In Georgia there was a hot tub and 2 fireplaces.
In Georgia there was a hike to a waterfall.
In Georgia I thought we were a family.
In Georgia there was romance and connection. I thought.
Spring Break, 2020. I know I don’t have to tell you what was on the horizon. We brought Clorox, but didn’t know that toilet paper was going to be hard to find when we got back to PA.
Heather was on spring break too. She was at Disney.
“You should come to Disney!” she had been texting us for a couple of weeks.
“Maybe I’ll just stop by Georgia on the way back from Florida!” she texted us while we were sitting by the fire.
Later I’d find out about the other texts.
“Your initials are on my robe in my hotel.” she texted my husband, along with a picture.
“I hate being this far away from you.” she texted him.
Later I’d find out why he was distracted for part of the trip.
It would make sense why he stayed in the hot tub for awhile after the kids and I went back inside.
Later he wouldn’t remember the connection I thought we had on that trip. He wouldn’t even remember the fireplaces, or the love.
Or, rather – he wouldn’t remember any love between us.
Home from Georgia and we hit the ground running for quarantine. I stocked our pantry. I found toilet paper. I helped the kids schedule their remote school days. I worked.
He was very busy with a free-of-charge “passion project.” In his studio, with Heather.
In hindsight, it all feels very obvious.
“I’m drowning,” I said. “I need you to be a part of this with me and the kids.”
“Sometimes an artist has to work for the passion of it,” he explained. “I can’t believe you only think I’m worth it if I’m making money.”
“That’s not it,” I tried to tell him.
“I feel like I’m helping someone. I’m helping Heather and Robbie and their studio.
I’ve blocked most of 2020 out of my mind. I’ve never worked as hard as I did from March 2020 – June 2021. The stress was breaking me, and I think my soul would like to forget that time.
Now I need to figure out a way to forget what was actually happening during that pro bono passion project in the basement studio.