I want to clarify that, though I may not have chosen her at the time, she and I had managed to remain close over the years and even pursued some intimate experiences with one another as well as some tentative steps towards a relationship.
At that time, however, it could have been taken as a bad sign for the potential between she and I that I stopped in the middle of intercourse so that I could go out to my living room and watch the episode of South Park in which Mr. Garrison was upset about his father not molesting him as a child. That was disrespectful of me, without any question…but what makes it far worse is the fact that I wasn’t even aware that I was being disrespectful at the time. There was a large chunk of my life during which I had little to no capacity to consider how my actions impacted others, not when all that really mattered to me was whatever I felt like doing at the time. Other people weren’t blessed with internal, three dimensional existence when it was inconvenient for me to consider that those things existed.
I was the sort of person who could walk away, mid-coitus, simply because there was something on television…and that is far from a healthy way to live one’s life.
That ability to turn on a dime from an emotional perspective ended up playing out pretty heavily in the relationship that developed between myself and the woman that I did choose out of those two. She and I could be in the midst of a major argument when something grabbed my attention or some random thought or recollection would pop into my head, and the argument would evaporate almost immediately. If I felt like arguing, it could go on for hours…but if I found something else I felt like doing instead of continuing with the argument, that is where my attention would shift without any hesitation. She accused me of not actually caring about the things we were fighting about, and that I was just playing a part when our fights arose. She wasn’t even entirely incorrect.
She and I had a relationship that consisted of more than arguments and disagreement, but it is those intervals of conflict that stand out the most in that relationship for me…perhaps mostly due to how it ended.
As you’re aware, marijuana has never been my drug of choice, but I had a quite nice blown glass pipe that was purchased by the mother of my two oldest children from some random guy who had been peddling his wares through the audience during the final live performance of Alter Noctvm…Alter Idem. She left this pipe behind when she and the children moved out. Even though I rarely had either motivation or occasion to use it, I held onto it for purely sentimental reasons both because it had been purchased by the third (and final) live performance and because it was the only thing left behind as a remnant of the good aspects of my former relationship.
It was necessary to mention the history of that specific piece of glassware because my girlfriend in this piece of personal history took the pipe with her one night while I was at work…and while she and her friends were drinking and getting high that night, a whiskey bottle was dropped on the pipe and it was shattered.
It wasn’t until the next afternoon while she and I were sharing a lunch of chicken and dumpling soup that her mother had made (in her place of employment, I might add, which was an adult bookstore, though they mostly dealt in movies and artificial genitalia rather than books) that she told me about what had happened the night before and informed me that her friend who’d broken the pipe was offering to replace it with one of his own. I was unhappy with the whole situation and I told her precisely why that pipe itself mattered to me regardless of my use for it, all sentimental rather than practical.
Her response was to sarcastically tell me that she was, “so sorry.”
My response to her sarcasm was to throw my bowl of soup at her…not the bowl itself, mind you, but the contents of it. I threw my chicken and dumplings on her and stormed away, walking home.
It was a short while after I’d arrived home that the police showed up, informing me that they had been called by my (now) ex-girlfriend’s mother. Both of the officers apologized to me for the fact that they were arresting me; because, had she and I not been living together, what I’d done would not have been illegal…but, solely because we did share my apartment, the soup incident was classified as domestic violence.
We should take a moment to parse that little bit of information; that an action which was not, by itself, illegal, became illegal exclusively because of relative living arrangements. I won’t pretend that I don’t have some problems with the whole rationale behind that odd and flawed inconsistency. As far as I’m concerned, an act is either illegal or legal, and that’s all there should be to say about it.
I spent the night in jail and, not knowing how the legal system works at the time, I plead guilty the next morning when I appeared in court. That was how I wound up with a domestic violence charge on my adult record. My former girlfriend hadn’t pressed charges, but the state did that in her stead, for something that literally was not illegal.
If I’d known that I would not be stuck in jail for another night regardless of my plea, I would damn well have never accepted the domestic violence charge without contesting it, a charge that will perpetually haunt me. That stupid action of tossing soup and my subsequent lack of understanding as far as how the legal system works has made it so that I am unable to own or carry a firearm (and that kept me from being able to enlist with the military a few years later)…it also prohibited me from taking a job as a paid tutor in the high school where my mother worked when the opportunity arose.
More stupid decisions from everyone’s favorite genius, right?
Have you started to notice a trend here?