"Three mismatched duffels, one red, one camouflage that used to carry my parents camping equipment, and one blue that was actually supposed to be a laundry bag. My carry on is a Makita tool bag that I rescued from the back of the closet because it was sturdy and fairly clean and would hopefully keep my meager electronics safe and useable. They were nothing remarkable, much like what they contained, the sum contents of my 41 years of life on this earth, my clothes, my boots, some documents proving achievement of a college degree at a second rate college, pictures of my children and family, memorabilia of my glory days, and a few books and my electronic lifeline and leashes. The rest of what most people consider their identity, had been signed over to my ex-husband just a few hours earlier as part of a deal we had hashed out that was to allow me and my eldest son and youngest daughter to escape the hell that had been life in Flagstaff over the last 10 years.
The arguments had been epic, loud and close to bloody and ashamedly, I tried to incite him to violence because I needed to prove to myself that the monster I knew lurked in him was either dead or hiding in fear of going back to prison. Much to my surprise he hadn’t risen to the bait, though I had seen the familiar signs of his desire to inflict on me the lessons in pain that he had previously taught me for such disobediences. Prison and time had worn him down, and my jibes and challenges to his abilities to manage the demands of running a household, went unanswered. He claims he could do it, and hopefully he can, but doubts remain, he has never, “manned up” in the past, and the thought of my younger sons being left to their own devices while he either naps of stares at personal ads on Craigslist, leaves me sick with fear, but I have to go, and he has, “Rights”."
Read more of J. Calamity's story over on the Personal Stories page