Selling The House

I just talked to my dispatcher, Marvin, at Epes. Basically, I told him I was going to need a little more time today (I had told him that I’d be ready to go this morning).
Today we battle Countrywide. I don’t quite have all the money yet. I have the house payment itself, but not the arrearage. I’m hoping my luck will hold out and that credit card will arrive today. Otherwise, I dunno. But what’s going to happen today is that I’m going to make a payment and get a pay-off amount from Countrywide. This I will pass on to that interested buyer, who will then draw up a contract which we can pass on to Mara’s lawyer and the bankruptcy trustee.
I’m keenly aware that this guy is going to get this house for a steal. But as I keep trying to explain to everyone, it’s very unlikely I could go anywhere else and have it refinanced. Thanks to Countrywide and Mara’s bankruptcy, I have three mortgage lates against me, and really no other credit to balance that out. Sure, it wouldn’t hurt to try. But let’s be realistic here. If no one will give me a credit card (my own bank would only give me a partially secured card), no one is going to give me a home loan. Especially not based on my salary alone.
I can’t keep paying Countrywide $1,300 a month. Hell, if I get by this payment, the next one is due on June 1st (six days from now). I’ll have a little extra time to come up with it past the 1st, but it still means that my entire life will be dedicated just to keeping up with Countrywide for the near future.
Right now all I’m doing is trying to keep the house out of foreclosure. That would be a black eye to Countrywide. Mara, of course, would like to see me sell it for more, because that extra money might settle out her bankruptcy (or so she thinks). But the fact remains that even if we got a little money above what we owe Countrywide, it would have to be split between the two of us, and her half would not pay off her bankruptcy.
To be honest, I don’t fancy me being forced to sell the house and go live out of a duffle bag in a truck, knowing that Mara has paid off her bankruptcy and is debt-free. I will lose my home. I will lose the house that belonged to my aunt, Loretta, and am now breaking the promises that I made to her. Mara believes that I’m the one who will be “walking away scot free” while her “credit is ruined.”
I want to say in regard to the bankruptcy that Mara filed bankruptcy without my knowledge. The lawyer’s fees alone would have kept us afloat financially. And since I was on the road at the time, I had no idea of the true state of our financial affairs, because Mara was telling me that everything was fine. Money was short, yes, but I was given no indication that something as drastic as a bankruptcy was looming. So, essentially, I’m saying that Mara made the decision to file bankruptcy on her own and didn’t consult me, and I personally believe that we might have been able to work something out to avoid it. So what I’m asking is who’s to blame for this bankruptcy against Mara’s credit?
Well, Mara points directly to the two or three weeks I was out of work after I left U.S. Xpress, when I was waiting for Epes to give me a call. Apparently that’s the source of all of our financial problems. Nevermind that Mara was out of work for eight weeks because of her hand surgery. Or that when Mara could have gotten back on the truck she chose not to, and was determined that she was going to stay home no matter what it cost us. Nevermind that I wanted to leave U.S. Xpress immediately when she came home, figuring I’d just get the pain over with, but instead was cajoled by Mara into staying with U.S. Xpress, where I literally almost starved as a solo driver.
Of course, Mara dismisses all this as spin. I’m sure there’s some truth to that. Everyone looks at the world and each situation through the prism of their own perspective. But certain facts cannot be spun to anyone’s advantage. I knew that I would not run good as a solo driver with U.S. Xpress. I never had before. I also knew that if I switched jobs and went back to Epes that I would make better money (which has been proven now that I am working for them again), and I felt that the short-term pain would be well worth it and would better suit our situation. So when we were in such critical financial states that a bankruptcy was necessary, it was largely because I was not making any money at U.S. Xpress while Mara was out of work.
And what about that, really? While we’re busy playing the blame game, let’s examine Mara’s contributions here. After her surgery, I never really expected Mara to be able to drive a truck again. There’s just too much stress on the hands. But Mara could have gone back to work at least a couple of weeks earlier than she did. Somehow or another she found the will and fortitude to be able to sit in front of her computer and play Everquest II. Why could she not have sat in front of a computer and did something like what she’s doing now (working for a loan company)?
I’m not trying to bash Mara here. She thinks that anything I say about her here is just bitterness or even hatred. But mostly I just get tired of all of our troubles being lain at my feet, when I can clearly see that Mara had a big hand in creating our situation. I can see that I made mistakes and mis-steps that didn’t help our situation and I do not solely blame Mara for where we wound up, but she points directly to the couple of weeks I was out of work after I left U.S. Xpress and assigns sole blame to me and my failings.
