Jonathan Wayward Smyth was beside himself. He’d never before been dumped in such an egregious manner, for such an incomprehensible reason.
Had it been that his wife of many years had found another lover, through her own adulterous conjuring or by mistake brought about by spirits or narcotic smoke, perhaps he could learn to live with the outcome and forgive her trespasses. It would at least be common, acceptable, the marriage’s demise easily heaped upon her shoulders. But it had nothing to do with another man.
Had it been that she’d suddenly discovered her true gender identity and sadly could no longer entertain a life in the arms of a man at all, but instead was moved to search out like women with whom to spend a lifetime, he could at least point to her biology, or her insanity, depending upon the audience he was addressing at the time.
Were it financial in nature, that she’d embezzled her academic employer and was on the verge of being upended by the FBI, therefore needing to disavow her life as it was and quickly, stealthily move to Argentina where she could live out her days in the company of third generation Nazi expatriates, perhaps he’d be able to make a profit from the story and so, mitigate the pain somewhat.
Or had she learned that she’d contracted a horribly disfiguring and certainly fatal disease, and had filed for divorce on the premise that she would save he and their family the agony of watching her slow and awful plunge into vegetation and finally expiration, he would understand in some minimalist way and be satisfied that at least he had not been the focal point of the change.
But as the truth would have it, she’d left simply because he was “a jerk”. He’d “been a jerk” over the course of their entire relationship, according to her, and she had once and for all tired of his “jerkiness”; enough so that she’d been moved to give him the final heave ho.
This… was unacceptable. And so he plotted, and planned. He harassed and manipulated. He squeezed and shredded. He badmouthed and potty talked. She would pay for his humiliation. She would come to say “Gosh Jonathan Wayward Smyth, I am so sorry that I dumped you! It was a giant mistake on my part and I truly wish I could recall every word spoken so that you might see clear to come back to me and once again be my protector and lover and friend!” Regret… was everything.
And so on this last day, he spent six hours at a window table within the confines of “Jack and Jill’s Falling Down Bar and Grill” putting the final touches on what would be his return to magnificence, his tour de force; a plan so complete, so clever, so brimming with logistical malevolence it would absolutely show his superiority, her simple minded, uncompassionate irascibility, her total and unending deviation from all things truthful and his absolute innocence. He was NOT a jerk. And through this brilliantly conceived conspiracy, he would prove that; not only to his in laws…. but TO THE WORLD!!!!!
So focused was he as he left the “Falling Down” and began the crossing toward his car, there’d not been a chance in hell, the very hell he’d created, that he’d have seen much less heard the eighteen wheeler barreling down Main Street.
They say he was so flattened, the medical examiner needed to use a giant spatula to lift his remains from the street. And yet, though his body measured the thickness of onion paper, his head remained engorged. “Vitriol”, some doctors speculated. “Self Loathing” said others. “Ego” I figured. But then, what would I know; I’m just the truck driver.