Most of my friends on here will know that I had been divorced for some years (but now remarried). Well, I had been for some years and I wasn't at all at all sorry my first marriage was over. After she'd gone the first thing I did was get my stereo out and dance around the living room with a bottle of wine. Still, I should remember the good times also, there were some.
I've been present at the birth of all of my children. The look of pain on her face during childbirth was something that really brought us together. Every time she opened her eyes in that red haze of pain I was always there to give her a nice smile. The birth of our first (a boy) must have been especially bonding as she ran out of gas and air and there didn't seem to be a doctor around for hours to give her any anaesthetic. I'm sure the 'natural' sort of childbirth was much more satisfying for her.
For our third wedding anniversary we went out for dinner, a nice country pub. I had a lovely steak with a side salad and Black Forest Gateau for pudding. I didn't notice what she had. Afterwards we went for a stroll in the dark around the pub gardens and the kiddies play area. It was romantic.
She walked into a horizontal metal bar on the kiddies climbing frame and broke her nose. Oh how I laughed, the tears were streaming down my cheeks. In fact I was so short of breath from laughing that I almost called an ambulance to take care of me. I thought I might have a heart attack. In the end I recovered and we took a taxi home. I was pretty sure her nose would heal on its own.
There were hard times too of course. Once the circuit board on the washing machine shorted out and we didn't have the money to buy a replacement. I soldered pairs of wires to the contacts and she could operate the machine by just crossing the wires. First pair to pump the water in, second pair to start it spinning that sort of thing. It must have been a bit awkward to hold those sparking wires together to keep it operating but, as long as she didn't stand in any of the puddles of water that used to leak out of the front of the machine she was fine.
The Summers rolled by and for a while our life probably seemed idylic. She'd grow her own vegetables and I'd sit in my deck chair sipping a cold beer and watch her fondly as she sweated in the summer heat. She said it was more fun that walking back from the shops with half a hundredweight of potatos on her back (shrugs). I always thought she liked the walk.
I tried to be thoughtful. I offered to get her a smock and a pitchfork so that she'd look the part. She wasn't too keen on the smock but rather liked the idea of a pitchfork. Often she'd look at me lovingly and mutter that a shovel wasn't enough to do the job right.
I even planted some trees so that she could dig in the shade. And of course then I could lie in my hammock and tell her when she wasn't digging her furrows quite right. Somehow my deckchair seemed to have caught fire. Accidents happen I suppose.
But, all good things come to an end (as they do). We tried to keep everything together. She took me to the south coast and offered to teach me how to swim.
"Come out here" she said "where it's deeper. There's a wonderful undertow that'll make it so much more exciting."
The water looked a bit cold though in the moonlight so I didn't try it.
I tried to be nice to her friends too of course. Even Janice the fire breather from the carnival. Janice and my ex showed me how to do that and it's not as hard as it looks. All you do is take a big mouthful of paraffin and spray it out over an open flame. They persuaded me to try it a few times. You need to keep the drum of paraffin between your feet (apparently) so you can get another mouthful quickly. But, my ex kept facing me into the wind and that wasn't so successful. Still, I didn't need to get my hair cut for months after that and the burns cream did wonders for my complection.
I thought that spending some quality time alone together might help. Cheerful picnics at our local beauty spot for instance. There was never anybody around there and we could be quite alone.
"Come and join me and admire the view from the top of this three hundred foot cliff." I called to her once.
She didn't seem to fancy the idea. In fact her fingernails left scratches on the door of my car as she ducked back inside. There seemed to be a problem with the cars doors anyway. We couldn't unlock any of them for me to get inside to her and I couldn't work on them properly in my leather gloves.
We tried joint projects but for some reason she didn't seem to want to put her head underneath my car while it was up on a scissor jack.
Things just seemed to drift more and more apart. She'd spend time with her new passion....chemistry and strange smelling potions. I found myself engrossed by my hobby of sword and axe collecting. We'd spend the evenings looking at each other over her vials of smoking compounds while I sharpened a sword.
It's hard work digging the foundations for a patio. Especially if you're wearing surgical gloves and a pair of coveralls that nobodys' going to miss. It's nice to sit out there now though in my new deckchair. Enjoying the sunshine and watching the birds feed. When I feel like it I can step into the kitchen for a cold beer and a sandwich.
Perfect silence................It's wonderful.