Right now, I'm vacillating between rushes of energy and relief that I'm moving away from here this week, bursts of paranoia that something will go wrong, and regret tinged with repentance that I'm leaving this home that I love.
After four days of my ringing her, Tybalt calmed down enough to speak to me again without screaming, and we've agreed to meet on Saturday to decide how to divide up the spoils of war (aka the furniture from our soon to be sold flat). She was nonplussed about why I or she would particularly want this or that useless over-large piece of furniture that costs yet more money to store than it originally cost, but I pointed out some problems.
I know from bitter experience many years ago that this sort of thing is what sticks with you when all the dust and recriminations subside. I've never forgiven Lanky Ex for dumping my green crockery set. Not that I particularly want a green crockery set. Pffft. But he took it, and he dumped it, and it was mine.
R eminds me of my favourite line from Shallow Grave: "we know the price of it, but we don't know yet what it cost". These things go deeper than what did it 'cost' you?
F'r instance, case in point: I have no teevee in my new Temporary Abode (or bed, or washing machine, come to that). I could take the big bastard swanky widescreen digital effort we have here, with its video and dvd player. But if I do that - especially given that I watch teevee about three times a year - I'm taking something that Tybalt is hugely more invested in, and staking a territorial claim on it.
Kinda: You want it? Come get it... sorta thing.
There's a medium sized portable teevee and video in a cupboard that's not being used. I could easily take that, and p'raps buy myself a cheap dvd player. (What? Mix and match with the other one? They're different colours for gawdssakes. I am gay, you know.)
But if I took the portable, I'm saying: I don't want the teevee I paid half of a thousand knicker for. You have it. I haven't given you enough ridiculously ostentatious gifts over the years to match the sanity you've already taken without thanks or forgiveness. Here, have some more.
That just wouldn't do.
Added to this who-gets-the-good-piece debate, there's other stuff too emotionally loaded to slice up, a la King Solomon - a stupidly expensive chest of drawers which took Tybalt forever to put together and is worth around #500. She did so over a weekend when I was defiantly out racing around and getting blotto with pals she didn't like and had 'forbidden' me to see. Yet she doesn't want it - it reminds her of the agonising irritation of painstakingly putting it together, on her own. I love the thing, even though I always felt it was assembled as some sort of reproach to me. Yes please, I'll take that one, thanks. The other, ugly, chest of drawers was #30 secondhand from a junk shop in Holloway Road. So what does Tybalt get that's worth as much moulah as the poncey drawers?
JatB suggested that rather than feeling aggrieved that I have to take the (goddamn bloody sodding blinking bloody) cats, we take one each. Now there's a lawyer's mind... Split them up? Not going to happen. Who'd have the naughty one? Who gets the puker? Some things can't be split fairly.
Without a bed in my new Temporary Abode, the problem of who gets what becomes more immediate for me. Inevitably I wondered - possessively - about the king size bed here that's too big (lack of snuggles - always a bad sign in a relationship), and has suddenly plunging midnight wooden slats which wake you up by tumbling you earthwards at innopportune moments. No way will the flat look like the yuppie show home we've been trying to simulate without a big bed in it.
I do also have two cheap single beds in the spare room which stack. Thought about taking the smaller one from underneath. The bedrooms here would still contain beds, but at least I wouldn't be sleeping on the floor in my new Temporary Abode. I'm going to feel dislocated enough without severe sleep deprivation on top.
However I was defeated somewhat by the prospect of lugging a mattress down six flights of stairs, across a freezing dank and dirty yard and fitting it into my fairly big (but not a bloody tardis) car. Unlikely.
Unlikely in a Del Boy Trotter shaking his head, clucking his tongue and sucking his breath in sharply impossible way.
My dad offered to come up and help move it. Blimey - I don't want to see my dad having a heart attack hefting bloody stupid mattresses up and down the stairs just because I was dumb enough to get dumped by Tybalt.
And there again, I'm five foot ten, this is a five foot eleven single bed. Given the heat seeking cat-missiles, as well as room for pillow leverage, I'd spend more of my time hanging off the edge of the too short mattress while the moggies enjoy the fruits of my duvet than I spent comfortably asleep.
Profligate that I am, I avoided the entire issue by purchasing a cheap as piss (but not as wet) double bed from Argos, deliverable next Monday afternoon (I'm going to sneak out of work and hope the bribes I'm preparing for the customers will shut them up about it). That means one night sleeping rough on the manky floor, and then I'll own five beds, total. Ag.
I suppose it will match the three hoovers. (Start running a hotel?)
Perhaps in a way arbitrary divisions would be as fair as anything else I considered?
See, I thought perhaps if I got the contents of both bedrooms, including computers, and Tybalt got the contents of the living room and kitchen, it might be roughly equal value. But even without a bed to sleep on, I can see there's fuck all point in having four beds.
Next avenue of enquiry had me dividing every room into North and South, with one person getting each room's southerly contents. The South side turned out to be vastly more wealthy than the North (you'd have thought a Lancastrian childhood would have prepared me for that...), so there's no way I'm even suggesting that one.
I want what I want, and I don't want to be mean, or to lose out on what I can't have. This week's question for me is: How do we do this? Especially how do we apportion ownership of the things from our lives together without it feeling like a C section?
How do we make this omelette with these here eggs?