Saturday, March 12, 2011

Of Ex's And Why's...

My Valentine's Day post is long overdue though it has been on my mind for a while. The truth is, while I don't believe that the day a saint died is a day for much celebration, I do believe in the overall emotion of the day - greeting cards and florists notwithstanding. The truth is - I ENJOY love. I enjoy it in people around me, I enjoy it in the cutesy behaviors (regardless of the eye-rolling I do), I enjoy it in the total hopefulness that is manifested. Nothing could possibly go wrong when one is in love.

Just recently, I encountered Sam. It's been a long 5 years since that relationship ended, a long 5 years where I've slowly put my life back together. And... (I know I've said it a few times before).. I smiled. Genuinely. I suddenly remember all the laughs we used to have. I remember what I loved about him. I remember the moments of pure joy I felt when i was around him, the little surprises we planned for each other, how being in love made me nicer. It was great... because I felt no bitterness. At all. Today, when I think of him, it's with a smile.

Then, a few weeks ago, I went to attend a friend's wedding, and bumped into another ex-from-another-lifetime. He'd recently gotten married, and there was a lot of history there between us - in short, his then-off-again-on-again-girlfriend-now-wife had slept with my then-new-boyfriend-now-nobody in what I call the "revenge-fuck" strategy. Clearly, his relationship had absorbed the hit, while mine had disintegrated over that and other issues. Lots of water, under several bridges. And today, a decade later, we were finally talking to each other again. It was great... and odd, because he kept insisting on raking over the scabs of those old wounds... only to discover that there was no pain there anymore.

In celebration, and in a kind of maudlin frame of mind (everyone's getting married and I'm nowhere near even a normal relationship!) I went to meet Tammy, a man I work with sometimes and have a minor crush on. And what was supposed to last the duration of a sobering cup of coffee and perhaps one cigarette lasted for 7 hours. We watched the sun come up as we talked about his disintegrating marriage, my love life, movies and stories, my daddy-issues, his mommy-issues... No, neither of us "made a move". But there's something to be said about the intimacy of quiet conversation in the middle-of-the-night silence, surrounded by the muted hum of the coffee machine and the low growl of intermittent traffic... It was a perfect setting to unexpectedly connect with someone I barely ever talk to, except about work.

And this is what I realize. I find it difficult to reach out and be 'personal' with someone except with people who've known me for years. I can talk for hours about work and stories and scripts and deadlines and edits and the state of the world, and the ideal nature of relationships and everything else in between, but when it comes to my life, about telling someone how I feel about them, about letting them know that I miss them, that they can so easily become a priority in my life with just the littlest amount of encouragement... I run to the hills. It's likely that all this springs from a crushingly low sense of self worth (After all, nobody I like could possibly like me!!) or an irrational fear of plumbing my emotional depths and discovering once and for all that I AM a sociopath...

Whatever be the reason... In this season of love, I'm beginning to feel like being brave enough to give love some kind of way in...

Now if only I knew how (*breaking out in a sweat*)...!


A-Girl said...

Sam? As far as I remember from reading your blogs for sometime wasn't he your very possessive and jealous boyfriend? How did the meeting with him go? Is he married? Do you think he still loves you?

Its nice to know that your chance meeting with your exes was without any casualties. Specially if you encountered them when they were with their wives. Were they?? That can be pretty awkward and I would prefer not to. But did you say hi to their wives as well?

I don't think you are a sociopath at all. I can totally relate to your feeling of not being able to tell the 'new guys' you meet that they are a priority in your life. But I don't think it is due to low self-worth. In my case I feel 'embarrassed' to tell them, fearing that they are more important in my life that I am to them.

Do you think it is embarrassment that is stopping you from telling these 'new men' how you feel?

Searcher said...

"Fearing that they're more important in my life than I am to them.." - Isn't that what it all boils down to - unsubstantiated fear? And the only way to tackle it is head-on, without fear, considering the answer important enough to be humiliated. I used to do that on a monthly basis sometimes. Now, i'm paralyzed into inaction.

To answer your questions: Yes, both married. No, they don't love me anymore, regardless of what they claim. Yes, i've met their wives. That was - interesting :)