Monday, January 8, 2007

The Heart and The Soul

Rigid quit his job. We’d been talking about this for months now and I told him that he couldn’t possibly quit even if they do begin to take taxes out of his checks…even if he does only make $300 per week because of it. We can’t afford to lose that money. He argued with me several times about it. The whole thing started in December when he was told that as of the 1st of January 2007 new laws would be going into effect. If you’re considered a “permanent employee” taxes would have to be removed from your checks by law no matter your residency status. Rigid is an independent contractor and the laws on how to handle independent contractors are fuzzy. You basically have to go by a set standard put forth by the IRS, but different branches could have different interpretations as to what makes someone an “independent contractor”.

Well, as an independent contractor or rather a self employed individual you have the same entitlements as a permanent resident in as far as tax breaks. You can claim everything a permanent resident claims as long as all of your reporting is correct and lawful. According to Rigid’s estimates he’ll be losing approximately $3000 per month in tax write offs. How the fuck he came up with that figure I will never know. Sound a little outlandish? Perhaps, but it doesn’t matter. I still understood. What he didn’t seem to understand is that right now I’m under a lot of pressure myself. I go to work, I study, I eat, I shit, I sleep, I clean, I work, I study etc etc and on top of all that I make sure all our bills are paid on time. I don’t ask him for money to pay the bills, not even for the car he drives.

We all know he has a bad habit of hitting cars. We bought the Durango he’s driving in mid last year and he’s hit 3 cars with it. We’ve had to pay quite a lot of money because of that and never really had the chance to get ahead once he got this permanent position. Come Christmas time we were free and clear of these frivolous car debts and on our way to something better. We were going to start saving our money after Christmas, pay our bills and submit his paperwork to the INS so we could get all that started once and for all. The first week of December they told him the bad news and that’s when everything fell apart. Our world was unraveling again and I didn’t know if I’d be able to hold the pieces of yarn together in that tight little ball I’m so fond of. All month long he whined about the taxes he was going to be charged, the write off’s he wouldn’t be able to claim and the work load that never was and will never be worth the pay they give him. Again, I understood and without threats of any kind would let him know that there was no way he could quit his job at this time. I told him that he’d at least have to wait until after I was done with my exam.

Every time I said things like that he’d get extremely agitated and tell me that he would do whatever he had to do and that nothing was going to stop him. This went on for the better part of the month. Now, Christmas was coming up fast and I knew I’d be getting quite a lot of money for Christmas so if I couldn’t convince him I would have enough money to get me through a few months. I wouldn’t have to worry about food or gas if things got bad. About a week before Christmas I’d have enough of his babbling and I finally let him have it. It was a pretty good screaming match, but I swear I didn’t throw a damned thing. We both sat about as calmly as possible on the couch. I made myself clear. Right now was not a good time. I would rather he not quit his job until his mother sold the house and actually give him the money that she supposedly is going to give him for the sale of their house (an inheritance from his grandmother). In my eyes that’s pretty much never so that covered me for a while. To say he was unhappy with that is putting it mildly. He was incensed and argued with me until he was blue in the face. So I hit him with my classic compromise. Wait until I’m done with my exam. It should only be another two months and by then even the measly $300/week (take home) would be enough to pay those straggling bills, that because he hit so many cars I wasn’t able to take care of, and maybe get his paperwork submitted. We’d just have to tighten our belts. That’s all.

Compromises don’t work with him so he continued to argue…here come the big guns. You see I try to be nice, I try to offer options and then I offer a compromise that works for the both of us when he can’t do it himself. Unfortunately for him it’s his way and no other options are considered so I make him consider my option. And this is always the last resort and one which I’ve no problem with following through on. You either take my compromise or you GET THE FUCK OUT OF MY HOUSE. This upsets him a great deal so we end up going no where, but when he starts to think that he might get away with it I begin to remind him of all the things I’ve done, what I’ve lost and what I’ve been through because of my convictions and beliefs. When the realization kicks in that I mean what I saw he sees things my way. We agreed to hold off until I wasn’t under as much pressure from studying and we could get ahead even just a little. So I didn’t worry about Christmas. I bought everyone presents on my list, went all out on Rigid, after all he deserves it. He’s come such a long way in our relationship. He takes my feelings into considerations and respects me. It may take a little nudging but he respects me. My heart swelled with pride. It was quite an accomplishment for us and I was happy. Unfortunately when I’m happy and it’s Christmas time I tend to spend all my money, which is exactly what I did. We had a fantastic time yes, and New Years Eve was spectacular yes. But no more than a week after that and he quit his job. We had about $200 in our account and he brought home his final $600 check including expenses.

I could not believe it. I went to bed when I got home. I tried to sleep. I couldn’t. I wanted to die. Not literally because I really just wanted to kill him. Rip his head off, gut his belly, chop off his toes and feed them to the cats. I lay there unable to sleep feeling numb. I said I wouldn’t’ freak. Wouldn’t act like a crazy person and wouldn’t fight. I’d keep my hands to myself and I swore I wouldn’t throw anything. Unfortunately it didn’t quite work out that way. My emotions spiraled out of control rather quickly once he got home. You can’t sit down and watch television as though everything’s okay after you’ve just told your wife over the phone 20 minutes before that you quit your job because YOUR under so much pressure and it’s not worth the hassle. I raged into another manic episode nearly ripping his shirt off in the process. I attacked him verbally, physically and viciously as I could. I even slapped him in the face. He actually threatened me with physical harm. I was intrepid, completely undeterred. I was NOT wrong.

It got to the point where he threatened to leave again and I think that’s when my mind snapped back into place. ‘I’m overreacting again.’ And I yelled for him to come back. He said no and I screamed for him, demanded that he come back exactly where I stood and screamed for him to hold me as I looked down at the floor still full of rage and hatred my hands clenched into first. He held me so tight so quickly, when I asked for his arms he gave them willingly. He soothed and cooed me with his words and his apologies for making me feel that way, for quitting, for hurting me again. He cradled me in his arms and while his lips lay on my forehead said, “I love you so much.” in a strangled voice. I caught sight of my when-the-shit-hits-the-fan pills and he gave them to me with a small glass of water and then continued to hold me. I choked them down between gasping breaths. Eventually the gasping subsided and the tightness in my chest was gone and I felt a little better.

This happened on Friday the 5th of January. We went on to have a lovely weekend. I hope he truly does understand why I was so angry. I’m not upset that he quit his job because I understand. Everyone has their reasons for doing the things they do and they need no excuse or explanation. His WAS a reasonable excuse, but I asked for was time. I asked for was respect. All I need is to be heard, understood and taken into account. Without those things a woman has nothing. No effect on this world. He’s robbed me of that once again and what he does not seem to understand is that each time he does that we get a little closer to oblivion. And what he doesn’t understand is that I won’t have a problem with it. I’d embrace it and I’d move on. Here’s the actually bad thing. A broken heart moves on before the soul does.

Remember that. A broken heart moves on before the soul does…. bad things come of this.

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