Once again, Wednesday arrives, and with it, so does my wife. She floats into town once a week, every Wednesday, does a bit of work, spends the night at a colleague’s place, and then leaves sometime (I think) the following afternoon. I use these opportunities to chip away at the stone wall she has erected these past five months, a wall that has included her shunning virtually any contact with me for over three months now. To think about that latter detail is, for me at least, to reflect on how insane this whole situation is.
Here’s how I chip away at that wall: I bring a small, thoughtful gift. The colleague tipped me off a couple of months ago, saying she leaves for work at 8:30, and that my wife arrives around 9:00. I usually drop the gift for her around 8:45 so it is the first thing she sees when she arrives.
Now, I realize there may be some people who will be reading this blog for the first time, and who might find this idea odd. Well, I am looking out the window at a full moon as I’m writing this. However, my wife has — recently even — expressed to me that she appreciates these gestures. But, she is trapped behind the twin walls of her ego and pride, and at this point likely does not know how to get herself out of that morass. So, my gift today was a home-cooked meal, and a hand made mala (rosary beads). These are sure to go straight to her heart.
At any rate, I had a bit of a late start, and didn’t leave the house until 8:45 this morning. I arrived at the colleague’s house just shy of 9:00. The colleague had, for some reason, put a chair out on her porch, so I left the gift there, in a nice, visible place. I then left to make my next stop on my morning errands: the bank, which was a couple of blocks away. After that, I had to do a bit of grocery shopping.
Okay, okay, I know this sounds rather mundane, but there is a point here. To get to the grocery store, I had to loop back around past the street where the colleague lives. I did not need to drive past her house, but I had to drive past the street on which it is located. There aren’t a whole lot of ways in and out of this particular neighborhood, and so I guess it should not have been much a surprise when, lo and behold, I see the adulterer coming down the hill in his truck with my wife in the passenger seat. Now, they were maybe 40 feet away from me as I turned up the arterial street (they were coming down what in effect is a side street), but I could not help but think it must be them.
Being the ever curious type, I turned up another side street and turned around, looping back to where I had just come from. Indeed, it was the adulterer’s truck, parked just across the street from the colleague’s house. Now, this was a good couple hundred feet down the road. I turned down a nearby street that would allow me to loop back to my original route, and, well I’ll be darned — there was the adulterer, in his truck, right there in front of me, preparing to make a right turn onto the street I was on. I ended up at a red light just in front of him.
Now, as past history suggests, this man is an outright coward. Basically, once he realized it was me — and believe me, he knew it was: he knows what my car looks like, and it is a car that is pretty hard to miss — he high-tailed it out of there. Heh. I’ve seen this particular behavior a couple of times before.
What’s the upshot of all this? I don’t know. It’s too early to tell. I’m nearly 100% certain that the adulterer knew it was me, and even if he wasn’t totally certain it was me, seeing my car would have reminded him of everything he has done for the past 17 months. He is a moral criminal who has managed to hide from his conscience, mainly because of the relative isolation the town he lives in and the virtual non-overlap of social circles with me. While he has gone quite public with the affair, as has my wife (and this is normal, of course), I am sure that he realizes that, even though he might come into this fairly large city, there really isn’t any place that is “safe,” so to speak. That is, there isn’t any part of this city in which it would be totally unlikely to bump into me.
That, my friends, is the risk of his moral crime. It only takes a chance run-in like the one today to send a rush of feelings — anxiety, guilt, anger, fear, you name it — coursing through his limbic system. Maybe it will be a wake-up call for him. Maybe it will take something more. I don’t know. Somehow, though, there was something almost palpable about his expression as he saw my car approaching that I just cannot explain. Perhaps it’s just me or my overactive imagination, but there was really something palpable about that experience.
I’ve written many times about “how this might be the end (of the affair),” or that “maybe the fog is lifting.” I haven’t been right on any of those occasions, but then again, the affair wasn’t 17 months old at those points in time, either. 17 months is the geriatric zone for extramarital affairs. They are already over the hill and headed toward decrepitude. Like aging, the process cannot be reversed, and the affair continues to march inexorably toward its own demise.
Maybe I’m right this time. Maybe there was something to that close encounter. Maybe this will spell the end of that sordid chapter. Maybe, just maybe.
So for now, let me just close with one request: Please pray for us. Please keep us in your thoughts and aspirations, if you can and you feel so inclined. Pray that my wife’s heart turns back toward me and that her mind becomes clear. Pray that the adulterer has his final awakening and realizes the magnitude of his error. There are many, many lives that have been adversely affected by his debauchery. Pray that their realizations of their transgressions is complete, and that they decide to walk a more virtuous path from now on.
Just pray. I know I sure will.