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Thursday, January 16, 2014

Bittersweet


     One of my favorite words is bittersweet. As a matter of fact, I keep a list of my favorite words in the notepad of my phone. I also keep a list of the most beautiful songs I've ever heard, some of which are sad. I mentioned one of those songs in my last blog post. I'm a list kind of person, come to think of it. But today I'm thinking of the word bittersweet. Everybody knows what this words means, but I decided to look up the definition on Google. And I learned something new. It has four meanings! Here they are in the order listed in TheFreeDictionary.com:
1. A woody vine of the genus Celastrus especially the North American species C. scandens and the eastern Asian species C. orbiculata, having small, round, yellow-orange fruits that open at maturity to expose red seeds. Also called the staff tree. Also called bittersweet nightshade.
2. The color of dark to deep reddish orange.
3. The taste of bitter and sweet at the same time (as in chocolate).
4. Producing or expressing a mixture of pain and pleasure (at the same time).
     There is no doubt I have just rounded the corner of a bittersweet year and what a crazy ride 2013 was! First of all, I can't believe my crazy year is already over. Seriously, how does time go by so fast? Does global warming have something to do with it? Ha ha! Just kidding (though I do believe in global warming in terms of its effects on climate). But...how is it 2014 already and not only that but January is already half over? Wow!
     Time and distance are two concepts that fascinate me and they both played a part in my bittersweet year. Last year I got high--seriously high--and then I got knocked down--hard. I travelled thousands of miles, experienced emotions to an extreme level and felt time pass. I actually felt it. I saw it, too, in an abstract way. Last October 20 was day one of 60 days I spent in a time warp. I lived in a red, metal castle like some weird, modern day Rapunzel (minus the hair, though I do have long hair) waiting for Dec. 20, the day I would be set free from a life I loved and didn't want to give up. But I knew I needed to get out because it was killing me to be there--not physically, but in every other way that can cause harm to a human being. I was engaged in psychological warfare and definitely on the losing team--until Dec. 20. That day in the courtroom, I was proud of myself. I was composed. I didn't shed a tear. I didn't even feel nervous. I think I even smiled. It helped that my Tom was there giving me silent strength like he always does. And I had a great lawyer. My lawyer was great because he had been down that road before with the first Mrs. Hernandez. Little did I know when I randomly chose his law firm from Google that I had unwittingly chosen the same law firm who'd represented the one who came before me. And the lawyer who was randomly chosen to represent me was--believe it or not--the same exact one who'd freed the first wife from the metaphorical prison. And I can call it a prison because that's exactly what it was--a beautiful, twisted, enchanting, dark, bittersweet prison.
You may be wondering--what the heck is she talking about? what does she mean by prison? just how bad was it down there in Texas? Is she making this stuff up? It sounds crazy!
And that's because it was. It was crazy and amazing and bizarre and seriously twisted--you can't make up what happened to me in Texas. I am currently writing a memoir about my experience. I am already 60,000 words in. And I have also written a piece for the New York Times about it. I am waiting to hear if they are going to publish it. If they don't, I'll post it here in this blog. But when you read it, you'll have to keep in mind, you're getting the condensed version--the 'bittersweet' version. In my memoir you'll read about the dark stuff. For the NYT I kept it slightly more upbeat (and that's putting it mildly). There is no doubt about it--I had quite a year. But you want to know the weirdest part of all? The part that I can't even believe myself? Though it was bittersweet and sad and deeply painful, I have no regrets.
I wouldn't have missed it for the world.
Until next time,
KH

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