1101 Winchester Boulevard
Today one of my tasks was to track down my eye doctor and get new glasses. I hadn't seen him since before I was divorced, and I no longer had his information. However, I remembered that his business was one of many at this location:
So I figured I would simply walk through the hallways until something was familiar. This was a terrible decision. I found myself standing frozen at the door to another business, locked in disbelief.
My last time in that plaza was two years ago. I was not there to get glasses. I was there, with my wife at the time, to see a psychologist. We had seen him just a few times. She was deep into an affair. I had tried many ways to deal with it. In the office, in front of the psychologist, I had asked her if she was still attracted to me. She was silent. And so I said, "If you are no longer attracted to me, let me go, so I can find someone who will actually love me."
She sat still, silent. I looked to the psychologist. He too was silent. I said it again: "If you do not want me, please, set me free."
The more quiet they got, the louder I got.
"Please," I said, "I cannot come home to a woman who despises me. Please, I'm begging you." And then I raised my voice, "If you are no longer attracted to me, let me go!"
I moved alongside the couch where she was sitting, and knelt next to her. "DO YOU LOVE ME AT ALL? DO YOU FEEL ANYTHING FOR ME?" She didn't turn to face me. She kept looking forward, silent. I shouted, "PLEASE LET ME GO!"
Eighteen years of marriage, everything I had known my entire adult life, was collapsing. I admit, it broke me down.
"PLEASE! PLEASE!" I was beating my fists into the armrest, sobbing. I couldn't stand to be locked into a marriage filled with hate and animosity. I knew I could just get a lawyer and file for divorce, but I also knew she had told my mother that she would "take three quarters of his paycheck" if I tried it. I was desperate for something that didn't end in a bitter legal battle, and I saw it slipping away from me.
There was no love, no marriage, but no way out.
"PLEASE LET ME GO! PLEASE LET ME GO!" I was sobbing. A grown man, gulping down air as my chest heaved and I cried.
Finally the psychologist spoke. "Tony, keep your voice down. There are other clients here."
I stood. I stared at him in shock. My marriage was falling apart right in front of me. I tried one last time. "If you do not love me, let me go!"
Not once did she say, "But I do love you." Not once did she say, "I am attracted to you." Not once did she say, "I will leave the other man." And not once did she say, "Okay, let's find a peaceful way to end this."
I slammed open the side door and rushed out into the hallways, still gasping for air, and unsure what to do. I ran out into the parking lot. I must have looked visibly ruined, because a woman driving by in a van stopped, and with a look of great shock and concern on her face said, "Sir! Sir! Are you okay?"
I mumbled something about being all right and took off down the street. I headed home on foot. Shortly thereafter, my wife would arrive home and talk about the day as if the counseling session hadn't happened at all.
I never did make it to my eye doctor today. I just stood at the door to the psychologist's office, and then quietly, I went back to my car and sat for a long while.