I was already used to living and performing under the duress of PMSD (post-marital stress disorder) which my psyche learned to strategically navigate using a brand-spankin’ new disorder: MPD (multiple personality disorder). I never knew which Keex would emerge on any given day or for any given performance. So, what would it be today; the day I had to face my EX for the 1st time since all his dirty laundry got aired out to dry?
The vibrant, confident Keex ready to take on the world with a smile and one check off the to-do list at a time? Or, the subdued, self-loathing Keex that placated her convoluted emotions with red wine? Would the vulnerable Keex surface, allowing for honesty and authentic expression? Or would the guarded and fake Keex make her way to the life-stage? Despite my seemingly uncontrollable mood swings and personality switches, what remained constant was the ungrounded feeling of numb feet, which I had grown accustomed to living and performing with. But, on this day, my entire body felt numb and I was hoping that instinct, intuition and muscle memory would guide me safely through unprecedented territory. Basically, I was freaked out!
I wondered how HE felt. Did he have crazy, mixed-up emotions about seeing me? Was he just as concerned about 1st impressions, outfit choice and conversation topics? After all, he was the accused perp that had to face me, his “victim”. Up until recently he thought he had escaped all charges of adultery and misconduct. He presumed he had cleared any criminal evidence against him with his silence, lies and alibis. But karma’s a bitch and now he had to dare look me in the eye. I remember vividly how his gaze used to penetrate so deeply I could feel the intensity of his love without a spoken word. But, would he now look at me with hollow eyes of guilt and shame?
It turns out that I wasn’t the only one freaked out by our “first date”. His punk-ass brought back-up! After my show, I emerged from the theater’s exit to be lapped up with tons of affection from my “dog-child” Brooklyn who was evidently trying to make up for lost time. I was relieved to see how much she missed her mommy. I didn’t even acknowledge my EX right away. I couldn’t. I felt mute. And the crazy juxtaposition of Brooklyn’s frenetic excitement and my EX’s stoic silence made every second uncomfortable. Equally uncomfortable was Brooklyn’s Uncle (Cisco’s daddy) who stood behind my EX like he was on security detail. He forced a smile as if trying to establish himself as a neutral party in this romantic saga.
When I finally found the courage to re-direct my focus from Brooklyn to look at my EX, my 1st thought was... “pre-mature mid-life crisis”. He did not. look. good. I guess the fact that he was heading down that path shouldn’t have been surprising. By the end of our marriage he: a.) was cruising around the streets of LA on his new (but used) motorcycle (without a valid motorcycle license) b.) had spent a night in jail for drinking and driving and c.) unbeknownst to me (at the time), was cheating on me (probably with some young bimbo)! But, who cares about all that! What I wanted to know was, what was up with the pink faux-hawk? Don’t get me wrong, faux-hawks are hot! After-all, David Beckham is on my celebrity wish-list and he rocks a faux-hawk. But, when your bold and assertive red hair dye washes out and becomes more of a... PINK, you look less like a hottie and more like a wanna-be. What did he wanna be anyway? Was this his “rebel without a cause” attempt gone wrong? Was it a misguided, DIY attempt for attention? I didn’t know whether to laugh or pity his effort to bring his alter-ego out to play. Shit, how could I blame him? My personality shifted by the hour. I wasn’t really sure who I was either. Perhaps we were both struggling to define ourselves independent of each other. Or, maybe a red (pink) faux-hawk wearin’, cheatin’, drunk is exactly who he is and the last 8 years he was living a lie.