Friday night one of my favorite singers came to do
her thing at the
club. I was psyched. I didn't see her enter; I was busy greeting the
huge crowd she'd attracted. Then I saw her; well, she and her little
family. Her 5 year old boy and 7 year old girl were with her; and they
both had colds. Try as she may, she explained, a sitter was not to be
found that night. So she brought 'em along.
This young lady had asked her philandering husband for a
divorce over a year ago, and he granted her one; and a good settlement
to go along. But the guy's just a dick, he may make a lotta money, but
only God knows how. He's clueless about how he ought to behave when
he's got custody of the kids. Or maybe he just criticizes the kids' mom
out of spite.
The really sad thing about Friday night was that the bastard had
gotten married (yeah, nearly exactly a year to the day from the
divorce) just two days prior. The five-year-old was afraid that, even
though my friend had the bulk of the custody, somehow he was going to
"get a new mommy." The seven-year old had seen through his behavior years before, and really
didn't like him. Bully for her! But it was a bittersweet night for this
little family of three.
The little one asked for his mommy when she got her cue and went
onstage to sing. I had to go on-mic and give her the big "let's give
... a big warm welcome; a greeting, a description of her records and
then a huge "take it awayyyyy!" When I got back to the booth the little
fellow was crying, and just feeling really, really bad. Been there, done that. And it
sucks. All I wanted to do was get ahold of the little guy's father and
let loose with a Louisville Slugger for about five minutes. But that
would do neither of them any good. And I felt helpless 'cause I
couldn't just fix him. Or fix things for all three of 'em.
I wondered why this guy married my friend. Now, she's very good looking. She's no dummy, either. In fact, the simple
fact that she decided to suffer the slings and arrows of outrageous
fortune that a career in show business undoubtedly brings sooner or
later says a lot for her. And this while playing soccer-mom to her
kids, and spending the days with them, and loving them like few mothers
I've seen love their kids. I guess her husband decided that
the grass was greener on the other side and started playing the field
when my friend was in New York or Hollywood either performing or
recording. What a great setup for a sociopath who's got it all but
still wants more. I'm not sure but I get the feeling that getting
married and starting a family was some sort of family or corporate
prerequisite. Something he did to get into somebody's good graces.
When I left the club, the little guy was sleeping soundly,
covered with his coat and a blankie. His sister was playing video games
on the computer in my office, and thanked me for it. I waved goodbye to
my friend, as she sang, and she waved goodbye to me.
Now these days the incidence of divorce is so much higher than when
I was a wee one of five..Back then, even the smallest spat between my
folks would incite in me a fear that one or the other of them would leave (after all, my
cousin Timmy's daddy left him and my aunt, and they couldn't afford to
live in a house any more).
Why this rambling? Perhaps it's 'cause I'm grateful that today I
take care of my
oh-so-sensitive self. And I'd rather that I hurt a bit thinking about
my friend and her two kids, than not feel at all. For the more I feel, the more I become aware of
how wonderful and precious life is.