That's the only time I start to think really seriously vindictive thoughts, when I'm telling their crying little faces that Daddy still loves them. (Only, of course, not quite enough to actually be here in person. It's like being Jesus's representative on Earth when you've just converted to Judaism.) Bunny, my girl, said to me tonight: "I'll be scared to get married when I grow up." Whaddya say to something like that? "No, no, darling, I'm sure your marriage will be a beautiful thing that will last a lifetime", or "Don't be scared; just make sure you nail his balls to the floor six months before he turns 40".
One of the immediate practical ramifications is that when Beloved comes to fetch the kids I have to clear off, or I'd be holding on to his Armani turn-ups and begging him to return (or just stay for an hour and give me a light going over). And last week I cleared off to the coast to do a scuba-diving course, in an effort to become a New and Independent Woman (ie another bloody sad divorcee desperate for a lay).
About 50 per cent of the course was filling in insurance disclaimer forms to remove any responsibility from the diving school for my so much as breaking a nail whilst under their tuition. (I suspect Beloved has filled a similar type of form in triplicate somewhere along the line, removing from him any responsibility for anything at all in his life.) Anyway - one of the questions was "Next of Kin", in other words the name and contact details of the person who is the first to be rung up when my lifeless body is dragged from the water, when I have selflessly sacrificed myself to save 17 orphans and a celebrity dog from certain death. Do I fill in Beloved's name in this spot?
What would be more satisfying to my spirit, as it speeds away to another dimension (populated entirely by unspiritual incarnations of Nicholas Cage - you can tell how the hormone levels have gone, can't you? Week one it was Alan Rickman. Now it's Nicholas Cage), would it be more satisfying for him to find out from the full-page obituary a week later? Or to be phoned from the scene in time to rush to my still wet and neoprene-covered form and clutch me to his bosom in grief-stricken regret? Tricky.
I was having a "stuff off and die day" on that Saturday, a "plenty more sharks in the tank" day, so I left it blank to give me the middle option: track him down in 24 hours or so, so he has to come to the morgue, and he hates anything to do with hospitals. I mean, I spent the whole time while I was giving birth holding his hand and asking if he was OK. We even had to keep the radio going in the operating theatre to keep him from passing out. So one child was born to the theme from Neighbours and the other to a local radio news bulletin. You know the sort of thing. Local man passing by when something really important happened somewhere else.
Anyway, Saturday's "stuff off and die" mood didn't last, because the only other people on my course were a couple in the first throes of love's sweet dream. It wasn't a dive course they needed, more like the sort of surgery you do for Siamese twins. Thank God we were doing dive practice when we were in the pool - tanks, mask and regulator just prevented the Kama Sutra meets synchro-swimming. But only just. I didn't know where to look when they were doing the air-sharing exercise. I don't think the instructor noticed. Actually I think he's too young for sex. Although I did consider offering him a starter pack.
Seeing those two hot to trot in flippers made me start thinking about how cute Beloved used to look in the pool. (You can't really love a man, I always feel, unless you fancy him with his hair all soggy and water caught in his eyelashes.) So by Sunday night I was filling in the blank space with Beloved's new address: Beloved, Bonk's Basement, London. This provided perhaps the best option of all: the news is delivered to Bonk who has to break it to Beloved, and in that one moment of shock he looks at her face (which would be trying hard not to smile) and realises what a terrible mistake he has made. Yessss.
Stevie MorganReuse content