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Monica Bielanko
A chronicle since 2005 of my marriage & move to Brooklyn in my twenties; becoming a mother in my thirties; moving to Pennsylvania and learning to amicably coparent after divorce in my forties while living 3 doors down from my ex-husband in a small country town.
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Monday
Jan112010

Shattered

Some people wear lampshades on their heads after a long night of partying. I swing them like baseball bats after a night of, well, after a night of no partying. In fact, I get to the point quick-like. I swing them while on an hour lunch break from work.

It's a recurring phenomenon throughout my life: I love the sound of shattering glass. When I was in junior high, on the receiving end of some snipey teenage girl drama, I'd grab one of the many Mason jars that held Grandma's canned peaches in our pantry and fling it from our front porch into the dark night. Seconds later I'd hear the satisfying shatter as it exploded into a thousand pieces out on the road in front of our house. I did that more times than I can count.

I can't remember what precipitated this latest fight. In fact, I was excited to get home because Serge was making baked potatoes. Oh my God! As I sit here thinking about the drama chez Bielanko it hit me what ridiculous nonsense set this particular episode in motion. We were arguing about... what was on TV. Yep. That's all it was. But the pent up aggression from not getting along for weeks prior fueled the fire. And... BACKDRAFT.

Yes, yes, it's all coming back now. Serge ballet danced into the living room with two piping hot baked potatoes and set one plate in front of me. Starving, I prepared to dig in and then noted the TV was tuned to shark attacks or world news from some bizarre channel that only folks without cable seem to be be able to rabbit ear into existence and I snarled "Do we have to watch this crap?" In retrospect, what an asshole! Me, I mean. Not him. Couldn't I say "Mmmmm, dinner looks good!" instead of bitching about the channel? He responded with a snide comment of his own, the contents of which escape me now, picked up his plate and went to eat in the kitchen.

Left alone, unable to eat the potato I'd had sexy foodie fantasies about the entire drive home, something inside me snapped like telephone wires in the path of a dirt bound jetliner. I swear to God my vision blurred, I picked up the object nearest me, which happened to be a table lamp, and started swinging. I didn't stop until I heard the light bulb shatter and the lamp was hanging lifelessly in my hands, all bendy metal and dangling wires.

I dropped the lamp in horror and returned to work like nothing happened.

Read and infer what you will. Monica needs medication. Monica is mentally unstable. Monica is insane. All arguably true. I returned home from work three hours later, at ten o'clock that night, and crawled around the floor, hands massaging carpet fibers in search of every shard of light bulb. I picked up the mangled lamp and deposited the embarrassing evidence of my unchecked rage in the big trash can outside.

My standard level of nutty usually doesn't cross over into physical acts of violence against innocent household furniture. That night I was a shaken can of soda, a firecracker, a grenade. Serge popped my top, lit my fuse, pulled my pin and I exploded across the room in a messy rage.

There is no excuse for that kind of behavior.

But damn, in that moment of beating all hell out of that lamp, when, like Elvis, all thought had left my building, I felt good. And then bad. So bad.

Serge never talked about the lamp I killed.