I met up with my ex-husband while I was in Japan – you remember the one I divorced because I discovered I preferred to be tied up and beaten? It’s been 8 years since I left him but I’ve managed to meet up with him every time I’ve been back to Japan since.
It’s always weird when we meet up because it’s kind of like a date but now he’s remarried and has a two-year old son and I’m a slave with a collar. Life is very strange like that.
This time it was a little stranger because our meeting ended up like a bad comedy movie script. We went out drinking and after seven, eight or nine drinks (I can’t quite remember…damn Japan and its $15 all-you-can-drink-for-two-hours specials!!!) both of us were very, very drunk. Fortunately I was less drunk than he was and managed to drag him back to my hotel after spending half an hour trying to wake him up when he passed out in mid-conversation while we happened to be talking about my wedding dress…
Yes, it gets stranger.
My hotel room was on the ‘ladies floor’ (no men allowed!) and I thought it would not be the best thing to have him in my room even though he was only semi-conscious and it would only be for a few hours. So I asked at the front desk if they had a spare room and they did so I paid for it and escorted/dragged him there. We spent ten minutes trying to get his shoes off and I then spent ten minutes trying to roll him into bed. He has always been one of those people who could fall asleep anywhere, anytime and he sleeps so deeply you normally have to give him a swift kick to get him up. I was having serious deja vu as I wrestled him into bed. He only had the suit he was wearing with him and I wasn’t about to undress him, so I figured there was nothing else I could do. I wrote my room number down on some paper and left it next to bed. Then I headed up to my room.
That was 3am.
The next day he rang me about 10am and thanked me for the room, saying it was the best night’s sleep he’s had for a very long time. I told him to take a shower because I knew he’d be fiercely hung-over but he said he didn’t want to appear too ‘fresh’ because then he’d have a hard time explaining that to his wife…
So we had lunch together and did a bit of shopping and then we parted ways – him heading back to his wife and child and me heading to the 100 yen shop for a final shopping blitz. It was a very strange 36 hours. Bizzaro factor max.
During our dinner, one topic of conversation was whether I was thinking about getting remarried. I said I had no interest in marriage part deux or of course having children and he said he was relieved. Somehow the fact that I needed a ‘different’ life to the one I would have had with him made him feel better about us parting ways. He has told me before he was sorry that he couldn’t give me what I wanted in that way.
This time as I listened to his tales of married life, being a father and shitty employment conditions in the land of the rising sun, I saw what could have been my life flash before my eyes and it made me nauseous. As least, I think it was that and not the toxic mix of sake, plum liqueur and several cocktails that listed ‘jelly’ as one of the ingredients that were churning around in my stomach.
I had a bit of a cathartic moment – that perhaps I had made the right decision after all. Not perhaps for him, but for myself. Well, maybe for him too, because I probably would have been horrible to live with, trapped in a life that didn’t have any meaning for me.
I keep thinking that life isn’t a box of chocolates. It’s an episode of Breaking Bad that is peppered with references you don’t get until much later on and that you can’t appreciate until you’ve seen the big picture.