Monday, September 5, 2016

Seat 8D

Gum blossom, from a special place

I flew home from MEL last night, after driving to MEL yesterday, with a purpose that was fulfilled. A big day out. On Saturday I checked in online and chose to sit in row 10, by myself, then something made me change the booking to sit next to an occupied seat.

And so I found myself sitting next to a man who is going through his fair share of family shit. I'm the biggest instigator of conversations on planes with strangers. If someone paid me to do that every day I would. Qantas? Virgin? He's about 10 years younger than me but has been thrown out of the marital home where his wife still lives with their two children. These are the children both vowed to never have, until 10 years into the marriage and he was given an ultimatum by her: I have decided to have children and if you do not want to be the father move out now.

He chose to be the father, thinking that if that is what she wanted, she would be happy. Fast forward seven years and she has thrown him out to take up with her lesbian lover. There's a whole lot of mess being flung about but he only wants what is best for their children. His wife, however, has not revealed the real reason for the marriage breakup to her Christian parents. So they treat the SIL as a pariah.  He's lost the couple's mutual friends, but regained many of his friends from years ago. How often does this happen?

It gets better. The new lover has taken on a command and control role and is out-advising the lawyers, so it's all descending into a bit of hell for him. But by gosh he is a nice man. Turns out we have a fair bit in common, family wise, and he was able to give me some advice and comfort.

I'm not a fan of the cliche, but I told him that time does heal wounds. It's hard to imagine that when your world has been upended, but now that I am a few years down the track of life-changing-turmoil, I am beginning to see clear air.

We left each other with a handshake. I felt like giving him a hug, but a handshake was good and appropriate.

When I woke very early this morning I wrote down this line: You are so much more than one half of a broken relationship. Of all the things I said to my plane friend, I wish I had said this. But in the hour-and-a-half conversation we had, I know I said things that he will remember and in these tumultuous times ahead, he will take heed.

He has the opportunity to embark on a revitalised career and is tossing up all the pros and cons of that.

I love talking to people about their lives and presenting options for them. I have my own stuff to sort, but I seem to be quite good at helping others sort their stuff. Perhaps that is where I am heading. I'm not sure. I'm a bit lost, truth be told. I have so much experience in media and politics, but no one is interested in that. No one wants to employ me, so I'm employing myself.  I'm loving my art. But I am lost. And astonished that the bullies and the incompetents I have met continue to have jobs. There is some part of the plan that I obviously do not follow. And if one more person tells me that all I need is to get a foot in the door, I will rip their bloody arms off

All the love xx

PS most saddened to hear of the death of Richard Neville. I've always been a big fan.

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