I keep thinking about the three weeks I spent babysitting that load of water after Hurricane Katrina. That never gets mentioned. U.S. Xpress forced me to sit on a load of water for three weeks. During that three weeks I didn’t draw a paycheck. Not a penny. I scrambled for money to buy food. At one point I was eating a single can of a tuna a day and nothing else. I was also climbing the walls because I was shut up in that tin can of a truck, and for months afterwards I struggled with claustrophobia (which I’d never had a problem with in my entire life).
So it could realistically be said that it was U.S. Xpress who broke the proverbial bank where I was concerned. Really, that’s when things began to sprial out of control, when I was sitting on that load of water for three weeks and not drawing a paycheck. And after sitting there for three weeks and facing a new claustrophobia, it took U.S. Xpress another two weeks to pay me for sitting on that load. I believe I was well justified in leaving U.S. Xpress, and feel that we would never have been put into that difficult situation had Mara had a little more nerve and allowed me to come home and go to work for Epes early on.
I’ll share blame for Mara’s bankruptcy. I won’t accept all of the blame.
I didn’t mean to get off on a rant here. But I’m tired of being made out to be the villian. Mara moves to Charlotte and then says that one reason she can’t keep the van is that she can’t afford the gas? Duh. You have at least a one hundred mile round-trip commute every day. I mention this because it says a lot about the way Mara thinks. Instead of acknowledging the realities involved in moving back to Charlotte while she works in Shelby, she just feels like she’s being victimized by the universe or something.
Well, this isn’t being productive. Just the opposite. I wish Mara could understand that when I go over this situation in my head and talk it out here, I’m not trying to bash Mara. I’m just trying to understand. None of this makes sense. All I really know is that I’m not the source of all of our problems, and that Mara has a long history of outsmarting herself. We could have played this whole thing very differently.
In retrospect, I understand now why Mara seemed to so resent my spate of purchases on eBay. She was getting a clearer assessment of our situation than I was, and she was simply not passing it along. If I had realized that we were going to come out of the bankruptcy in the exact same, or worse, shape as we went into it, I would certainly have not been buying recording equipment on eBay, no matter how cheap it was. But Mara told me that our payments would simply resume at a certain point, and that any arrearage would be a part of the bankruptcy payment. I thought we had some time and, quite frankly, it was nice to be able to breathe a bit.
Yes, I spent about $500 on eBay in the course of a month. I’m sure that was well noted. What was not noted was that in the same timeframe Mara spent about $300 on things such as makeup and clothes and other purchases that made sense only to her. Yes, I realize that women need makeup, but I questioned even then why Mara had to go buy really fucking expensive makeup. So it was wrong for me to buy a $50 mixing board off of eBay, but it was fine for Mara to spend $67 a Bath & Body Works? How about $105 to have her hair done? How about $30 for her nails?
The point I’m making is that Mara wasn’t so worried about our financial situation that she was shy about spending money on things she wanted. But the only purchases she remembers are mine.
In the end, none of this really matters. She’s gone. We’ll never get back together. There’s no point in haggling over who’s to blame for what. I imagine that once I get past this thing with the house I won’t feel a need to keep turning this puzzle over and over, trying to figure out who the hell Mara is as a person. All I really know is that I don’t feel like she’s the person I thought she was. Looking back on this relationship from a little distance now, a lot of things make sense.
We were no good for one another. Everyone told us that right from the start. I suspect that a lot of what saw us through almost eight years of marriage was a determination to see everyone proved wrong. But in retrospect, it never felt like a marriage. There didn’t seem to be any romantic love there. It was an alliance of sorts. Apparently a bad alliance, if one reads Mara’s blog and her accounts of how she suffered from day one.
I believe things could have been different for us if not for the truck driving, and I truly regret that it ever occurred to me. But no, I had to dream of recording again, and be foolish enough to believe that driving a truck would provide me the means. I should have had the nerve to get out of it as soon as I realized that I had been had. Maybe at this point I might still have a marriage, and Mara wouldn’t look back on her nine year relationship with me with bitterness and disappointment.
But that is what could have been. I have to deal with what is. Right now that means wrangling with Countywide and trying to pick up the pieces. I suppose I should shut the hell up and get started.

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