Start a TV Show End a Marriage
In May, just before my thirty-ninth birthday, I got a call that the
series [Combat!] was picked up for a full season. I sat down and thought for about an
It was time. Time to make an end of a marriage that had existed in name
only for more than a decade. Now or never.
I got up, went out, and drove to Westwood to look at apartments. One
was nicely furnished and I rented it. Then I went home and packed a few suitcases. Aria
came into my bedroom.
"Taking a trip?" she asked.
"No," I said, "Im leaving."
She folded her arms and leaned against the open door. Smiling slightly
she said, "And where do you think youre going?"
"Why would you be interested?" I asked as I folded a few
things into the case.
"You know you cant get along without me," she said.
I stopped and looked at her. "Youve had me believing that
for twelve years. Sorry, the old line doesnt work any more," and I went back to
my packing. She stood there for a few minutes, then walked away. I moved into the
apartment and the next day went back for my cameras, tropical fish tank, the rest of my
clothing, and my guns.
Id begun building a gun collection a few years before. Aria had a
fear of firearms, and not only refused to learn how to use them and handle them safely,
but demanded that I keep them in my bedroom closet, completely out of sight. Several times
a month Id spend an afternoon at a range practicing marksmanship. At that time I
hadnt been hunting in years.
As I walked to the front door with the last load of my belongings, Aria
appeared. She now knew that I really meant to move out. Her attitude had changed. She wore
a downcast and helpless look.
"Are you sure you know what youre doing?" she asked in
a littler voice than the one shed used the day before.
"Finally, yes," I said.
"What about this?" she asked indicating our "home."
"You can have it. Its yours. You may have it, the art
on the walls, the bronzes, even the wine cellar, though you wont know what
youre drinking and never took an interest in finding out. But its all good so
you cant make a mistake, except to open something that wont be ready for
another ten years."
"How will I know?" she asked, almost in a little girls
"I guess its something youll just have to learn,"
I said, and left.
A settlement was reached after a lot of lawyer haggling; she got the
house and everything in it, a choice of cars, and two thousand a month for ten years. I
got my freedom.
It was worth it.