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Why I was a cheating cheater - Anna Rosenblum Palmer
It’s easy enough to blame my affair on my dead dad. The Husband My husband and I met at Brown University. J was tall and golden and tanned. I imagined myself with someone dark and nebbish. He was a swimmer who wrote passionate stories and grew his own pot. My imaginary partner and I would sit to avoid our four left feet and stay out of trouble doing a crossword. My future husband would never be satisfied by such a simple grid. He created his own world snowboarding out of bounds, losing himself in atonal guitar, and populating imaginary universes with violent aliens. He represented infinite possibility. I was just trying to keep my grades up. I grew up an hour from Providence so it was easy to take him home to show him off. My father was an artist who ate steaks and listened to sports radio. He worked for himself whenever he wanted. He even hired someone to take out the garbage. My boyfriend saw first hand that a life without rules was possible. I was both happy and wary when they started spending time together in my father’s studio. The Problems After graduation J didn’t look for a job. My father had taught him what he always knew…that he was too good for the grind. He worked for my father two afternoons a week. The rest of the time he was out on bike rides or listening to jam music too stoned to speak. He embraced a life apart, fueled and funded by my father. I thought space from my father and a fresh start might help us both. We moved to Vermont but took all of our baggage with us. After my father was diagnosed with terminal cancer he pressured me formalize my relationship. Unlike many parents he didn’t exert his will through advice or pleas. Instead he covered up our problems and bound J and I together. When we moved to Vermont he built a studio for J so he could continue “working” for him. He insisted that I put J on the deed of house that I bought, tying us together legally before we even talked about marriage. The Wedding Just as my relationship had lost all of its luster we got married. I knew. I knew at the time that my answer was “I don’t” not “I do.” Still I went through with it. My father needed to know that I was settled before he could let go. I figured the gift to my dad was worth another year or two of a lonely life. We had a tented dinner on the lawn of our lovely lake front house. I didn’t dance. When J and I got back to our hotel room we fell asleep side by side without touching. I dreamed of rowing away, our little lake the mouth to a much larger body of water. One that I navigated alone. We drove back to Vermont in grey mist, which never really ...