Three months ago, I wrote about how hard it is to accept being powerless. Now, I am a malignant mass of seething hatred for my ex-husband. If only I could kill him. It would be an act of mariticide, although I don’t know if this applies to exes.
I hate that miserable fucker. I called and tried hard to be nice, to project friendliness. I asked when I could come over to see Max’s things, hoping I could borrow some of his books. We always loved the same books and asked each other for recommendations.
But no! Still no. That bastard is like a character from a Dickens novel, a mean old man who lives to say the word No. His exact words were: “If and when I’m ready, I’ll let you know.” When I began to argue my case, he announced triumphantly: “I won’t be bullied by you.” (Repeat this in your head with an English accent, to get the full effect.) Nothing would change his mind. I lost my temper and he intoned darkly: “Don’t call me again.”
Last night I cried hysterically until I couldn’t breath, not because of the books but because of the situation of marrying a man who won’t let you see your son’s belongings, who has to try to control things even after death.
A reader named Marygrace sent me a link to a poem by Julie Sheehan that expresses the scope of my hatred with stunning accuracy. It is a singular gem that everyone should read and pass on, until the whole world can find solace in its perfection.
I hate you truly. Truly I do.
Everything about me hates everything about you.
The flick of my wrist hates you.
The way I hold my pencil hates you.
The sound made by my tiniest bones were they trapped
in the jaws of a moray eel hates you.
Each corpuscle singing in its capillary hates you.
Look out! Fore! I hate you.
The blue-green jewel of sock lint I’m digging
from under my third toenail, left foot, hates you.
The history of this keychain hates you.
My sigh in the background as you explain relational databases
The goldfish of my genius hates you.
My aorta hates you. Also my ancestors.
A closed window is both a closed window and an obvious
symbol of how I hate you.
My voice curt as a hairshirt: hate.
My hesitation when you invite me for a drive: hate.
My pleasant “good morning”: hate.
You know how when I’m sleepy I nuzzle my head
under your arm? Hate.
The whites of my target-eyes articulate hate. My wit
My breasts relaxing in their holster from morning
to night hate you.
Layers of hate, a parfait.
Hours after our latest row, brandishing the sharp glee of hate,
I dissect you cell by cell, so that I might hate each one
individually and at leisure.
My lungs, duplicitous twins, expand with the utter validity
of my hate, which can never have enough of you,
Breathlessly, like two idealists in a broken submarine.