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The Stain

Photo by Tiffany Nutt on Unsplash

She threw the can of stain at the wall.

I’m angrier than I’ve ever been at her. I’m leaving for a few hours to clear my head. I’m tired of explaining the importance of spending $150 on a small can (and why it was the principle of the thing that we had to get it back along with our investment into the property it was bought for).

Of course I know the argument isn’t actually about the stain. I’m angry that she isn’t taking me seriously about anything. Sure, I lost my job a while back. My business partner paid me off to leave. I consulted a lawyer—the few grand my partner offered me was an insult. I spurned the money, and asked my lawyer how much I could REALLY get. My lawyer said he was surprised they’d even managed to find that much to give me because the business was dying and there really wasn’t anything to be got.

So I went back and asked for the three thousand. But the whole thing still bothered me. My business partner didn’t listen to me, or just didn’t want to. And now my wife is treating me the same way.

I haven’t applied for anything new in the six months since that happened. I need to clear my head before I’m ready again. I just need some downtime with the Xbox. And weed.

And I’ve only just managed to get us clear of this pig of a property we bought with someone we THOUGHT was a close friend.

The property had two large log cabins on it, nestled among 30-odd acres in a secluded valley. We got it for a “steal” and it needed so much cleanup and maintenance. I’d done the research on the stain needed to re-seal the decks around both cabins. It was environmentally sound and would protect the wood for several years without needing touch-ups. But of course my wife and our co-owner weren’t particularly appreciative of my contribution. And don’t even get me started on what I discovered about WHY we got the property so cheap—the valley is in a dead-zone. No cell reception, and even though we were assured by the realtor that the previous owner had had high-speed internet, when I managed to track down the company who had provided the service, their surveyor told me there was no “line of sight” to the receiver. The realtor and previous owner should be sued for fraud. But could I get our co-owner and her father (who was supposed to only be a SILENT investor to help with the down payment) to listen to me?

And that was the other thing—our friend’s father. He was as much of a pig as the whole investment. He barked out orders about the work that needed to be done as though he knew everything. He’s in his 70s, and he’s been around a bit, but COME ON. He’d go off on his own in the early morning, driving the ATV like it was a performance vehicle—rushing around with piles of God-knows-what, doing who-the-hell-cares-what. Then he’d come in hours later and demand to be made a sandwich, and our friend, his 40yo daughter, would jump up to make him one, like she was his servant. I couldn’t wait for him to just finish eating and then piss off again for hours. I tried to tell our friend that she should stand up to him and tell him not to treat her that way. She’s a high-powered executive for God’s sake. She was responsible for almost half the down payment with him. Sure, the investment my wife and I made was only a small fraction of that, but it was all we had saved, and it was my wife’s dream, really. Not mine.

But my wife and I were there cleaning and scrubbing most of the time, not just sitting on our asses smoking joints (I just KNOW that’s what he thought) and we didn’t only do rides into town just to get more alcohol all the time—going into town was the only way I could keep up with my email and do all the unappreciated internet research into things like environmentally friendly deck stain, and research about what the hell we might be able to do to get internet (which I never figured out, I was too angry with the lying real estate agent and the supposed ISP who said it just wouldn’t work). I’m sure you get me.

Anyway, we’re well clear of that now—more easily than I was expecting. Our friend turned out to be a total bitch. Not only was she refusing to see what an asshole her father was being (I was so gentle in how I pointed that out, but it went right over her head. She insisted that I was just trying to manufacture upset where there was none), but she stopped talking to me altogether. She’d deliberately avoid being in my company, and then wondered why I’d get angry and in her face and insist she communicate. Even after I stopped trying to tell her what the problem was, and asked her instead to tell me what she thought it was. But then she lectured me about how painful times in life are supposed to make us grow as people, not turn on each other, rather than addressing the issues I was trying to illuminate for her. Anyway, she quickly bought us out of the investment, and it was a relief to be able to get our money back.

I just never wanted to have to see her again and thought she’d have no problem bringing all our stuff back to us, rather than expecting us (unemployed me) to have to go down there and get it. But no, we had more unpleasantness because she felt it was so inconvenient for her. My wife took care of seeing her again to get it all.

Speaking of which, I’d better get home. And see what I’ve done now to upset my wife.

WHAT THE HELL? Has our place been robbed? Some asshole has painted on our wall, with my expensive stain. YOU’RE THE STAIN.

Wait a minute. Only my wife’s things are gone.

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