Too Little Too Late

I will admit to being
sporadic when it comes to writing, but generally, when I start an idea, I run
with it until I finish. It has to be completed. Yet I am having the most
difficult of times even starting this one. “Then why write?” you ask.
Because I feel I have to. A good friend of mine (and thank fuck for good
friends recently … more on that later) recently stated that they just needed
to put pen to paper and vomit out all the bile inside. What follows is my case
of the verbal exorcism of devils that needs to escape and run free over a page
or screen for others to pick apart, listen to, find comparison with or just
have a laugh at (because as tragic or pathetic as parts may seem, it all really
boils down to just one life … mine … and the insignificance it plays in the
grand scheme of things).

It all started with a
“you’re a great guy, but …” almost four years ago. Let’s go back,
shall we? I was once a married man with a young daughter, house, well-paid job
and 4 cats. Sounds ideological, right (except to you dog people)? Let us dig into the details a bit. I was
once entwined with a woman of stunning beauty and limitless intelligence, who
was also that greatest gift you could wish for … my friend. But I began
to ignore her because of a job in a travel agency that kept me on the road 6
out of 12 months a year. She sat at home with our child, raising her whilst I
convinced myself that the job was about all the money I brought in and
contributed. I didn’t like the town we lived in, but the house was a grand idea
… and needed work. So I rationalised … the time away was for the cash to
make things better. I completely ignored the damage I was doing by not being
there during the most important parts of my young child’s life and the strain
it was inflicting upon my wife, who was learning the hard way how to be a lone
parent. Over time, when my daughter began to communicate and not just be a
crying bag of flesh that kept us up at nights, I began to see the joy in her
more than I had. Yes, that is a crappy thing to say, but it was the truth. So,
as my head started to finally come round to wanting to be home more with my now
talkative, interactive daughter, I found that my wife no longer wanted to be
talkative or interactive. By running around the globe trying to skirt my
responsibilities, I may have found a way to come to terms with the stress of
being a new, slightly reluctant, father … but I had broken apart the reason
for all of this world in the process. My best friend, lover, wife, mother of my
child had been left alone for far too long to deal with all the daily issues
(which, I must say, are a hell of a lot harder to handle than any job in the
world) without any help from me, and she reverted to her own means and sank
inside herself. I was shut out, and I couldn’t find a way back in. I was never
where I was needed … when I was needed. I did love, I did care, I did what I
could to make amends, but my actions (or lack of) stirred up another ghost from
the past of my wife … that of a long-standing depression that reared its ugly
head and came back with a vengeance. And there was no way I could fix it …
Yes, we had other issues, and I can say that I am not to blame for how the
depression of my wife cut through our relations like a scythe in the fields,
but I was the one who summoned that daemon back into her soul at a time when
she had no strength left to fight. To close this point, even though she knew
her depression was paramount, in a spark of kindness, and I hope in the sight
of me attempting my hardest to save all that was possibly left, she said to me:
“Ian, you are a great guy and a good man, but I just can’t right
now.” And so began my time in exile. It was too late … I was too late. I
could have, and quite possibly would have, become such a better person given
half the chance, but there was absolutely nothing I could do to help her
struggle with the feelings and turmoil inside her. And even being round her was
just a reminder of all the darkness piled up inside. So I had to go … for the
sake of my child, for the space my wife needed away from me to find herself
again, for my own sanity.