Leader. Risk-taker. Visionary. Ex-husband.
In 1976, he co-founded Microsoft, the company that would go on to make him one of the richest people on the planet. In 1985, he released the Windows PC and revolutionized the retail computer industry. He has donated billions of dollars to charity through the Gates Foundation and continues to be one of the most prolific philanthropists alive. Across borders, cultures, and ideologies, the name “Bill Gates” is the very synonym of success.
Admittedly, I share none of these accomplishments in common with Bill. However, we are identical in one crucial respect: both of our wives divorced us.
I see Bill and I as kindred spirits — two intrepid, intelligent, inspiring explorers braving the vast and unfamiliar world of family court. We are the Renaissance Men of our time: the Leonardos, the Michelangelos, the Donatellos, the Picassos, the Marios, the Luigis. Just as Bill is capable of imagining a world without malaria, I possess the ingenuity and creative willpower to imagine a life without my ex-wife, Charlotte. Although, to be honest, it’s still quite difficult for me to imagine life without her. I miss her very much.
Like most men of power and stature, Bill and I attracted the attention of several prominent individuals. We forged alliances, built trust, made friends, made enemies. We got involved with people we shouldn’t have. Bill got involved with Jeffrey Epstein. I got involved with my daughter’s preschool teacher. We both did things we’d live to regret.
Alas, the price of success is that everyone tries to take away what’s rightfully yours. When Microsoft started bundling Internet Explorer with the Windows PC, the District Court of the District of Columbia accused the company of “maintaining an illegal monopoly position” and “violating antitrust law.” Likewise, when Charlotte divorced me, she accused me of not knowing that Janet’s favorite color is “fuchsia” and of being “categorically unfit for parenthood.”
Ultimately, I can only hope that I will live up to Bill’s legacy. Will I be able to maintain custody of my children like how Bill maintained custody of Microsoft and Internet Explorer? Will I lose the majority of my assets in a series of messy court proceedings that will occupy the better half of my adult life? Only time will tell.
All I know is that I won’t let something as trivial as a few divorce papers prevent me from reaching my full potential.
Please come back, Charlotte. I know I fucked up but I promise I’ve changed. Give me a second chance.