Monthly Archives: January 2016

Apocalypse Now!

I’ve been sitting here doing some writing, and I was suddenly reminded of something ridiculous that my ex-husband did, and now I’m going to go off on a ridiculous rant about this episode particularly and his stupid generally because I am still REALLY PISSED about this.

He threw away my mint condition, original print X-Men: Age of Apocalypse comics.

WHAT MAN THROWS AWAY FUCKING COMIC BOOKS?!

I was a comic book nerd when I was a kid.  And I was a girl.  Not a great combination.  But dammit, I loved X-Men.  I mean, I loved them.  The Dark Phoenix Saga was the first arc I ever read, and I was hooked.  I still love that storyline, I am still pissed about how terribly it was handled in the movies (we could’ve had the greatest X-Men movies ever just off of those comics), and it is a goddamn travesty that Marvel just keeps dredging it up to squeeze more dollars out of a storyline that should have been left the fuck alone after it was done the first time.  You don’t mess with perfection.

Anyway.  I think I was in fifth grade when the Age of Apocalypse storyline came out.  Marvel ran a bunch of different comics, including two X-Men story lines, of which I had the entire series, including the foil covered Alpha and Omega books.  Mint condition, y’all.  I had kept them in folders under my bed in a box with a bunch of stuff I had written on my typewriter back when I was a kid.

Well, my ex loved to clean.  Probably because he had a little of the O.C. and couldn’t ever leave anything the hell alone.  He threw things away before it even had the chance to age.  And I can appreciate wanting things neat.  I am not a neat freak.  I like to stack things and let them age for a while.  I can see where that would make some people criminally insane.

The problem was that he would go through stuff that I had: 1. told him not to mess with, and; 2. told him was important.  Now, I never told him that box under the bed was important. He opened it up when I was gone on the underwriter training back when I was pregnant with Millie.  He called me in my hotel room, snickering over some crap that I’d written over 15 years ago (c’mon, 12-year-old Marge did not have the writing skills that 30-year-old Marge does) and I, in a fit of embarrassment, told him to get rid of the typewritten stuff.  Or minimally leave it until I got home and never speak of it again.

I got home and the whole box was gone.  He had looked through all of it – there were some old sketches and things in there which he had also found it in his heart to laugh about, and some which I actually thought were pretty damn good for a 12-year-old – and decided it should all go, including my comics.

In case you were curious, those folders also included my also mint-condition Rogue comics (90s Rogue was a bad, bad bitch – not like that whiny girl from the movies) and a whole bunch of other first print 90s X-Men comics.  All gone.  The garbage came Thursday, and I got home Friday night.  I didn’t realize they were all gone for maybe another week or two, but I think I nearly cried when I realized that all of those comics were in the dump.

And you know, every time I think about those foil-covered comics, the ones that I had so painstakingly cared for and kept pretty for so many years – the ones I’d planned to sell for a lot of money some day when nobody else had a good copy left – I get really, unspeakably angry.  The kind of angry where you want to cry.

They were just comics.  Just reprinted drawings done by some geeky artist with a hard-on for impossibly large breasts and waists that could only be achieved with a corset, but still.  I liked them – not for the drawings so much, but I enjoyed the stories.  I liked escapist things as a kid.  I rarely read fiction now, but it sustained me as a picked-on fat kid with few friends and dreams of getting the hell out of Smalltown, USA.

I think what really bothers me about the fact they’re gone, aside from the fact that I wanted to sell them someday and I had cared about them so much as a kid, was the fact that he just blatantly disrespected everything that was mine.  He absolutely didn’t give a fuck if he threw something out that meant something to me.  Because if it was old and on paper, it was probably stupid or something that I couldn’t let go of for stupid, sentimental reasons.

He also threw away a pen that another friend of mine gave me.  It was a fountain pen, and I’d loved it.  It wasn’t worth anything – it was used when he gave it to me, but we both love fountains, and he was getting ready to leave Korea and gave it to me.  It was just the fact that it was a gift from a good friend and I loved it.  But that didn’t matter to the ex.  To him, it was just some old ink pen that needed hard-to-find cartridges that didn’t last as long as a regular ballpoint.

He made me leave a nearly-new bottle of my favorite Dior perfume in Korea, along with my secondhand Louis Vuitton bag (it was going to seed, but I loved it because Louis), and  my quality fake Chanel.  All back in Korea.  I hope my former boss’s wife is enjoying the hell out of that perfume because that stuff makes men swoon.  Seriously, it is like man-crack. I have literally never worn it and not had at least one guy lean and say it smells good.  That is the mark of a good bottle of perfume.  Probably why he hated it.  Asshole.

