Archive | Divorce RSS feed for this section

I Have Played Enough

17 May


May 17,  2020

Day 57

Simple pleasures. Like doing the laundry at home. Troubleshooting the plumbing system. Finding that the leak you thought was there was caused by something else. Perhaps the rain running down the side of the container and being blown across the wonky door seal  and dripping down onto the floor where it then appeared to have been from the washer. Perhaps not. Either way, the washing machine didn’t leak during two loads I did this afternoon, so it’s an open question as to whether there is a problem with it. That’s a step forward in my book. I’ll take it.

Other simple pleasures revolve around examining the numbers for today and doing the math and thinking about the chances…




1 New case. 5 Recovered cases. Ratio of recovered cases to confirmed and probable cases is 95.5%. Two Zeroes on the board.

….the chances that we have beaten this thing. That I might not catch it. That with continued luck and work, this country may find its way through to the other side and come out stronger and better for having taken bold steps quickly and stayed the course. We shall see.

Going to try to go to Whitianga tomorrow to see what is open. It’s a shorter trip than all the way to Thames so Valerie is coming along. Sun might even be out. You never know.



An on another subject entirely, to someone with a bone of contention stuck in their throat…




Two statements, in fact.







A fanatic is someone who can’t change their mind and won’t change the subject. What is it you are doing? If you find yourself wondering, consider this old Buddhist parable and ask yourself whose part you play.

Two monks were traveling together and came to a river where a young woman was waiting, unable to cross because of the strong current. “Will you please help me?” she asks the monks. In spite of a sacred vow he’d taken not to touch women, the senior monk picked her up, crossed the river and placed her on the opposite shore.

The junior monk followed them across the river, angry that his companion had broken his vow. They continued their journey and an hour passed, then two, then three. Finally, the younger monk could stand it no longer: “Why did you do that?” he asked heatedly. “We have vowed we never would touch women.”

The senior monk looked at his partner with patience, understanding and a  little sadness, and replied, “I set her down hours ago. Why are you still carrying her?”


Which leads me here…




And I have.




The Things Not Meant for Me

11 May


May 11,  2020

Day 51


3 New cases. 15 Recovered cases. Ratio of recovered cases to active cases is 92.5%.


And this, since it represents progress toward wherever it is we’re going to be in a few weeks.

New Zealand is moving in three step phases to Alert Level 2. Most businesses will be able to reopen with new guidelines for social distancing in force and certain provisos re maximum capacity of establishments in place. I’ve got some timber to buy and there are some time sensitive documents that I have to get into the bureaucratic pipeline so I hope the government will be open for personal business. Those are the only things I’ll be out doing over the next few weeks other than, as you have no doubt figured out, watching the numbers.

We appear to have dodged the bullet, but as that fellow from Sweden warned, we still have to maintain our quarantine of incoming visitors and figure out how to cure/treat/prevent/mitigate Covid-19 for the long run. So there’s still people out there pulling the trigger and bullets will be flying and all it takes is a few bad breaks and happy people sharing a beer (Bars are the last in line for reopening for just this reason) to reverse the gains we’ve made thus far. But it’s another step in the right direction and that is good.




Eyes on the stars



I started writing this diary because things were, across the board, on the cusp of going seriously awry. I had done what I could to prepare in a material sense and as lockdown loomed I realised I was like a passenger on a hijacked plane, cell phone in hand and little time between the slowly unravelling present and the implacable unknown future. Only I had more time than those poor souls who can only text a few lines to their loved ones before their plane disintegrates around them. It was a gift I did not want to squander. I had time to gather my thoughts and put pen to paper with that long arm from the grave to say…

That I apologise to all I have hurt in my long life. It was not my intention. I was young and ignorant, untried and unsure. I made decisions that experience has taught me could have turned out better had I gone another way. Much later, when I was older, Clavell’s description of prisoners of war in Changi fit me well. Of them, he wrote, ‘These men too were criminals. Their crime was vast. They had lost a war. And they had lived.’ In the eyes of the woman I loved my crime, too, was vast.  Like all the people who had ever hurt her, I was a man. My mistake was thinking that she would know that I was different. In the end her constant fear became a self fulfilling prophecy. I am sad at how things came to pass, but I was not those other men and to be tarred for so long with the same brush became unbearable.

There is the brother I never knew because I never asked about his life. It is a shame and a sadness that is hard to bear. My brother deserved more and I am sorry I never gave it to him. There was a sister once who wanted to be right more than anything else and got exactly what she wished for. Nothing to apologise for there, but had I known then what I know now, I’d have altered my course a few degrees to help her find a better way.

To my co-authors whose long and heartfelt labors of love saw only the slush pile of various agents offices, I apologise. The stories were good and true and though they float now on Oblivion’s Sea with countless others, there was worth in the writing.  I know this to be true and I offer this knowledge in exchange for the time we spent filling them with life. That they were stillborn, silenced before their time, is unfortunate. I apologise not a second for striving, but wish that you had been spared the long ordeal of being tied to my falling star.

