To go our separate ways? I couldn't believe my ears. I searched Keyli's face for an inkling of hope. Her eyes were ice.
For two more weeks I tried everything I could think of to get Keyli to talk, to get her to tell me why she was unhappy, what I could do. "Let's go to a marriage counselor," I urged.
"The decision's made," she snapped. "Besides, Marta told me karma was obviously at work between us. You must have divorced me in a previous life. Now fate's paying you back."
So that was it. A friend at work had convinced her to leave me. "But ... what if this is our first divorce?" I pleaded.
A blank look crossed her face.
"If we go through with this," I continued, "we'll probably end up marrying again in a future life. And again and again until it works."
Keyli stood there, stone still. Is there hope? I dared to question. If we can just talk, we can solve anything.
"Forget it," she snapped, breaking the long silence. "There's no more to talk about!" She stomped out.
If I could just figure out what was going on I'd be OK. If only I could find a reason. I might not like it, but I could deal with it. But I couldn't squeeze a sound reason for my getting fired out of my boss. And, clearly, Keyli doesn't plan to give any further explanations for wanting a divorce.
The next morning I didn't bother to dress, take a shower, shave, or comb my hair. Nor the following day. Just mostly laid in bed wondering. Neither Keyli nor I opened the drapes. Shortly I lost track of what day it was or even whether it was day or night.
Wish I had a gun. Just the thought would have shocked me before. I'd never been able to comprehend how anyone could consider suicide, let alone do it. Now the idea seemed inviting.
Hours plodded on. Once in a while I turned on the television. The talk show about numerology would have fascinated me a few days before. I switched it off. What would I want with numerology? So much for its guarantees of success! If I ever do work in radio again, I'll change my name back to Jay.
I toyed with the idea of suicide. The more I thought about it, the better it sounded. But what would happen to Inki? I wondered.
Inki obviously had made no plans to leave me. Not for a day. Not for a second. Constantly, she lay on my stomach or snuggled close beside me. On the rare occasion that I wandered to the bathroom or kitchen, she tripped along beside me.
I lay in bed day after day, feeling numb. Yet pain beyond belief clawed at me constantly.
Shortly after I was fired I'd made reservations to go to Nashville's annual Country Radio Seminar, hoping to network and find job leads. Now, I had to force myself out of bed to pack a suitcase.
At the seminar, the various record companies hosted entertainment suites to attract attendees to their advertising. In addition to celebrities, drinks, and munchies, one record company provided a psychic.
Would she have some answers for me? Might she be able to help me make sense out of my life? To help me find some kind of meaning in the midst of the craziness?
I arrived at the crowded suite about eight in the evening. "She is good!" a balding man exclaimed to several people crunched together on the couch. "She told me things about myself that I hadn't even put together." Twenty minutes later a young woman emerged from an inner room. "Wow!" she enthused. "She knew stuff I didn't think anyone knew! She told me exactly what I need to do when I get back home."
I'd never have put up with the cramped little room, blue with smoke, except for my desperate need and the enthusiasm of the psychic's patrons. Had I finally found answers? Nine o'clock. Ten. Eleven. My hopes rose with each enthusiastic patron's exit, then waffled with despair. Shortly after midnight my turn finally came.
The psychic, an attractive woman, probably in her early thirties, examined my palms. Her smile disappeared and furrows dug into her forehead. "You're having disruption in your life," she stammered. "Ah ... with your job."
"That's true," I said. "Just got fired."
She nodded affirmatively, but the question furrows still creased her brow.
"But that's not the biggest problem," I said.
"Right. Your marriage."
"My wife just asked for divorce and I cant figure out why. Can you tell me why? And what can I do?"
She turned my hands over, then turned palms up again. The sparkle had evaporated from her eyes. She looked as troubled as I felt.
"There's no reason," she finally murmured. She paused, staring at my palms with a strange look of puzzlement. "It doesn't make sense. It shouldn't have happened. Not with your job. Not with your wife. It's just not right. It doesn't make sense.'' She shook her head as though bewildered.
A clock ticked, loud in the silence. Finally, she shook her head and spoke again. "She wasn't supposed to do that. It's not in the cards. It doesn't make sense. I don't know what to tell you. It shouldn't have happened."
She sat back, closed her eyes, and waited in silence for some time. "I'm just not receiving anything. I don't understand it." She waited, silent again, her eyes still closed. "I do know it wasn't supposed to happen, but I'm not getting the reason why."
She opened her eyes, then shook her head. "There is no reason. And I can't see anything you can do to help."
We talked a bit more. "Maybe I'll take my dog and go stay with my mom for a while," I suggested.
"That would be wise for you now," she agreed. I stood to go.
Confusion was still written all over the psychic's face. And compassion. She looked like a tear might roll down her cheek any minute. She stood too. "I'm sorry."
