Search for:
  • Home/
  • /
  • After Midnight Contemplations

After Midnight Contemplations

I didn’t sleep well last night. The weather is cooling, so I had the air conditioner off and once again I heard the world beyond the whir. Last night it was a pack of barking dogs, screeching tires from the boulevard, and the neighbor’s rumbling pick up. Most of the sounds only caused a brief break in my sleep, but one of them took me back to another time.

About 2:30 a.m. a rumbling pick up pulled up outside and backed into the driveway next door. That sound made me instantly nervous and nauseous. It is kind of funny in a sad sort of way, because I haven’t had reason to fear that sound for over 15 years.

My exhusband used to drive a rumbling pick up, and on the nights he drank — most nights as our marriage neared it’s end — he didn’t come home until about 2:00 a.m., and he always came home drunk, loud and obnoxious. When I woke to last night’s rumbling pick up, I saw the time and instantly became a different person, living in a different state, enduring a different life. I tensed, waiting for the sound of a key in the lock; waiting for the lights to blaze on, waiting for the yelling to start.

Of course it didn’t happen. In truth I probably only spent a few seconds expecting it. I spent a much longer time contemplating who I am now, and how much better my life is. But still I wonder how I ever ended up in that other life in the first place, and whether I will ever trust my own judgement again.

Just a couple of years ago, after realizing I had made yet another poor choice in men, I told a friend of mine, “This is what my life has taught me: any man I am interested in is obviously not good mate material. I need to find someone I can’t stand. He would probably treat me right.”

Quilly is the pseudonym of Charlene L. Amsden, who lives on The Big Island in Hawaii. When she is not hanging out with Amoeba, she is likely teaching or sewing. Or she could be cooking, taking photographs, or even writing. But if she's not doing any of that, she's probably on Facebook or tinkering with her blog.


  1. QuillDancer: this is a beautiful post… and i know it represents a truth for you, but it’s a truth based in your past… not your future. you are too young to have such a jaded view of relationships. you want a new outcome? then change your own story…

    i know, i know… these things are easier said than done, but that doesn’t make them any less possible. i highly (and i mean HIGHLY) recommend The Mastery of Love (by don Miguel Ruiz) as one fabulous means for re-thinking your view on your relationships with the significant people in your life. you are clearly such a loving, creative, and giving person… and you really *do* deserve all the love and tenderness you want in your life. it’s there, i promise.

    lovely post… even tho’ it just breaks my heart to think someone as full of life as you was ever made to feel anything less than wonderful. xox

  2. Sorry you have been so unlucky in love. Don’t give up on finding one of the good ones,though. There really are nice men around. But a lot of them are shy. Sometimes a woman is better off if she gives them a bit of a nudge. 🙂

  3. Two of my favorite people have a habit of only seeing the good in others, and so have had to struggle with wrong choices in their past. But both finally found wonderful mates.
    So don’t give up hope

  4. My first marriage made me wonder “what the heck was I thinking?” The problem is some people are good at hiding their true selves until the marriage. You have to remember it is not YOUR fault the guy did not reveal his true self until it was too late. Therefore, I would hate to see you give up for something that was not your fault to begin with.

    I know what you mean about flashbacks…whenever I hear certain songs or there are certain smells that bring me back and I get an upset tummy but I refuse to let him still ruin my life. I just think, Thank God I am no longer with that guy!!!!

  5. Quilly-Sister, I’ve had a few of those instant flashbacks in my life, too. That sort of ‘kicked-in-the-guts’ feeling.

    But you know what, little girl? You are the sum of your parts. You learned, you grew…and you are who you are, where you are…because of who you were and where you’ve been.

    And who you are and where you are -is pretty terrific – so embrace your whole life!

    I love you.

  6. I’m sorry you had the flashback.

    I think that we have done ourselves a disservice by looking for relationships based strictly on love. As unromantic as it sounds, it is very important to analyze the type of person we need and look more critically at the people we allow into our lives.

  7. Hi Quill….isn’t it funny how a sound or a smell….can take your right back. Even to this day, I can’t really handle the smell of beer because it does that to me.

    I am a light sleeper and every little noise wakes me up. But now, the only noises I hear are bugs, and that is good. Well and birds. And an occasional dog bark, but it usually my own.

    I know there are some good men out there, but truthfully I think they are mostly already married.

    Aside from the current husband being as lazy as lint, he is a good enough person. I just have to face the fact that if ANYTHING gets done, I gotta do it. He doesn’t even take pity on me when I am sick. The kids just have to feed themselves. His parenting skills are non existant. Oh well…..

  8. My heart aches for the woman in your past and the one there last night that had that half second of fear and doubt. The ‘fixer’ wants to fix it all, make it never happen again…..which of course I cannot control….so instead I will try to be supportive and say the things you need to hear, Like -Keep pluggin’ along and Your time will come. and There will be someone out there for you soon.
    (all things I would not normally say)
    I love you, I appreciate you, I think you are one of the most interesting, funniest people I have ever met in my life. If you were not my family I would pick you for a friend. I do not like that you remember someone that thought and said less of you than you are. I do not like that it is your past and without it you would not be here, the you of today. I also dont like being reminded that someone you lived with loved you less than I do. It is not nice and is not right. And my heart aches for the woman you were with the bad man and the woman that remembers the bad man today. I love you.

  9. Hopefully tonight you’ll have better sleep. Like Nea I am a light sleeper. About the only time I don’t wake up is if I am really tired. Even Haimish or Alexander jumping on the bed will wake me sometimes. Sometimes I will wake up with a cat sleeping on my chest with the hind quarters in my face.

    I’ve resorted to using Ear Plugs when I go to bed. It is amazing how they cut down on the extra noise. But they still allow noise through.

    I’ve added another song lyric to the blog. This song takes me back. Go have a boo when you have a chance.


  10. Quilly I can understand how you were in that relationship. The frog in hot water effect…didn’t start off that bad, then he increased the temperature, and you adjusted, and he increased it again, and you adjusted and he kept increasing it until you were slowly being boiled to death.

    But hey, you got out. That’s the most important thing. How many people, in that situation, have your courage?

    And look where you are now.

  11. It was the character of some of the people in your life that was poor, Quilly… Not your judgment. None of us knows the future. We just do the best we can with what we know. I hope you find someone who makes you happy someday 🙂

  12. There really are some good men out there, but I know how you must feel, grandgirls mom, my daughter, is going through the same thing. Isn’t it crazy how a sound or smell will send us caroming back to our past? The sound of a lawnmower when I’m just waking up puts me right back on Lake Clementine waiting for my turn to ski.

  13. I can’t understand why any woman likes any man. Men are, by and large, fairly dreadful creatures. Even I don’t like them and I’m one of the crew.

  14. Well… I don’t recommend THAT as a solution to the “man” problem! LOL! But… I DO recommend ear-plugs as a solution to the neighborhood noise problem! I’ve been wearing them to keep my hubby’s snores away – and MAN, they work like a CHAMP! I can’t hear the alarm clock either!!! LOL! (gotta take ’em out on my last trip to potty during the night!)

  15. been there too Quilldancer. In think that fleeting yet gut wrenching moment of fear is some kind of animal instinct that reminds of the lessons of danger we learned.
    I am glad to learn more about you, even when its the painful stuff.

Comments are closed.