Waking up this morning in this surreal state. Today is my first appearance in divorce court. There are alot of things that cause me discomfort about this. But probably the thing that causes me the most discomfort is having to interact with my X in the forum of “divorce court.” I have a backlog of stories to be telling you. If you haven’t noticed, I’ve recently become more verbose. Something shifted. And I have a huge backlog of stories to tell. One thing I’ve been meaning to tell you is that I’ve realized that there is this lexicon that lives in my body. A lexicon built over 16 years with my X that tells this story of how I loved. It is deeply engrained in the fabric of my cells. I know it well, this lexicon of love I will call it. What my body doesn’t know as well is the lexicon of goodbye and the lexicon of separation and divorce.
My body remembers well what it feels like to lie beside him night after night for 16 years. To be held safe and warm in his arms at night. I can still feel the warmth of his front body against my back body. How he sandwiched my feet with his legs when they got really cold at night. How he brought me a drink of water every night before bed. How on some evenings I’d fall fast asleep on the sofa and he’d convince me to take my tired and reluctant body upstairs. My butt can still feel the push from his hands as he forced me up those stairs and how I’d lean back with all of my body weight backwards into him. It was rather comical. That was the lexicon of bedtime. My body remembers well how I prepared meal and after meal for us. It remembers breakfasts. Breakfasts were huge around here when X was still here. My body remembers how it made the eggs and toasted the toast. Pulling this that and the other thing out of the fridge and onto the table. My eyes remember the fullness of the table spread. My belly remembers the feeling of full. How I kissed him goodbye in the back room and how he rode away up the gravel driveway to work. My ears recall the sound of the tires on the gravel. And my arms remember waving goodbye and and my throat remembers calling out to him, “I love you sweety.” (with a y of course, not to be confused with “sweetie” which was what my ears recall him referring to me). This is the lexicon of our mornings and it’s a well worn dialect in this body. My hand remembers well the feeling of being held in his hand as we walked the streets of the market. How we walked the streets of the world together. My body remembers how when we walked, he always took the position between me and the street. My ears recall him saying he did this to protect me from danger of the street. My pinky finger remembers the way it would link through his pinky and fourth finger. This is the lexicon of how we walked through space. Today my body has the awkward task of going to divorce court. Alone. We live a few mere blocks from one another and within walking distance to the court house. My body is considering now the awkwardness of walking there alone. On this cold and miserable November day, my body considers walking the streets to the courthouse on the same sidewalks we walked hand in hand. Walking by the place where we had our first date. And the place where we were engaged to be married. And the place where we rented an apartment for 3 years. The awkwardness of the courthouse and the courtroom. I’m a lawyer, I know the halls of these places well. These are war grounds. Where people go to battle it out. How is it that after 16 years of speaking the lexicon of love, that I come to meet him in this place of war. My eyes still find discomfort with seeing him from a distance and my body still finds discomfort with not closing that distance. How he will sit in one place side by side with his lawyer. How I will sit some place different by myself. The awkwardness of having to wait like this for our turn to be called to appear before the judge. And the awkwardness of being called by the judge. How we will walk down the aisle together once again. Yet apart. To the war tables. This very linearly arranged room. How I will stand behind one table as respondent. How he will stand at another as applicant. How we will speak to the front of the room to a strange person called a judge about how it is we sever this life we shared. This is a lexicon my body really doesn’t know. How to be in relationship with him in these awkward ways. What do you wear to divorce court? My mind for some reason remembers now, the dressing up for our wedding day. Everyone knows you wear a white dress to your wedding. But what do wear to divorce court? I am learning day by day this new lexicon of how I relate to this man I now call my X husband. My eyes feel tearing and my cheek feels the tears rolling downwards. There is another life with all kinds of new lexicon on the other side of this divorce. It’s already happening and I’m building a new language in this body to speak to that. But today, this body goes to divorce court to speak the foreign and awkward language of divorce to a man that I held dear for 16 long years.