State Of The Empire

I suppose a ‘State of the Empire’ update is in order.
I’m still home. I’ll probably be heading out this evening, or tomorrow morning at the latest. I’ve stuck around because I was going to deposit the $400 cash that Mara gave me for her plane ticket, but then the charge for the ticket was taken off of the checking account. So I didn’t deposit that money on Monday, thinking Mara would want that cash back. But on Tuesday another charge showed up with a different airline. So I went on over to Bank of America in Gastonia and deposited the cash.
I also opened up new checking and savings accounts. Mara says she hasn’t been using the checking account, but the last time she put money into the account was from her April 14th paycheck, and that was for just $500 of her $800 paycheck. Recent charges (meaning since she left) are for almost $150. Gas, lunch, YMCA dues, Everquest II account. All that came out of my last paycheck. Mara told me “those are old charges.” But they don’t date back to the 14th. So essentially, whether she intended it that way or not, I’m paying at least some of Mara’s expenses. The insurance on the van that she’s now driving also came out of my paycheck (that’s another $163).
I’m not bashing Mara, however it may sound. I’m just pointing out why I thought it was necessary to start new checking and savings accounts. I had enough money in our joint account to make the house payment. I just wanted to make sure that money didn’t get whittled away by smaller charges.
Right now my primary concern is the house. Mara still hasn’t told me anything about what happened in court last Friday. She says she hasn’t heard anything from her lawyer about it, but will ask when she talks to her tomorrow about filing for separation. I would prefer to think that Mara would not be capable of intentionally costing me the house. But I’m concerned because she doesn’t seem to want to talk about it. All I’m getting from her is “I’ll let you know as soon as I know something.”
Okay, I wasn’t going to mention it, but this is a good example of why I’m concerned. Mara told a mutual Everquest friend that she was living with her mother because I thought that she had a boyfriend. Um. Okay. Well, I pointed out that this was essentially true, but the reason I thought she had a boyfriend was because she told me she did. And, well, then there’s the $400 plane ticket. So these days nothing is what it seems. And if Mara really feels like she’s the victim here, what might she do to get her revenge? Every drama has to have a grand finish, yes?
I’m not sure how Mara could have the nerve to spin this so that she’s the one being done wrong here. But, of course, I’m not around to defend myself. There’s no telling what she’s been telling her friends online and her family. I wouldn’t be surprised if within a few months people are talking about how they would have never thought that I could be a wife-beater.
Mara has surprised me. But today I’ve been thinking about the relationship she had with Jay when I first met her. They seemed to do nothing but try to out-manipulate one another. I assumed that was Jay’s influence, but now I wonder. I’ve also begun to wonder if the Mara that I thought that I knew all these years was a role that she was playing, and the real Mara is more like that manipulator that I first met.
Like I said, I’m not trying to bash Mara. I’m just trying to make sense of all this. She decides to leave and tells me that there’s someone else, but then seems surprised when I talk about divorce. She has court dates to determine the fate of this house, but can’t tell me anything about what was decided.
All in all, I just find myself standing here scratching my head, and wondering who that was that I was married to all those years. We had a strange relationship from day one. Mara always talked about how distant I was, but never realized that at least part of that was defensive. Our cat, Ria, is a good analogy, because she bites. She won’t get you as long as you keep your guard up and expect it, but the minute you relax around her and don’t pay attention, you get bit. That’s what it was like with Mara. It always seemed to me that whenever I relaxed into a seemingly normal relationship with Mara, she saw my guard drop and the slicing and dicing began.
I also just thought about how she would boss me around and insult me whenever we were in public. She knew I had too much pride to tell her off in public, and so that’s when she would try to put me in my place. I haven’t forgotten that sly smile she would give me. Like a challenge. Or more to the point, it was like a dare.
I don’t know. I’ll never be able to make sense of this. I know that Mara said a lot of bad things about me. Not a lot has, but enough has gotten back to me for me to know that Mara didn’t portray me to other people in a fair light. I certainly can’t forget how Nikki and A.J. looked at me that night when we went to the movies with them, or how strange Mara acted. Look, I’m a writer. I’ve been watching people my whole life. And while I didn’t understand the reasons, I certainly recognized the way they looked at me. Mara said they were just strange, and she didn’t know why they acted that way. But I wondered even then what they had been told about me.
Well, whatever. It’s all beside the point now.
Obviously I was not what Mara was looking for, or she wouldn’t have had to struggle with her attractions to other people so often. At this point it really doesn’t matter if Mara has a boyfriend or not. She’s misrepresented who I am often enough to other people for me to feel like maybe it’s a good thing that she’s gone in search of greener pastures. I don’t know what the root of the problems between us was, but I don’t think either one of us wants to be with the other anymore. In the end, that’s all I need to know.

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