He also threw away my mom’s baby doll when we were moving.  He never did ‘fess up to that one, but I know he did. It had been in my room for years – since I was a kid.  She gave it to me before she died.  I never played with it because babies were never my thing (heh), but I loved it because it had been hers.  The doll was still there that whole winter.

In the spring, it had disappeared.  Nobody else had been in the room but him.  And when we went to move, I asked where it was, and he said he didn’t know what I was talking about.

I know he was lying.  I know that doll is gone, and I know he’s the one who got rid of it.  He got rid of everything.

What bothers me isn’t the item.  Sure, I want my mom’s doll back.  I want my comics back.  Hell, I actually want all that stupid shit I wrote as a dumb teenager back.  But not because it had monetary value.

I want it back because it was part of me.  Maybe not a big part and maybe not even an important part, but it was mine, and all of them had been, at one point, important to me – something I loved or had worn or carried or read or seen every day.  All I can think now was that he had zero respect for my opinions on what was important and no respect for my personal effects or, for that matter, boundaries.  Well.  I know he had no respect for boundaries.  Asshole.

He would move my stuff around once we were in the house I live in now.  He would rearrange the bedroom all the time.  I had my closet exactly how I wanted it.  He changed the whole thing around.  He moved my dresser to the basement to “make room for baby stuff.”  Or… we could’ve left it like I had it.  Because there was room.

Putting it into words now makes it sound even more insane than it seemed at the time.  I actually don’t even want to write it all down because it makes me look that much dumber for not divorcing him the first year.  Or, you know, marrying him in the first place.

Parker will be a year old next month, and I keep thinking about the day she was born.  There was a snowstorm that afternoon.  The nurses all kept coming in to see her because she had such big cheeks, and they thought it was incredibly cute.  One of them said they all wanted to kiss her and snuggle with her and couldn’t because it would be breaking 57 different hospital regulations and laws.

Her dad was not there.

He was there for the whole labor and delivery part, but I don’t remember if he held her.  He probably did.  I remember him shaking my doctor’s hand, and I also remember thinking that my doctor cared more about the whole thing than he did, if only because I’d been a big enough nuisance, health-wise, that he wanted to make sure that he got to play catch so he could collect his money.  And I remember thinking too, that my doctor was a way better man than the one I was married to.

He was gone within an hour or so of Parker being born.  He claimed he was tired and wanted to go home and rest.  He was tired.  He didn’t come back until it was time to pick us up on Sunday.  Parker was born on Friday.  He had some excuse or another – the snow, probably.  I hate it that I now have to make the decision whether or not to lie to my kid someday about the day she was born.

“Oh, it was awesome, sweetie!  Your dad was so proud of you!  We were so excited to see you!”

Do I make up that story?  Do I tell the truth and say that I as good as hated him by that point and him not being a decent enough husband and father to do more than the bare minimum drove one of the final nails into the coffin of our catatonic relationship?  Do I play it safe and tell her something in between?  I don’t know.

I do know that I hate the way he acted that day at the hospital.  I hate that he laughed at what I’d written as a kid.  I hate that he always threw my shit away, including tax documents, water bills, and whatever else landed on the kitchen counter.  I hate that he moved my stuff without telling me every freaking day.

But goddammit.  I really want those comics back.  Maybe in some dark recess of my brain, there’s something that thinks if I could have those comics and those typewritten papers and those drawing sheets that I could somehow regain the dignity that he stepped on every chance he got and the parts of me that he didn’t seem to think were worth listening to or caring about.

I know that I’ll never replace them.  I looked on the Internet once to see what it would cost me to replace an original, mint condition, foil covered Age of Apocalypse book, but it didn’t matter because it wasn’t mine.  It wasn’t the one I bought from On Cue when I was in fifth grade, the only girl at the comic book rack.

Some people might think that fat girl staring at the comics didn’t have much dignity.  She was wearing torn up jeans and No Fear T-shirts or hockey sweaters and Sambas, and her hair was way too short (thanks, Grandma).  But she was one of maybe three girls who played hockey at the park that summer.  She listened to Pink Floyd and Dr. Dre before the other kids had even heard of them, and she didn’t give a fuck what people thought about any of that.  Nineties Marge was a bad, bad bitch, and she had a lot more dignity than most people probably gave her credit for.  She damn sure wouldn’t have taken that kind of crap off of some guy!