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The Table

*Written in late 2017.

Ok, so my marriage died. That much you’ve gathered. And because I’ve been obsessed with Law & Order: SVU since college, I immediately associate any death with a medical examiner’s autopsy table. This time, though, I’m on it.

I’m not being morbid. I’m simply being serious. The marriage is over, the vows no longer enforced. I’m free...and yet, I died.

I didn’t get all dressed up to walk down the aisle in September 2012 in front of 300 people so I could be 30 years old and starting over. I married for keeps. I married so I wouldn’t have to be alone. Not the best idea in hindsight, but clearly, I did not want to be alone.

Despite my efforts, the marriage died anyway. And I along with it. At least the Ashlyne I knew and planned to keep on being. And the M.E.’s table has been on my mind ever since.

I’ll be honest, it was a strange thing to print the inner workings of an autopsy off a public computer. My friends were worried it would be the thing that made Big Brother flag me and take me away. Like I’m a felon or something. But the concept of an autopsy is the best way I can describe this whole thing. A self-autopsy.

I knew very little during the aftermath of the divorce. My mind was blurry. My head spun. My stomach churned. I was a wreck. But I knew one thing: I NEVER WANTED TO BE BACK HERE.

I’m not talking about divorce, although duh. I’m talking about a place of utter obliteration. If I’m on the M.E.’s table, I’m looking for cause of death. I’m looking at the toxicology report. I’m studying my organs. I’m studying bones. (Oh, I love the show Bones, too.) Anything that will tell me how I got here, when the problems started. And just like on the table, my self- examination must be thorough. It cannot discriminate, skip over, assume. Everything must be taken out and dissected for the report to be accurate.

I won’t be able to continue with this analogy in excess, I’ll just tell you now. I get queasy easily. But you get the gist. Nothing’s off limits. No boxes grayed out. No. matter. what.

In order to move on, you gotta go back. First things first: I must take everything out and put it on the table. I must start at the very beginning.


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