I sold my wedding ring from my first marriage over the weekend.
I had totally forgotten about it, until I noticed the price of gold was so high that I made a concerted effort to find it.
It was in an old Egyptian tin that I had, shaped in the form of a case that they’d house mummies in. I bought that in the 80’s and I used it to store my earrings and those hippie friendship bracelets in.
I sincerely miss those.
The wedding band was next to an old faded friendship bracelet and a Fishbone earring.
Both of those things had a deeper connection than the wedding band. They meant more to me now, but the economic climate proved the ring to be of a bigger monetary value.
And today’s economic climate meant that I would use the money I received from selling it to the pawnshop would go to help pay a credit card payment.
At first, I looked around the store just to make sure there wasn’t something that I could trade for. It seemed logical to replace it with something that might provide me with happier memories in the future.
An Epiphone copy of McCartney’s Hoffner bass guitar caught my eye, but then I’d have to buy a bass amp with it.
That would have left me in the hole.
I remembered how my ex-wife got to keep a bitchin’ Danelectro Longhorn bass and an awesome SWR combo amp with it. I’m sure it’s collecting dust now, a relic taken out of spite instead of passion for music.
She also got the piano, the scratches on the hardwood floor from when she moved out another sign of contempt. If she truly loved that blonde wooded behemoth, she certainly would have played it more and taken better care of it when moving it from our home.
Divorce is not an easy thing. Nobody warns you of the sick feeling you get when you are forced to admit that you’ve failed at marriage. You get wrapped up in the incidentals> It’s almost like your mind is forcing your brain to focus on trivial bullshit.
For me, it was ridiculous things. Like when she tried to suggest that the copy of Spacemen 3’s Taking Drugs To Make Music To Take Drugs To was hers.
Just because you went to a couple of Spiritualized shows with me doesn’t mean the import copy of an old Spacemen 3 record is yours.
It's mine, put it back.
There were also other things. Like when she told the guy who delivered our mail to our home that I had moved out because I “turned gay.” He went and told another guy in the neighborhood about it, not knowing that the guy was my divorce lawyer.
She tried to take some of my music from me, and to this day, she was quite successful at it.
I don’t mean physically taking it, like the Spacemen 3 record (which I successfully got back, btw), I mean “taking” it in the sense that I’ll never be able to listen to some songs again because they’re permanently associated with the period of our divorce.
I remember once driving with my family and finding an old mix cd that wasn’t labeled well. Almost immediately, I could tell that it was made during the time my marriage was crumbling.
Each song in that mix cd brought me deeper into that period. By the time Eels’ “Numbered Days” came on, I was on the verge of tears.
I quickly ejected the disc.
I’m sure nobody knew what was going on in my head at the time, and I’m sure I wasn’t part of any conversation that was taking place between my wife and the children.
I checked out temporarily. At that moment, I was back to the point where my marriage was collapsing-just like the same moment I was in while making that compilation.
Everybody likes to talk about how music can provide the soundtrack to your life, but nobody seems to admit that it also provides the soundtrack to the shitty parts too.
Here it is. The song that perfectly mirrors the break up of my first marriage that it frightens me. How many times have you come across a song that fits your moment so well that you’re sure the author of it had some kind of authorized access to your life, mind, and feelings?
I don’t remember what possessed me to buy Shootenanny, the album “Numbered Days” is found on. If I recall, the local FYE store in the mall at the time was closing, and I went through a few of their closeout selections and snagged a couple of items for the cheap.
I came across what was then the new Eels album, thought “Hey, I think I liked these guys once” and plucked down a few bucks for it.
I didn’t think too much after first listening to it, but I fell in love with this song a short time later when the relationship between my wife and I began to go south.
In retrospect, it was over quickly. I asked for all music related items (acquiescing the bass stuff), the bedroom set given to me when my grandmother passed away, and a Honda Accord with over a quarter of a million miles on it.
She got everything else.
Because of the cooperative nature of dividing the assets, things were over quickly and we agreed upon a speedy resolution.
At the time, it seemed to last forever.
The song tells the story of it.
I hope you will never hear it in the same way that I hear it.