Danny Boice here, Trustify’s CEO. You have reached the second part of Chapter 2: Doubles as part of our Journey to Trust book series. If ever you missed out the first part, check it here.Shitty simple language captures what I wish was true. There are no holes in these hearts. That this life is the perfect one. But hidden behind tidy digital black and white are cracking souls. Fractionized parts that belong to no whole.
I haunt the NICU, an unquiet and angry ghost. Hours by that fucking incubator, I hate that first wall between us.
Days later, finally we’re out and I’m carrying his car seat, him nestled in, rapid strides for the car. He feels too tiny for this. The wind, the cars, anything can take him away so I hold on as tight as I can. In the car, the engine makes me sweat. How can parents drive these deathtraps? I drive a hair-raising 40 mph on a 65 mph highway, alert for the tiniest swerve of traffic. It would only take one drunk driver, one sleepy trucker, and I won’t fucking let anything get him.
Some bastard going 60 rides up along me and I hear the blare of horn, the “fuck you” already snatched by the wind. I risk taking my left hand off the wheel for a fraction of a second to give him the one-fingered salute. Enough of that. I ignore the next maniac honking and focus on the road. We get there, one shaky mile at a time.
Two weeks later. Joanne reading a book. Son nursing on daddy’s heart. Meg slips her way into my home. “I can help with Nolan.” There are other reasons she’s moving in, but that’s the one that slips through her mouth.
Meg-mom walks up the paved driveway and helps herself to the keys of our $1.5 million dollar white Boylestown house. I come home from work, still thinking about the Jaxara sale, wondering if I have it in me to invent another business, find another Pantheon to sell it to.
Cold snap of the fridge and nothing but glass inside, sticky rings of juice. Nolan crying in the crib. Grabbing the keys off the table, running for the car, for the squeaky wheels of grocery carts. The comforting sponge of bread, the solid heft of apples. Food to grow on.
Meg has a fucking PhD in child development, but holding Nolan, her eyes move from him, hunt out the next thing. She puts him down, cold-pat cold-pat on the head, moves off to make herself a snack. Joanne and I go out on Friday, date night. The chrome of one bar, the thick white tablecloth of the good new restaurant in town, and the whole time I’m thinking Nolan Nolan. Through the door, I rush past mom in front of the TV and up to the nursery. He hasn’t moved. I change him.
There’s not a table wiped down, not a gallon of milk I haven’t put in the fridge myself. The hole in the organ that pumps my blood seethes. Dark purple where there should be bright red. Hopes slashing into shame. How the fuck did I get here again? Meg-mom is more Meg than mom. No comforting touch, dinner cooked to soothe the day. With Meg here it’s like being a kid again. Hopes and needs bubble to the surface and boil only to be snuffed out, ignored by a tight-fitting lid.
I remember those days. No fucking way is Nolan going to grow up that way, with a Meg-mom and a drunk dad. But Joanne and I already fucked up, didn’t we? Joanne was no Mary Poppins and I was no spoonful of sugar. Wasn’t that a kick in the balls? I climbed out of the hole that was Centreville and dug myself into this one.
Sitting in our big white house after Nolan is born, world expanding out and doubling. Joanne and Meg-mom colluding-hating each other, sitting across from each other at the kitchen table, taking each other’s measure. Looking at all the crap my money has bought us. The stage props are there, but where is the pith of the thing? I’m scooped out. I’ve given up other women’s pussy. Straight jacket’s on and already I feel it rip at the seams. How long can a pussy/love hound go without pussy/love? Clock is ticking. All those beds and warm limbs. Always looking for the puzzle piece to fall right in, complete the picture. Always looking for the gentle hand on my back, the smile, the collision. But in the end the bed is empty, the hotel door is clicking behind me. My fingers grip tight around the glass of wine. Is this how I’m supposed to feel?
The next part of the story will be published tomorrow. Stay tuned!