It’s been a busy few days here in Tucson as I prepare for my last week at home. I had a great opportunity to be on the television on KVOA -4 and I recorded a segment with PBS Radio. So thanks go out to both stations for taking interest and a shout out to Edgar Ybarra and Tony Paniagua respectively! I’ll try not to let you guys down.
Just so know, many people ask why I chose the fifth of May to depart. Most assume because it is Cinco de Mayo that it has some political overtones, after all I am half Mexican! The answer is no. I chose May because I calculated it would be the optimal time to travel on this journey. Also my lease is up on the fourth of the month, so I will hit the road on the fifth!
This will be my last two posts concerning my personal history. I will finish tonight with my timeline at about 1997. You see, I had an idea, one of the pages in this site titled book #2 is called the ‘The Crossword’. It is what I call a semi-autobiographical love story. I wrote this manuscript in Hawaii and San Francisco last year. A part fiction part true to life story about the last sixteen years in my life. So there will be no more post concerning those years. You will have to wait until I publish it after the tour!
Truth be told, it has been difficult for me to open up those doors and emotional wounds about my past. If you have followed along the last six or seven pages you’ve seen the pain and hurt I’ve endured and regretfully inflicted on others. No post has been as difficult to write as the one Im typing now…hence the title, My Darkest Hours.
Still Im glad I went back and revisited some of those experiences with you. I believe it was good to talk it out with you good folks and I hope I have come through a better person because of it, especially the last five years. One is never too old to change I pray.
Last I left you in 1994, I had a change of heart concerning my baby momma. Against all naysayers we both took the plunge in September of that year. We had a nice ceremony at the local VFW club and had a blast at the reception afterwards. Everything and everybody seemed happy and content that we finally ended the years of a back and forth relationship and settled down to unite the family. No one was happier than my new wife. She and her two boys and Jonathan moved in with the three of us in our home. My kids seemed fine with the situation and I believed were happy to have a mother figure back in their lives. She to her credit was a wonderful step mom to Anthony and Vanessa and their quickly warmed up to her. I being the disciplinarian that I was, was a good counter balance to my more compassionate wife. She also embraced my style of parenting, seeing her boys were a little rough around the edges. The amazing part was how all five kids just blended well together. You would have never guessed they were all step kids! The seven of us just flowed. Everything ran smoothly at work and at home. There was peace and harmony.
We enjoyed family functions, trips and just the normal down time of a nice family life. We managed the kids between both our work schedules and enjoyed a good life style money wise, since both of us were working full time and receiving child support at the time. We had a savings account for the first time in our lives and I was adding on to the house. I even bought an old truck to fix up some day. Everybody was doing fine, everybody but me….
It didn’t take long for me to realize that I was not happy. All I could think about was that I should’ve listened to my better judgement and my sisters. The wonderful world that we created for these kids was just a house of cards. I couldn’t help or hide my lack of emotions or feelings for my wife. Try as I did, I couldn’t force it or fake the affection for her she so desperately longed for. Laura knew the nuptials didn’t prove to be the secret elixir she had hoped for. And I for my part should have known better than to talk myself into feelings that never really existed. Still I kept I straight face to everybody and she hoped that someday I would come around. In one of our biggest arguments she told me:
“Why did you marry me if you didn’t love me, why?”
Her pain and sorrow ran deep. I responded:
“Why did you accept my proposal, knowing I didn’t?”
It was a quagmire. A stalemate. Still we pressed on for months. Then years. She didn’t want to face the prospect of living the rest of her life with a man who didn’t love her, and I couldn’t bear the thought either. We were living like siblings raising a family. Polite, cordial but not emotionally connected. The resentment on both sides increased with time. The house of cards was about to come down.
One morning I sat outside the store on my break as I usually did. The sun was warm and sky was clear. I looked up to the sound of laughter and over my sports page I noticed the source coming from a beautiful young clerk. We made eye contact and the rest was history. I was 34, she was 20. I had five kids at home, she had one. I had a wife, she had a live in boyfriend. I didn’t care, neither did she.
I to this day cannot totally explain how quickly I bailed on my marriage. With a swift, cold, calculating and callous manner I ruthlessly dismantled my marriage and young family. Within a period of four or five weeks I pushed my wife out of my house and back to hers. Despite her and my family’s pleas for my return to sanity, I forged ahead with my shameful conduct. In those moments I turned I deaf ear to everybody who meant something to me. I didn’t care about the collateral damage I was inflicting, especially on all the kids, who were then ages 16 to 3 years old. My distorted rational about the situation was cut and dry, as I pitifully tried to reason or bullshit my course of actions to others.
“I never loved her, and she knows it.” I would say. She has her house, and I had mine. She has her kids and I have mine. And Jonathan, well we’ll just split him, I reasoned. I was a disgrace. My mother was crushed by my actions. She would not look me in the eyes or speak to me for a long time. My sisters understood to a point. They all knew we were doomed to fail, but were not expecting me to end it in such a cowardly, selfish manner. They also were ashamed and hurt by my folly. Still I continued forward with my relationship with this girl. Although she would never move in with us, we continued the obviously lustful fling for months. We were out to prove to the world that we really had something special between us. How foolish and self-centered I had become in a span of eight years.
And boy was there talk around the stores we both worked in, and rightly so. See my past was well known and so was hers. Many of our friends and coworkers knew about my experience with Dora and hers with her ex. Some ascribe to the world of Karma and chalked it up to the “What goes around, comes around” mentality. How could I, they wondered, having been a victim of my first wife’s treachery, turn around and do the same to another? Or worse…
It was a bad time in my life, but the darkness had not yet ascended upon my soul. The worst was yet to come for me still. I would have to answer for a lot of my stupid, self-inflicted conduct.
I will conclude next time with part two.