To the keeper of the light across the channel, I would have loved to love you better. I am a slow learner and thank you for the patient way you showed me.


Every villain is a hero in their own mind. I never meant to hurt anyone. I’m sorry if I did.


Athreethings matter







Screen Shot 2020-04-22 at 4.48.56 PM




15 Apr

100 words for Friday Fictioneers that may save your life.

(Last week I didn’t get to half of the stories because I couldn’t. Still working on answering comments. Insert excuses here. I remember when we thought 20 stories was a good number. Wish me luck this week. I’ll try. Aloha, D.)


Screen Shot 2015-04-14 at 10.01.48 PM

(Copyright Roger Bultot)


I sift ashes between my fingers as the ambulance bearing two bodies departs.

“A waste,” I utter.


Newly married, my apprentice investigator had a roving eye and much to learn.

“Something else, son” I reply. “Review what we know.”

“Witnesses say the husband arrived home pre-dawn carrying a small gift-wrapped package. He entered the house and the wife was heard shouting. There’s a brief silence, then sudden ignition.”


“Volatility, accelerated involvement, high heat.”


“It can’t be…”

“Insufficent drachenfutter. Remember it. The life you save may be your own.”




Drachenfutter needed

Social Darwinism

4 Mar

100 words of apophenia for Friday Fictioneers based on the photo prompt from Erin Leary. Thanks to all who read Dream of the Dragonfly and commented during the preceding week. If I didn’t get to your story please accept my heartfelt apology. Out of 117 stories and I read about 40%. Madison’s baby is turning into a demanding teenager under the patient care of Rochelle. Hide the car keys. I can’t promise I’ll be doing any better, reading-wise, this week, but one thing I will tell you is that if you write a good story, word will get out. Witness the writing of Dr. Tracey of She’s new but good. Welcome to the party, pal.


(Copyright Erin Leary)

“What do you see?” asked Emily’s court appointed psychiatrist, Dr. Rochelle Fields.


“You know what most people see when they look at that picture?”



“Did you kill him, Emily?”


“Do you know why?”

“It was a mercy killing. We’d been married a month when he said he wanted me to share him with another woman.”

“My report will say temporary insanity, Emily. Doing my bit to save the world, one retroactive abortion at a time.”

“Thank you.”


“What stars, Emily?”

“The constellation Cepheus.”




The Dog House

14 Jan

100 words for Friday Fictioneers based on the photo prompt below from Jan Wayne Fields.


Dining Room

(Copyright Jan Wayne Fields)


“What are you in for?” asked the old-timer.

“Disappointed my wife,” replied the new guy.


“Failure to live up to expectations, failure to change and failure to be her first choice for a husband.”

“Rough again. How long you in for?”


“Double rough.”

“No, that part’s not that…”


“I’ve got a roof over my head, some good company and best of all, she’s not talking to me.”

“Good point.”

“What’s your crime, buddy?”

“Humping your mother-in-law’s leg every time she visits.”

“Good boy.”






The Nerve (II)

18 Jun

100 words for Friday Fictioneers. (A reposting this week as per Rochelle Wisoff-Field’s suggestion. Coincidentally, I will be on the road for two weeks, so her idea could not have come at a better time.)

When I first posted this story (The Nerve) it was woefully overlong at 147 words because I had yet to master the fine art of slicing, dicing and killing my darlings. For this post I decided to try to pare it down to 100 words. The result, again based again on a fine picture by Mary Shipman, can be read below. For those of you with time on your hands, you might want to check out the original and compare it to this one just to see what got blown away. Or not. I’ll never know. (I’ll try to comment on your stories when I can this week and next, but expect me only if you see me. Mahalo.)

Should I get taken to the Land of Oz on my travels and not be able to find my way back, please know I meant every word I ever said.

I love all of you.


Aloha, D.



Copyright Mary Shipman


The funnel cloud writhed, sinuous and silent above rich farmland.

If you’re going to stay up there, say hello to the Wizard for me,” screamed my wife from the cellar. A shrew and a control freak, she had long ago become oil to my water.

“Courage,” I heard Bert Lahr intone.

A thunderous roar filled the air as the tip touched down across the street and blew the Baum’s house to splinters.

Time to fly.

My last thought before darkness descended was that the witch was finally going to have to get some new wallpaper for the living room.



The Cruelest Cut

21 Nov

This is where I usually say, “100 words for Friday Fictioneers…” and go on to try to lay things out for new readers and old hands. This week any new readers are going to have to figure it out somewhere else and the old campaigners will, I hope, understand.

The Big Island is under siege by Vog and I am one of the casualties. Could not read many stories last week and was barely able to reply to comments. My sincerest apologies. My days on the summit are the only relief as we are maybe a thousand feet above the fumes. Suffice to say that I cannot wait for the trade winds to start blowing again.

