In the beginning, I gave it two weeks. And now, or, well, sometime around now, anyway, it would’ve been a year, if we were still talking to each other. But we’re not still talking to each other. And we made it longer than two weeks. Somewhere between two weeks and a year, anyway, that was how long it lasted. Closer to a year, but not quite. Not quite a year is longer than two weeks: it exceeded my expectations. That’s the point.
I wouldn’t mention this at all — most of my living and loving doesn’t make it onto the internet — but I figure that since I wrote something so painfully sad when it ended, I should close the parentheses on this. The world (or, okay, the Northern Hemisphere) is on the verge of spring. When I step outside, I can smell the earth thawing. It’s always a time of year when I start feeling like I, too, am coming back to life after lying fallow for the winter. Earlier this week, in the middle of a busy moment (this week has been overflowing with busy), the thought drifted through my brain that this time last year is when it began again with him, and I let the thought come to the surface and then pass by. I went back to what I’d been doing, and knew I was finally really truly okay, because it was just a passing thought and not anything that wrenched my heart.
A year ago, or thereabouts, I came inside the house, tired and covered with mud after a rambunctious play session with the dog. I checked my email, and there he was. He was a ghost from my past with whom I had unfinished business. We’d been briefly intense. It had ended without a word. And then he was back. All of my good sense told me no, but I’d always wondered. I don’t like lingering questions. I like answers. I decided I was going to get one. After a bit of arguing, I offered a truce. We could be nice to each other, see what happened.
In my head, I gave it two weeks.
A lovely, surprising thing happened, though. It lasted longer than two weeks. It just kept going. I didn’t know where it was going, or how long it would last, and I stopped worrying about it. My philosophy about relationships, if I can even call it a philosophy at all, is that it’s not really a good idea to concern oneself too much with the future, with what’s next. We should instead concern ourselves with right now, with making that good, and then you can deal with later as it happens. I’ve been told that this is my fancy bullshit way of not really committing to anything, and maybe so, but I’d prefer to think it’s pretty practical — why put it off until later? Things will be good when this, or when that. Stop putting conditions on it, stop saving it for some other magic time (that never arrives) when all of everything is just right, and make right now the best you can make it. That’s what I think, anyway. It doesn’t mean you never think about or talk about or plan for the future, but it does mean that you can only deal with things as they arrive, and until then, all you have is right now. Make it count. And really, that applies to more than just relationships.
So anyway, it was good for awhile, until it wasn’t. Intense, and, in the grand scheme of things, brief. And it ended without a word. Friends who know what happened will ask if I’ve heard anything and when I say no, they say “That’s so weird.” (Well, they also say much less charitable things, but I don’t need to go there.) But it’s not weird, not really. I knew him better than they did, after all, knew about all the other things he said he was going to take care of that he never dealt with, so when it came time to get rid of me, why would he have behaved any differently? It wasn’t the kind thing to do, but people are not always kind. So I took care of it for him, got rid of myself, backed away and left him alone. A month later, I mailed him back his things, and I suppose he got them alright. And if not, oh well, at least I tried.
And a month after that is right now. It would’ve been a year, but instead it’s not. And here I am at the part where all of it was some stuff that happened with a person I used to know. He no longer lingers as a question in the back of my mind: I know that more than two weeks and less than a year was the best we could do, and that’s fine. I don’t suppose I’ll ever know what brought it to the end, since we had no hideous fight, no goodbye, not even an “I’m going out for some cigarettes.” It just disappeared. I’ve purged everything, all the assorted detritus that tends to collect over several months, taken the things that were ours and done them again, created all new associations with the things that used to remind me. (Missy and I decided to leave that photo of him up on Facebook, just because he didn’t want to be on Facebook; la de da, la de da.)
And now that I’ve realized that it would’ve been a year and I’m fine that it didn’t make it there, I feel good. Up until that miserable bit at the end when I had to email him to say that I was done and it was safe for him to turn his phone back on, I had a really good time. I’m not angry, not anymore, and I can think about him and smile, without having the slightest interest in having him back. I hope that whatever it was worked out the way he wanted it to, but if it didn’t, I don’t care. For that matter, I don’t care if it did, either, but I have this ingrained politeness thing, and hoping that things worked seems like the polite thing to write.
Old news, old news. It’s nearly spring and what is next is on its way. I’ll concern myself with right now, making it the best I can make it.
And that’s the last of it.