In my current life, the life I’ve lead for 20 years now, Desperado is all about Antonio Banderas. I could watch that movie 100 more times before I die and not get bored with it.
In my previous life, desperado meant something else.
I had a vivid and coherent dream last night. It was real and familiar and brutal.
I dreamed about my second husband and, in my dream, I recalled exactly how it felt to be rejected by him and to have affection withheld. Uncertainty ruled. The dream ended in a good way. In my dream I relived a moment before we were married. He changed the rules of the game from, I want to spend the rest of my life with you to I’m thinking about trying to get back with my ex-wife.
In my dream, I smiled, picked up my purse and said “We’re done. I’m never doing this with you again”.
Watching the look on his face, even in my dream, made everything in me feel strong. He said I misunderstood and that he needed me. I told him that he was sad and crazy and controlling and I left.
In real life, less than a year after that conversation took place, I married him.
I’ve made a lot of bad choices.
That marriage only lasted two years. We were together(ish) about two years before we married. By the time we got married, I was twisted up and dependent.
About a year into the marriage, I started finding my way back to myself. My methods were not the best methods, or the smartest methods, but like I said, I make bad choices.
The outcome was what it needed to be, though. I needed to get out of the relationship. My former husband was not pleased that I was changing. He conspired with a doctor friend of his to get me on lithium.
I almost did. I almost believed that I was not only crazy, but a danger to myself. I believed these things.
Except for the small part of my brain that didn’t. The part that said, fuck this, Michelle. It’s time to go.
We lived in Ohio on the side of a hill that overlooked an outdoor concert venue. Some nights, it was like the artist was playing in our front yard.
The night I told my second husband that I didn’t love him and that I was filing for divorce, the Eagles were playing. It was their Hell Freezes Over tour.
The night was warm and we had our windows open. I sat at our dining room table and told him it was over. The Eagles started playing. There’s Gonna Be A Heartache Tonight wafted through our windows. I wish I was kidding.
The Eagles provided a live soundtrack to the end of my second marriage. I remember very clearly, my ex telling me “This song reminds me of you. This is about you”.
It was Desperado.
He was wrong. He was implying that I was desperate. I wasn’t desperate, I was done. Desperation was one of the foundations of our relationship and it had died months earlier.
That part of my life has been over for a long time. I did not enjoy reliving those feelings last night. They felt wrong and off and they were disturbing. It made me recall how I felt that everything was just a little ‘off’ every moment that I spent with my second husband.
I liked how ‘dream me’ handled the situation. I like to think that I’ve evolved enough that not only would I handle the situation just as well now, but in less time. This feels true to me.
Okay, here is just one little story about the second husband. This story is not the catalyst that ended the marriage…but it definitely chipped a big hole in it.
My 31 birthday was approaching. He usually got me something nice, but uninspired. I’m not all about gifts anyway, so I didn’t care. (that much) Anyway, he was excited about my upcoming birthday because he had planned something ‘very special’.
Well…’very special’ sounded promising. Then he told me what it was. He said “I’m making an appointment for you with a cosmetic surgeon so you can get your breasts enlarged. I also want you to dye your hair blonde”.
He was so goddamn pissed that I didn’t appreciate the generosity of his gift. He was so goddamn pissed that I said NO to both.
I saw a picture once of the girl he married a few months after we divorced. She was definitely his type.