My last hope had just collapsed. As I walked away, confusion muddled my mind. The psychic's words echoed within me like a shout in an empty cave -- "There is no reason. And I can't see anything you can do to help. ... There is no reason. And I can't see anything you can do to help. .. ." Depression dropped me into a huge cavern. It seemed there was no exit, no light, no food or water, and no one knowing or even caring that I was doomed.
Have I done something so awful that God won't even speak to me? I wondered. Was it in this life or an earlier life? Where can I find sense?
Back home, I dialed the telephone. "Mom, would you consider taking in a man and a dog for a while?"
At least I can expect a smile and a hug when I get there.
I telephoned the country music station manager who'd offered me a job while we were both at the Nashville seminar. "I'd really like to take the job, but I have to decline."
"Jay, we were looking forward to your coming. Our philosophies of how to run a country station would meld perfectly. What could we do on this end to make our offer more attractive to you?"
"Nothing. Really. Your offer is great. I just simply have to take some time off. Personal reasons. Things you can't do a thing about."
"Are you sure?"
"Yes. I have to be."
"If you change your mind, would you give me a call to see if I've filled the position yet?"
"Be glad to."
"We'd really like to have you."
I wanted to change my mind. It was a great opportunity. But neither my body nor mind had the energy to be productive.
As soon as I hung up the phone, I crammed clothes and personal items into a suitcase and a few boxes. Rain poured while I packed the Cherokee, loaded a box springs and mattress onto the top, and tarped and tied the roof load. When I went inside the apartment to recheck, I saw only the things I'd meant to leave for Keyli -- the furniture, the TV, the kitchen supplies, everything except my personal things and one of the single beds from the guest room -- I would need a place to sleep.
"Well, can I have one last hug?" I asked.
Keyli eyed me like I'd asked her to rob a bank. She held her arm out as if to hold me away. "No."
"OK." I headed out the door, then turned back. "Good-bye."
"Bye," she responded in a strained voice.
"God, where are you when I need you?" I asked aloud as the city disappeared from my rear view mirror. "Is life just a mean trick?"
The only answer was the swish of windshield wipers slashing back and forth against the storm outside.
Rain or snow poured most of the eight hundred miles to Everett, Washington, just north of Seattle. Wet to the skin and cold to the bone when I started, I couldn't seem to get warm, even with the heater blasting on high and Inki snuggled on my lap the whole trip. I shivered, sneezed, and felt like throwing up. My head pounded. My joints ached.
When Mom opened the door, she gasped. Wide-eyed, she stepped back and held onto the wall as if she might faint.
"I've gotta go to bed," I stammered.
"I'll help you get your things."
"Let's just get the bed tonight. The rest can wait."
"I just cant do anymore. I don't care if everything gets stolen."
Three days cured the worst of the flu. Then the questions pummeled my numbness nonstop.
Why didn't the spirits just let me die when I was thirty?
Why is this happening to me? What am I doing wrong? For what negative karma am I paying? All I ever wanted was a little happiness. A reason to live. To make some kind of sense out of life.
I was a wreck physically as well as mentally and spiritually. No exercise. The busyness had crowded out jogging years ago. My weight had crept from 220 to 250. Not an ounce of it muscle. My favorite food was chocolate chip cookies -- thirty or forty at a time. Vegetables? They were for rabbits. Fruit? Forget it. Give me anything in the two major food groups -- chocolate and sugar. But even they didn't taste good anymore.
I felt dead inside. Like a zombie. I hurt. And yet I didn't care. Didn't care about myself. About my belongings. About anything or anyone. Didn't care whether I or anyone else lived or died.
In fact, I wished for a heart attack... or anything from outside myself that would end the pain. I didn't have the nerve to slit my wrists or jump off a tall building. I didn't have a gun.
For weeks I lay in bed with the drapes drawn. Mom tried to tempt me with her home cooking. I ate little. Occasionally I slipped into the living room to be sociable. Five minutes was about tops before I'd collapse back into bed.
After several weeks, Mom tried to interest me in something -- television, magazines, job hunting. I had no interest. She encouraged me. I couldn't take it to heart. She cajoled me. I couldn't care less.
In desperation, one day I telephoned Nancy, my numerologist friend in Cleveland. "Could you help me check the numbers in my life?"
"Sure. What's going on?"
I told her about Keyli. She gasped. "No! It can't be!"
"I wish it wasn't!" I responded.
She asked questions and calculated the numbers. "I can't figure out what's going on!" she finally exclaimed with disbelief. "That's not in the numbers! You and Keyli are a perfect match!"
Nancy figured varying combinations of numbers and puzzled over them. "I cant figure out why Keyli left. But I do see one thing."
"Keyli's numbers indicate she could be more vulnerable in April than at any other time. If you visualize her with you and take steps in April, you may be able to force her back to you with psychic tools."
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