No one gets married thinking they’ll get divorced. Today I’m working on paperwork to hand over my share of the house to my ex-wife. It was the house that, when we looked at it, we sat on the staircase and talked about how it was the kind of place where we could grow old.

Maybe someone will grow old there. It won’t be me.

The question that rolls through my head is how it got to this so quickly. Or if it was even quick at all. We were in a relationship for 21 years, married for 16, and I think it’s only now that I realize how profoundly broken we were within a year or two of moving to Michigan. I became afraid of my ex, her outbursts and instability. Between her issues and my never-ending fight with clinical depression, it took a toll. I became relieved when she wasn’t around.

But on the other hand, it seems like we were just planning how to have it so K and I could start and family and keep things good. That wasn’t that long ago. Maybe we were kidding ourselves.

I’m thinking of this not only because of this bit of paperwork I’m working on, but also because I’m staring over at my bookshelf while I do so. There are books we had in common here, but also some of the titles hit things a bit on the head: The Sense of an Ending, This is How it Ends, Beautiful Ruins, Turbulence, Great House, Paper Love, The Occupied Garden.

On the other hand, I have both K and J in my life, K and I are going to start a family, and I live someplace amazing with a wonderful job. So maybe one of the other books describes, somehow, what this actually is for me: The Age of Miracles.

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