Now, one might wonder how one's blackness could be a thing of beauty, but it truly makes us who we are. Called by different names, 'Dark side of the soul' and walking in the "forest' are but two examples of attempts to describe this most difficult journey. Experts have said it takes anywhere from five to seven years to come out of the dark forest, but for John it was surely longer than that. Divorced and essentially penniless, he made some pretty tough choices to make. He was of course assisted along the way, but the choices were still his to make, and tough choices they were. The first choice was to divorce his wife. This was no easy task, but when push came to shove, he had to make a decision and it was devastating for all those concerned. He thought about the decision for a long time, and he made the best choice he could. Funny how seventeen years together with the same person can come down to one momentous decision, but it did. It's not really funny now either, and at the time it was the most gut wrenching decision he had ever made. His son took it hard, but even at ten years old, he knew what was happening and let his emotions show. Perhaps John has done something right in his life after all. John has no regrets about the decision other than the pain it cost everyone, but it is through pain that we grow (or so the say), so John's about eight feet tall right now! He decided to stay in an apartment during the separation, and granted, it was a 'luxury' apartment, but it was an apartment and didn't require the commitment a house did. Besides, there needed to be an official period of separation before the divorce could be granted, so why not live in 'luxury?' And new stuff, he needed new stuff, so he spared no expense in getting what HE liked and could afford. He had his own bed, washer, dryer, living room furniture, a breakfast table and the most important item of all: a big screen TV. Perhaps a little indulgent, but come on, he was living in an apartment and getting a divorce! It was one of those new fangled plasma TVs, and he even had it professionally installed. No expense is too great when you're setting up your entertainment space. He was working quite a bit at the time, so he hired an interior designer to help him pick out stuff. She just asked what her budget was, and she went to work picking out items like a marathon runner in a running store. Perhaps as a secondary business title, she should have used a 'Hire a Wife' moniker. She did a great job, and all was well until it came time to sign another lease. Not having lived in an apartment in quite some time, John thought thirty day notice was sufficient, and he gave thirty day notice of his impending move to a new home that was still under construction. He had fulfilled his original lease requirements for a year and decided not to sign another lease, as he was moving. He moved out on the last day of his lease. And he gave thirty day notice. Little did he know that he had actually signed a lease that said he would give sixty day notice. John thought he was doing the right thing and had fulfilled all of his apartment dwelling responsibilities, but oh was he wrong! When he refused to pay the extra month's rent, they took him to court and he lost. He lost big time. He lost his house, it's furnishings, some of his pride and dignity. An already tenuous financial situation had become even more tenuous, and he was in trouble. Welcome dark side of the soul. How nice of you to visit. Will you be staying long, and do I need to make a room for you? I would let you stay in my new house, but now I have to move, back to another "non-luxury" apartment. Oh, you'll be staying for awhile? Good, I'll get your room ready. Let the forest walk begin.
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