I Broke

It was bound to happen. And I kind of knew it was coming.

I’ve been begging for a break from helping with the non-profit since the Incident. I haven’t had any such break and, at times, have been given more work. I requested July off, but there’s an event in August and I know I’m going to have to help in July. I just KNOW.

Hunny gives a weekly lecture for the non-profit. He was and still is sick, so I prepared to give a lecture in his place. As I was preparing, I received a message from the volunteer who watches small children during the lecture for attendees. She’s quitting. She’s giving no notice. In her message, she asked a couple questions that threw me:

Have you ever thought about getting more than one person, so there can be a rotation of volunteers?


Have you contacted such and such person to aid in finding volunteers?

Multiple times. 

And that’s when I broke.

I cried. I couldn’t explain what was wrong when Hunny asked. I finally choked out syllables with the semblance of the news. Informed that she was getting paid, I became angry. She wasn’t even really volunteering.

Hunny pondered if we should leave the non-profit. Can we keep doing this? Does God want us to keep doing this? He was expecting a two way conversation. I was physically unable to talk. I was a mess. All I could do was sob.

I need to walk and pray. 

Terrified of leaving me alone in such emotional duress, Hunny hobbled behind me, dragging his sick self outside to monitor me. I knew I had to get myself together. Maybe talking to someone would help.

The only fellow staff member I trust sat in the corner with me in a room full of people.

I’m wearing makeup to hide that I’ve been crying for a couple hours. 

“That’s not good,” he cautiously deadpanned.

I told him I broke. The tears immediately resumed. As I was unloading the ridiculous demands of our immediate supervisor, the pain of being ignored by fellow staff, and how underwhelming the support for our department is, Cupcake and Yeeyum have an argument. A high decibel level argument. Fine. They were yelling and screaming.

And I deal with this at home.

After 30 minutes of crying, it was time to go. All my poor friend could do was give me a hug and the assurance of his prayers.

As I was erasing the board to start the lecture, I heard a voice ask, “Are you ok? You look like you’re gonna cry.” I’m ok, I forced. Another voice asked, “Are you ok?” I broke yet again. No. I’m not.

Tears flowed as I walked out of the room and into the bathroom. The second voice took over for me. I composed myself in the bathroom only to find the Loser waiting for me in the hallway. I was taken aback because he hasn’t been around in months. I honestly do not remember the last time I saw him.

I purposefully lied when he asked me if I was ok. He went in for a hug. I gave him my side, but he wrapped his arms around me and squeezed. As he kept squeezing, I pulled my forearms over my chest and turned my face away. In the movie version of this scene, I would have punched him in the stomach. In the real life version, I thought, How much longer is this going to be?

When he finally let go, he prattled on about his problems: his ex-wife, the impending failure of her second marriage, his doomed relationship with his kids, and his inability to find a job that “fit him.” I stood there, stunned and slightly amused at his crazy train. At some point, my expressive face gave way to tedium (Dang my expressive face!).

“You’re the one upset and here I am telling you all my problems. It’s just that you’re the only girl in my life, I mean woman, who I can talk to. Who listens and understands.” (P.S. Again, I haven’t seen or heard from him in months. When I do see him, Hunny is present. Sometimes he catches me off guard. It’s always in a hallway…) “I’m here for you. I mean, I’m here now, but I’m also here for you. I know I’m just a guy, but I’m here whenever you need me.”

In the movie version of this scene, I would have said something like, “NO, THANKS!” or “BACK OFF!” or “LEAVE ME ALONE, YOU IDIOT! I’M MARRIED!” In real life, I excused myself to talk to someone else. Hunny has teased me before about the Loser having a crush on me, “It’s all fun and games until he tries to kiss you. Then I’ll have to beat him.”

Do you know anyone else to get hit on by a struggling addict after breaking down in tears in front of a crowd? No? Just me then? Ok.

One thought on “I Broke

  1. Pingback: Paddling with One Oar | Polite and (paranoid)

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