Jacqui (jacqui) wrote,
Jacqui
jacqui

Why I Hate Fencing

Early Afternoon>

Man, I just woke up and within just a few minutes I've already been assaulted with about three really horrific things; a news story on line about a thirteen year old boy and his brother in Florida, who are being tried as adults for killing their father. They say they were in love with a friend (some friend) of their dad, who had been hiding them under his basement trapdoor, and that he committed the murder. He had been having sex with one of them, let them smoke marijuana and play as many video games as they wanted. Fun. Then there's radio news of the penalty phase of the Westerfield and Ken and John are talking about Westerfield having put his fingers in his niece's mouth and "acting weird" with her when she was little. Then the regular news cut in and the first thing is a story about a little baby who was found murdered and buried in a dump. Its no wonder I spend so much time in here, it's too ugly and cruel out there. Well, at least it seems that way at this moment. I don't feel like that when I'm almost anywhere other than Los Angeles.

I was reading an article in Jane magazine about Madonna and her husband, it was similar in some ways to one I had read about Brad Pitt and Jennifer Aniston, they were talking about how their fame can sometimes be like a little island, that they wall themselves up in their homes, read, swim in the pool, exercise and sleep, and shut out the world. I wish my little island were just a little bit nicer, a bit more space, a pool where I could swim naked, mellow happy companions, and I would do the same thing. Its sad in a way because I crave companionship. I love people, but its so hard to meet them. Its not like we have neighborhood barn dances or people have the time or inclination to be really open to new connections. Although we just met a nice new couple the other night and do you think I picked up the phone and called them? Nope.

Weather-wise though, it's beautiful right now, my type of weather, cloudy with a slight chance of rain, ahhhhh. I always feel so good in weather like this. Reminds me of England, Northern California, and Hawaii sometimes. It's the way I imagine Seattle to be. I haven't been there in more than twenty years. I love rain. I'd rather be Warren Beatty at the end of McCabe and Mrs. Miller and freeze to death after a gunfight, than be consumed by fire like Joan of Arc. Was that too obscure for you?

I helped Beau switch his PE classes to fencing and yoga. I'm thrilled about the yoga and I would be happy about fencing if it didn't have so many negative associations with my ex. He's a fencer. I used to fence, but Robby became addicted to it, like a workaholic spends all of his life energy on working, he devoted everything to fencing, and the lifestyle he created around it. Hanging out with everyone afterwards, going to bars and clubs, having affairs with the young girls who would join his club, or come by to take lessons, or whoever he was interested in. He used it as an excuse to run away from our relationship, from intimacy, responsibility, and parenting.

He fenced three nights a week and most weekends.There were many other nights when he needed to go out as well, either to help with something fencing related, or to go to some fencing party. Most of the few nights when he was home he would spend in the garage repairing and rewiring his weapons, talking to women on his cell phone. Whatever the reason, he never seemed to have any time to be with us and I was profoundly lonely. He'd come straight home from work, shower and split. Does that sound like a married man and a dad to you? He spent most of his money on it, and many of the trips he took were just excuses to go places with the guys. He was never in his room when I called, or if he was you could hear the partying going on in the background. He went to our house in Palm Springs and would invite everyone over, girls as well, one of them left her thong underwear or her bikini bottom in our bed. He went to Mexico to party with his buds and Vegas to watch strippers and hook up with them I guess. That's how he met the girl he left with, the crazy-druggy-hooker-stripper-chick.

I tried to fit in, to befriend his friends but they were cold and strange, some of them were openly hostile, I even went along on a couple of his trips but he excluded me, he left me alone with people I'd never met while he went and sat with friends smoking cigars and getting high or drunk. I tried so hard to befriend these people but now looking back, I'm sure it was because of Robby, he never helped me make friends with his friends. Now that I know more of what he was really like as a person, I understand the story, he was always putting me down behind my back. I never would have believed that of him, I thought he was this incredibly loyal person, a good friend, but then I began to notice how he spoke about his friends, this person was a puppet head, and this woman was a slob who never combed her hair, this guy was a jerk etc. etc. He made me crazy thinking I was being unsupportive by not wanting to hang out in his fencing world, while in truth he really didn't want me there. It would have cramped his style, cut down on how many fencing geek girls he could have picked up on. He even had a rip roaring affair with one of them that he insisted I be friends with, while I was pregnant.

I was such a schmo about all of it too. I loved him so much I'd do anything to keep him. Wildly veering between hysterical pleading for more time together and depressed acceptance of things as they were. I can remember the night he told me he needed to add another night to his fencing schedule. How could I be so selfish as to deny him this thing he loved so much? I mean, how could I ask that after being gone all day at work, that he spend a little bit of time at home with us? He needed this, it was what he loved more than anything in the world, and if he could fence that extra night he'd be able to get better and might qualify for the Olympics, puhlease. I later learned that he had added that third night so he would have an extra night to be with a woman he was having an affair with. "Why do you think he added Thursdays to his fencing schedule?" she coldly asked me.

He was even angry with me that Beau's delivery date coincided with the nationals. He threw something as usual and swore. He brooded for months, and acted like he just might choose to go, rather than be with me when I had our son. One of the worst fencing related wounds I remember was driving him to the airport during the riots so he could catch a plane with his pals to go on another fencing trip. There was just no way he could miss it. He had to go, There I was driving him on the freeway during a complete curfew with police sirens and plumes of smoke darkening the sky. I remember crying all the way back to our house, feeling all alone in the world, and watching the riots on the TV in our bedroom, wondering what I was going to do. Beau was maybe one or two years old and we were so scared. No one knew what would happen to our city. It seemed like everything was on fire and we didn't know when all of the looting and violence would end. But fencing took precedence over everything as usual. I know I am belaboring this but can you see why I would have some lingering fear, and resentment towards this albeit elegant ancient sport?

So now that Beau wants to fence I have all kinds of mixed and possibly inappropriate feelings. I'm angry that Robby could never be bothered to teach Beau to fence while other dad's kids had a foil in their hands by age three. He took him once or twice but that was it, too much of a hassle having to look after him I guess, maybe it made him feel old. He's never coached him or bought him a foil or a mask. He just doesn't seem to care. Beau once told me that he wanted to become the best fencer in the world so he could "Kick Dad's ass!" How sad is that?

His fencing coach is a friend of Robby's. Selfishly I'm worried that this will bring Beau closer to Robby, and that Rob will take him away from me, that Beau will get sucked up in fencing and I will lose him the way I lost Robby. I know this is unfair and I'm ashamed to feel this way. I want Beau to be close to his father, if this builds a bridge for them that would be great for him but I am afraid. I'm afraid of losing him, afraid he'll get hurt emotionally or physically, and I just have this sickening feeling of distaste towards all things fencing. It's all just a waste of time anyway, an exercise in spinning my mental and emotional wheels, because Robby will never make time for Beau, even if he does become really involved with fencing.

I was telling Scott about this this morning, that I feel like Robby's mother, mean, poisonous, and spiteful, full of so much hurt, bitterness, jealousy, and greed, that I can't see how all of this hatred is hurting my own children. I hate that there is a part of me that would rather Beau not fence, not find a way to be closer to his hurtful father, and that I would get to keep him all for myself forever and ever. Scott helped me feel so much better because he reminded me that it's kind of inevitable that I would have these sorts of feelings, it's not the feelings that are bad, it's what I do with them that matters. He reminded me that I hold myself to impossible standards by expecting myself to be totally pure of heart, without every feeling bitterness, anger, or having selfish motives. It helps to write this out too, but it's so uncomfortable for me to share that I want to delete it as soon as I've typed it out.
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