The SunLife Building, all glass, windows tinted as if to keep what's inside secret. I step out of the elevator on the 15th floor, walk the dimly lit corridor and enter my lawyer's office.
"It's just a matter of signatures now," he says. "It used to be you had to go to court for this."
There are thirty-nine pages of documents, nine more than the years of our marriage. Legal phrases represent what we have become to each other: "... the parties waive any and all claims ..."; "... finally relinquish ..."; "... forever bar ..."
He provides brief explanations as I sign each page. At our marriage ceremony, I signed only once. Ash from his cigarette drifts to his desk as he reaches for my hand: "Go out and celebrate-it's all over."
At our wedding reception, there was a large buffet and circle of friends. Today, I stop at a corner hot dog stand, order the sausage special, smother it in mustard and onion. An old panhandler shuffles up and I buy him one too. "I'm celebrating," I say. "Mmm, uh," he replies, his eyes glazed, mouth wrapped around his dog.
Published in Bottle Rockets