A couple of days before a strange woman with an intense look handed me a letter outside my house claiming she had slept with my husband, I happened upon an erstwhile favourite film of mine, 'Broadcast News'. It was late at night, I was already tired, but in spite of the dated look - big hair! big shoulders! - I became hooked once again by Holly Hunter's charming portrayal of an intelligent, lonely woman who allows herself just a few minutes every so often to reach for a box of tissues, take the 'phone off the hook, and weep.
So that's who I remind myself of now.
Oh, I operate, I really do. It's incredible, really. I hold down my two jobs; I trouble-shoot my first big community arts project; I deal with innumerable administrative problems; I handle the sensitivities of others; I take Anna-mouse to school, I read with her, talk with her, laugh with her; I applaud her sellotape and string collages: I take her to London, to the hospital to see Esme, who has had her hip done; I try to make Esme's life easier; I discuss logistics with the Bim - flats - the pros and cons of furnished versus unfurnished, and just how very cheaply you can pick up a pan set these days... and slowly, slowly let everyone know who needs to know that we are parting, for good, but that it is amicable, and we are remaining absolutely firm friends.
People are happy with that. It's a nice, pat ending and easy to deal with, and after all most of them are desperately relieved on my behalf - they never quite 'got' the relationship in the first place.
It is not like that for me. I am sadder than the saddest thing. I am a skinful of waiting tears. Finally the anger which has coloured my life for months now is abating, and the real hard stuff is taking hold. I find it much more debilitating, much lonelier, more difficult to contain at the same time as running this busy life. Anger propels; makes decisions shine with brilliance; takes people's breath away when they see its force whip through you - especially when they don't know where the energy's coming from. I got much better at my job when I was angry: I could function - often better than before.
But this. This is hard. The house is calmer, granted, now that the tension which gripped this little family for months has gone. The Bim and I are kinder to one another. He has labelled himself a 'crap husband' but a 'good friend', and I have to concur. I just need to remember I'm losing only the former, not the latter, because at the moment it feels as though everything has been lost. All that I wanted so very much. And all that I tried to keep together for so long.
I don't think I write sentimental posts very often. I hope there's usually some kind of edge. But tonight I've no edge left. Tonight I'm Holly Hunter, playing Jane Craig, playing myself.
Tonight, I so regret to say, I'm starring in my own film.