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From Navel-gazing to Stargazing

14 August, 2005

From Navel-gazing to Stargazing or, the Mother of all Hangovers

Thanks to all my blogfriends for being such awesome blogfriends! Because you are, I thought I owed it to you to tell you how yesterday went. The short version: Survival happened. The long version:

I have a truly vicious hangover. Upset stomach, pounding headache, sensitivity to sounds … the whole works. A freakishly bad comination of a Corona Light, some alco-pop thing, tequila (the good stuff, straight), tequila (in margarita form), Goldschläger (three or four swallows from a hip flask), a Guinness, and vinho verde. Volumes not as huge as it sounds, though. I was drinking out of one of those tiny 2 oz camping cups … and over a period of 7 hours. But the last time I drank so stupidly, the Cranky One drove me home from a medievalist party and made me drink a glass of warm saltwater to help me purge my system as much as possible. He also dragged my sorry ass to mass the next day.

But back to how I got that way …

Yesterday morning, just after I blogged (oh my doG, this young female person just walked by in a tiny bikini top and a jeans skirt resting at least two inches below the top of her pelvic girdle — she can’t be more than 15 — AND this is a suburban mall, not the beach! WTF???), I left the internet cafe and went out to my car. It was about 11:40, and I had to be about 40 miles away at the county courthouse at 1:15 — it’s normally a 45 minute to an hour drive. Got in, turned the key, the engine turned once … and stopped. I tried several more times, panicking. Went over the symptoms — not the starter, because it was clearly turning. Not the battery (I don’t think), because the ignition didn’t show any sign of weakening — I haven’t checked the electrics, though. Popped open the hood and checked the battery connections and the distributor cap — everything seemed to be in order.** By now, serious panic is setting in. Called ADH, who said something along the lines of it was my problem, reminding me of why this was all happening*

Called my friend and Americanist colleague, No-longer-intimidating-but-still-frighteningly-purposeful Woman. Said, “I’m Screwed.” She said, “What happened?” I told her. ‘Where are you??’ Told her. “Where is that? How do I get there? I’m coming!” (You need to realize that Purposeful Woman speaks rapid-fire English. With Purpose.) “D’uh … I’m not sure how to get here from your place …” “I’ll look it up! Don’t worry!”

Twenty minutes later, she’s telling me about how she had fallen asleep grading essays so it’s really not a problem for her to do this. She drives like a slightly illegal speed demon, and gets us there exactly on time. The judge and clerk are late. I sit around with all the other almost ex-wives and we all check each other’s paperwork. One husband shows up. One. I was third in line. The judge went over the paperwork, asked me to swear (not, interestingly, before God) to tell the truth, and asked me about 6 questions, after which he said he was convinced the marriage ws irretrievably broken (the only grounds in this state) and that we had made a fair division of property, and gave me back my name (which is still ADM to you guys!). I said, “that’s it?” He said, “Yes, that’s it.” I said, “It’s a bit anticlimactic, isn’t it?” He said, “Yes, it is, but after everything you’ve gone through to get to this point, it’s probably good to make it easy.”

Wow. So I took Purposeful Woman out for a nice lunch, and by the time we got back, I was running late for meeting some other colleagues to go see the Perseids. I threw my stuff into the backpack I’ve not used since I got married (X-ADH is not a camper), fed the kitties, and was almost ready when they arrived to pick me up. We drove up to the mountains to a place with an odd name, and hiked in to Economist’s usual campsite on the River. Hiked in for about half a mile, maybe, and set up camp in the dusk accompanied by mosquitos. Had the first beer on an empty stomach, couldn’t find my water bottle in the dark … So we all sat by the fire and watched the meteor shower (which would have been clearer without the fire, bui it was cold).

The sky was marvelous. The geographer and amateur astronomer and the geologist were there, and so we got some good commentary. Economist played his guitar. There were so many stars that I had a hard time picking out even the familiar constellations. I think it’s the first time I ever really could recognize the visible part of the Milky Way — just so many stars. It was funny, though. So huge, and yet I felt so very secure. I don’t know if it was because the sky seemed very finite — crazy, I know, but it really looked like a sphere, and not something that went on and on and on. But I also had pitched my tent in the most remote of the sites, and really thought I’d be bothered by being *that* alone. When it got down to it, though, there was just so much there — the stars and the sound of the river rushing by and animals … but despite the fact that one of my greatest dreads is that this is all there is, I tend to feel very comfortable with the idea that we are very small and transitory in terms of the material universe.

Not nearly enough meteors, though — but the quality helped to make up for the quantity. So, much drinking, and singing, and up at around 8. Came home, showered, fed the cats, got a cab to a location where the car rental people would pick me up, and rented a car till Tuesday, by when I hope to have my little car towed and fixed. I hope.

Life just freakin’ goes on, doesn’t it? And that’s a good thing 😉

*in the almost 12 years we were together, X actually picked me up at the airport only once. Never took me. He said it was worth spending the money on cabs or airport parking because his time was worth more than that. Apparently worth more than my feelings, too.

**My guess at this point is the alternator (so I have to check to see if any of the electrics are working today) or the fuel pump. But I could be wrong.

Quick Update: After renting the car, etc., Professor Kinsey called to check in. She offered me the loan of her car till she comes back Tuesday night. YAY! Much money savings. SUCH a great roommate (although I would certainly do the same, but thanks!!!!). Then I went and did some work at the internet place, where I decided to check my poor little car. Which started right up. So my friend the Librarian offered to help me drive it home, where it now is. I will take it to the auto shop tomorrow. I have the best friends ever.

7 Comments leave one →
  1. 14 August, 2005 3:06 am

    Good heavens, what a day! I’m so glad that things ended up okay after all that excitement. And how lovely to look up at the stars in the company of friends after all of the drama of the day.Good luck to you in this new stage of your life!

  2. 14 August, 2005 3:15 am

    I always find the completion of important paperwork to be immensely satisfying: for me, it’s not when I get the news, it’s when the official business is actually concluded that really counts. Until the paperwork is done, there’s always the chance that it could go off the rails… All the best!

  3. 14 August, 2005 1:00 pm

    Whew! Well, after the drama of the afternoon I’m glad the everything came to a simple closure for you. And it’s wonderful that you had such an amazing evening, which you more than deserved. Good for you, and for moving on in such a positive way.

  4. 14 August, 2005 3:46 pm

    What a wonderful way to end everything! (I love the image of the almost-ex-wives checking each others’ paperwork.) Now, I realize this was an afterthought, but I *have* to comment on the airport thing – that SOOOO sucks. This is one of my personal pet peeves, I absolutely HATE getting myself to and from airports by myself – not b/c of the hassle (I don’t care about that) but b/c it makes me feel alone and unloved. One’s loved ones SHOULD drop one off/pick one up at the airport! Gah! You are well rid of him…

  5. 15 August, 2005 4:29 am

    Thanks, all! I’m hoping that the major traumas are all over now. (touching wood big time). It’s all paperwork — I have to change all my official documents, including my passport, but it appears I can do that locally. At any rate, I’m going to wait until I know if I’ll need it …

  6. 15 August, 2005 11:20 am

    Well, it feels a little weird to say “Hi Pilgrim sent me” on this post, but that’s how I got here anyway.Sounds to me like about the perfect way to end the whole thing, especially going out straight from the courthouse to watch the Perseids. What an amazing day. Hope the hangovers pass quickly.

  7. 15 August, 2005 4:51 pm

    Hi Scrivener — I’ve been known to lurk at your place now and again, so it’s nice to see you!

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