November 7, 2008

things that happen that sometimes I'm not so sure I'm glad that they did

I ran into three people from my high school on my way to and from the train station today.
One of which was a girl I used to hang out with sometimes. One of which was a guy whose brother I used to hang out with sometimes. One of which was my first real boyfriend who I dated in high school for 2 years. We actually ended up on the same train together into Manhattan.

The last time I saw him was about 3 years ago, walking home from the train station. It was awkward then. It was awkward today. He still has that same look about him like he's about to cry. His baby blues get all glossy and he's blinking a lot. And his voice is always cracking, every other syllable. It's painful, standing in front of that. I hate knowing that was something I did. I'm surprised he even approached me on the platform. He said, "I knew I'd run into you eventually. I just didn't know when..."

We talked briefly about what the prevalent going-ons in our lives are now. He looks exactly the same.
"Do you still not drink?" he asked.
"You're still the same, do you think? Or you're different?"
The same, I guess... Maybe a little goofier.
I don't know if that's the answer he was looking for. I don't know if that was a total lie. I'd say I was different in some accounts probably. Bolder, more aware, less cynical, hopefully wiser.

"So are you happy now?" The way he said the word happy, those two p's held some thinly-veiled contempt. It's one of those questions that is always how you say it. There is always a right answer.
I'd say I'm content, more or less, I responded confidently. Are you? I asked. As soon as I did, I kind of wished I hadn't.
"Yeah, more or less," he replied without hesitation.

You still don't wear shirts with stuff on them?
"Oh yeah," he laughed, unzipping his hoodie to reveal a basic white thermal tee, of course plain.

Remember how you said that when you went to England, everyone smelled like taco shells? I asked. I don't know why or how that just struck me, but it seemed like a lot of things were striking me at that moment. He told me this when we were 15 and just getting to know each other, I remember. I was fascinated with England back then.

I left at my stop saying, It was good to talk to you. I mean, what I meant was, It was horrifically uncomfortable to see you again. But I'm kind of glad I did. I touched him on the shoulder as I walked away. I don't know why since I'm sure that the last thing he ever wanted was for me to touch him.
I can't believe how I remembered all that stuff. I don't think I ever really knew what I was doing with him. Palling around, I guess. We liked each other alright, I think we even loved each other. It's hard to tell now. Everything I've learned from him, I've learned now, in the future, after what I did to him had been done back to me.

I mean, as far as exes go, I don't actually keep in touch with any of them. Any who I've tried being friends with, I just didn't see the point. Or I got creeped out. Mostly, I was too proud for that. Getting hurt sucks and it makes you do some irrational crazy things that later you may look back on with utter humiliation and disgust. But I've got an iron will when it comes to recoupment and recovery. Just like England.


Simone said...

exes are extremely odd to deal with. especially ones you're still deeply in love with.

ryan said...

neutral facial expression

Unknown said...

trying to recall high school relationships in order to decipher who this was written about is TERRIBLY difficult on this monday morning!