I think I am always going to have a hole in my heart over this thing with Steph. It feels to me very much like there is an alternate-world version of us, where Allen and Steph and Polly still live in East Nashville, and I am still working at home. I walk Polly across the golf course to the dog park almost every day. Steph is still driving my ancient MR2 because I almost never need it, off doing her marketing stuff. Late at night, I am sitting on the couch with the dog, watching some terrible crap on cable. Polly doesn’t pay any attention at all unless there are animal noises. Steph comes in after work and she has some new story for us. Every week or so, the three of us walk to Battered and Fried and get something to eat on their porch. Polly is so excited that she can’t sit still.
I valued all that stuff so much. But we couldn’t quite make it work.
If I’ve learned anything at all in the last ten years or so, it’s that it is unwise to spend too much time looking backward. I have to console myself with the idea that this is the first attempted domestic situation in my life that had more good than bad. I didn’t screw it up by being corrosively angry, which is the usual outcome. Steph has a new path in her life and she has a lot of good things to look forward to. So do I.