I didn't finish the book. At 2 a.m. I made myself put it down and turn off the light. I then tossed and turned for awhile thinking about how divorce is one of those human experiences that is so unique and awful and experienced completely different by everyone and yet exactly the same every time. It's like losing a loved one, or childbirth...every time is different, indescribable and utterly your own, but the litany of emotions are always the same. They are all experiences one must actually go through before really understanding.
I remember after having the Pea, looking at Smash in a whole new light. I thought I could understand how she felt when she had JJ and Boo, I was there, I love them too, surely I got it? No way...divorce is like childbirth that way. You can read about it, talk about it, go through it with a loved one, and the same things will happen, it will have the same outcome, and yet until you live it, you are completely unaware of what it really does to you, of how it changes you and makes you a different person.
The woman in the book is so not like me, and yet we are the same...her marriage and divorce are different from mine on so many levels and yet the feelings, the emotions, the ups, downs, uncertainties, desperation...it's all there. I dog eared a few pages as I read because there were statements in there so on the mark it was scary...I am not gonna quote them all, but in reading back through this morning these struck a cord, again.
More than half my bed is covered with open books - occupying roughly the same amount of space Tobin would have. I skim and switch between them, settle into one all night long whenever I forget that beds are for resting, for sleeping, for making love. Reading is my substitute for sleep and my consolation prize for being alone.
The first time the children are picked up for visitation brings unexpected questions. What is the proper protocol?...Are the children uncomfortable and do they worry we will fight? Do I run to the window and scratch the glass like a demented, abandoned pet as they walk down the sidewalk? Beg them to have a good time, but not too good. (Oh, I hate myself.) Pray that they come back, that they'll want to come back, that they'll sleep well, that they won't get hurt, oh God.
I am planning on extending the book so I can keep reading. I want to finish it, see how she turns out...I suspect I know, but I want to find out for sure.