I turned 40 in prison. The big Four Oh no I’m forty! A watershed no matter where you are or what people might tell you to sweeten the pill. I lost a few pounds while incarcerated; mind you, I ate little. I looked fabulous, my dah-lings…
I’d been having a relationship with this guy. Knew he was married. Said he was ‘experiencing structural problems’ with the marriage. I mean, who uses that kind of language regarding affairs of the heart? Thought he was clever. He was. Smart. And gorgeous. Like a young Harrison Ford (from that film Working Girl). And damn it, I was in love with him, in love with him, damn it.
He fixed the ‘structural problems’, went back to his wife. One night, after I’d had way too much of this that and the other, I set about his ‘beloved’ Porsche Cayenne coupe with an intoxicating vengeance tasting sweeter than the elixir of life itself. The windscreen exploded into a million sparkling snowdrops; I put the devil’s claw to the pristine cobalt blue paintwork; and smashed the headlights and taillights so that they would never flash their amorous intentions again.
A twisted spiritual lifting it was.
I shouldn’t have sent a gazillion texts and email. I’m not proud of myself.
His name was Martin.
Prison taught me something I’m still in the process of learning. I realise I don’t have to rush things. Nor give in to the version of my (inner) voice that means me harm. Who came up with “‘tis better to give than receive” – his name was Platitude or something? Well, it’s a maxim suited to someone like me. Though, I avow, not so easy to sustain.
I’ve got people around me. Quite a few who support me. And they know who they are. Does it sound like I’m going into an Oscar acceptance speech?
Three years out of prison now, and I’m never going back.
Every day I offer gratitude. And receive love in return.