Going Underground

I don’t think about him that much any more. Well, until he sent me an email yesterday, which I found agitating. But leave that aside, I don’t think of him that much. My mind is stiller, though he still occupies a bit too much of it, too much of the time. No longer in a panicky way, definitely not in a wanting him back way, more a kind of musing about how things turned out and why.  And what to do about the money he owes us.

Home now is quite a long way out of town, and I don’t often have occasion to go in. The fare alone is crippling while I am still struggling to pay bills especially given he is not paying child maintenance. But funnily enough, it’s when I travel by tube that my thoughts sometimes turn towards the man I used to know. Was married to for over twenty years. Loved. On the escalators is where it hits me. You know: you are standing there, being moved up or down, eyes fixed ahead, at the lines of people coming towards you on the other escalator. And quite often I think: what if I saw him? Well, I would do what I have done the last couple of times I have been forced to be in the same building: look straight past him. If we were in a tube carriage, I expect he might come up to me. He did at a parent’s evening once – the one time he ever turned up for one since buggering off. I cannot speak to that man in pleasantries. He is evil. I will not say hello, how are you, shake his hand (he proffered his once). Especially at Green Park. That’s where his new offices are, apparently. Where he is making money hand over fist, apparently. His new website for his new business talks of multi-million pound deals in Nigeria. Yes.

If we were both in the same carriage I expect I would ignore him, but it amuses me to imagine that I might start screaming my head off, shouting ‘stranger danger’ or ‘stop thief!’ or crossing my fingers before my face to ward him off.

The reason this musing is quite funny really is that, though I think of it, I know full well we never will meet on the tube. He used to be very fond of quoting the line about no successful man over the age of 30 ever being seen on public transport.  After he left he proudly confirmed to our eldest that he never does use it.

Funny then, that he is writing letters to me and both our lawyers (and in his case, his team of lawyers) with a great long nit-picky sanctimonious pile of cr*p querying pennies here and there, items of furniture etc. He walked out without so much as a goodbye to me or the children over four years ago, taking nothing with him but every last scrap of our life savings, running up enormous debt using the FMH address. He didn’t pay the mortgage, or give me any money at all to feed or clothe the children, when I was a full time student and had not worked for 20 years. He said he could not help when I asked for money (while secretly paying the rent on a second flat for some unknown person – that didn’t come to light for a while). He moved into an expensive central London flat and kitted it out from head to toe with multiple tvs and beds and what not. And told me time and again there was nothing in the house he wanted, since everything was replaceable. Nonetheless I allowed him to come into the house whenever he wanted, to plunder a little more. A few times he wandered up into the loft, took a suitcase and started helping himself. Now he is asking me about kitchen implements?

It’s all very odd.





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Florence Feynman

I am a middle aged, middle class woman, thinking.

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