I thought the worst part of the day had passed when I ran into him in the mall. I was delivering a draft of the separation agreement to his office. I had purposefully waited until well after 5:00 to avoid this potential encounter, but it happened nevertheless. He was going somewhere, not home, so I said I’d take it to the courier desk anyway. I stood there and I said it with a smile on my face, and I really wasn’t sad or angry to be face-to-face with him, engaged in chit-chat, but I was annoyed. Annoyed to be standing there, wasting my fucking time, talking to someone who smiles so prettily to my face then finds it so easy to beat me down from behind his Blackberry.
No, that was not the worst. I took the elevator upstairs and found the delivery desk. I asked two people who seemed to know what was going on if this was where I dropped stuff off, they confirmed yes, I said thanks and took barely two steps back toward the elevator when I heard a loud gasp, followed by:
"OH MY GOD. DO YOU THINK THAT’S HER?"
That was the worst. I mean, "HER?" As in, "HER? I can’t believe that bitch has the audacity to show her face in this firm after what SHE did." What is the story here? What do these people know about me, that I don’t? And, Jesus, did I just get time-warped back to grade twelve, or what?
I was really glad I had decided to bring my runners when I left home this morning because I needed to go for a long, long walk after that. I stomped, fuming, through several kilometres until I found myself at the bottom of the hill on Walmer Road. Usually, I like the big hill. It means I’m almost home and it is gratifying to blast up something so nasty near the end of my walk. The castle is the reward at the end. But I stood there today and I thought, "I cannot make it up this hill today, I really can’t."
I waited at the red light and considered my excuses, which ranged from the legitimate (getting my ass kicked by yoga last night and the subsequent, very real, pain in muscles I admittedly knew existed, but prefer not be aware of every second of the day) to the ridiculous (boo hoo, my shoelaces came undone a hundred times enroute) to the crabby (goddamn it, I didn’t start this divorce, why the hell do I have to be the one to finish it?). I felt like I had more than enough excuses to throw in the towel at that point, except for one small thing: That spot is practically the stupidest spot on Earth to retreat to a subway station. So, the light turned green, and I went up the hill.
I went up that hill and I was not very happy about it. In fact, I was really pissed when I got to the top. I was so pissed I wanted to knock over the tourists taking each other’s pictures out in front of the castle. I wanted to, like, kick dirt. Or something. I just kept walking. It was fine.