Thanks for your understanding.


“What’ll it be?”

“Stoli, neat. Keep ‘em coming.”

“Slow night. Want to talk about it?”

“Wife’s gone. I’m getting drunk.”

“Gone as in…?”

“Taken a lover and gone gone.”

“Did you show her the door?”

“Didn’t have to. She split for good right after she told me.”

“You know, I hear a lot of stories like that.”

“Want to bet?”

“There’s more?”

“I was cheating on her. She found out. Confronted the woman.”

“Oh, ouch.”

“They talked. Hit it off. Started seeing each other and….”

“Don’t say it…”

“…and that’s who she left me for.”

“Bottle’s on the house, mister.”

The Princess’ Ride

14 Aug

100 words for Friday Fictioneers, an agglomeration of writers from Earth who each week use a single photo as a catalyst for creativity.  This week’s prompt, courtesy of Roger Bultot, is shown below. My offering follows.

[[[[[[{{{{{{{{{((((((( Thanks to all who read and commented up until this point (3:00AMHST-Thursday, 15 August, 2013). I appreciate the feedback. I posted about 24 hours ago and made a mistake in the writing of the version below. Though many have commented kindly about the story, I am going to edit it for clarity (I hope). The second (better?) version will appear below the Dread Pirate Robert’s picture below.  Thank you to all who helped me see this error and especially to those who cheered despite the glitches. )))))))))}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}]]]]]]]]]]]

The Princess' Ride


“I’ll be over in fifteen to pick up the last of my stuff. Can you do some yard work or something?”

“As you wish.”

“Piss off,” she snapped. “Just don’t be inside.”

Westley’s lines once worked magic. Now they just angered Buttercup.  Inconceivable.

She pulled up in her new Maxima and stormed into the house while I fired up the chainsaw.

Minutes later the massive oak hammered her car into the anvil of the earth. Shattered glass cascaded over crumpled metal. The ground shook.

The Princess rushed out. Looked at her car, then at me.

“To the pain,” I shouted.

Life is Pain


“I’ll be over in fifteen to pick up the last of my stuff. Can you do some yard work or something?”

“As you wish.”

“Piss off,” she snapped. “Just don’t be inside.”

Lines from The Princess Bride once worked magic on my Buttercup. Now they infuriated her.  Inconceivable.

She pulled up and stormed into the house. I fired up the chainsaw.

Minutes later the massive oak hammered her car into the anvil of the earth. Shattered glass cascaded over crumpled metal. The ground shook.

The Princess rushed out. Looked at her car, then at me.

“To the pain,” I shouted.


(((((((100 words again. More clarity. “My name is Princess Buttercup. You killed my car. Prepare to die.” Thanks for getting this far. Aloha, D.))))))))))


(do not click on this link.)

Box 27, 1971-72, Important Papers, Do Not Trash

2 Mar

Habits are cables we weave a strand at a time….

Here is 100 words for the gang at Friday Fictioneers, inspired by the photo below from Beth Carter.

(With our numbers soaring into triple digits, my practice of reading and commenting on

every story has to change. Time was when we could blaze through eighteen stories and write comments and replies to comments in one sitting. Those days are gone. This is a result of the success of the format conceived by Madison Woods and ably shepherded by Rochelle Wisoff-Fields, and is not a reflection on you or your writing [well, that’s my story and I’m stickin’ to it.] Feel free to read my submission and move on without commenting. I won’t hold it against you because I won’t even know you tiptoed on by.)

AAABox 27

Cleaning out boxes in garage because my wife had given me two weeks to move out while she and her new boyfriend went to Cancun.

Found a long forgotten graduation gift from my penny stock loving grandfather.

Saskatoon Gold Mines Limited. One-Hundred-Thousand Shares.

Internet search, phone number, yes, still in business. Twenty-eight dollars a share.

Apartment rented, I traded her Mercedes for cash and a clunker. Parked it in her pristine garage. Called a cab, then the time service in Tokyo. Left the phone off the hook. Walked away.

Compulsive hoarder, she’d called me. And that’s a bad thing?

Nurture or Nature

6 Jul

Friday again. FridayFictioneers are on the loose here. My 100 word (ish) story, Nurture or Nature is below the accompanying photo prompt from Amanda Gray. (Thanks, Amanda. Soft pastel dawn? Or sunset? Either way it’s beautiful.)

     “Something to drink?”

“How do you stand it out here, dad?”

When Charles started college I’d filed for divorce, signed everything away and moved to the desert in three wonderful, liberating weeks. An only child and a mama’s boy, his visits were, though he hadn’t figured it out yet, mostly at his mother’s behest, a proxy thumb of sorts. She’d never forgiven me for getting out from under hers.

“This place has its advantages, son,” I replied.

“Name one.”

“Your mom won’t visit.”

Charles reflected on this and finally smiled.

“Got any beer?”

He was going to be okay.

“Coming right up.”