For some strange reason my ex-husband has been on my mind a lot lately. It hasn’t been an angsty thing. For a little while now I have been able to look back with a more balanced view. I remember all the good things and acknowledge the bad with less pain. I would be friends with him if that were possible, because I miss some really great things about him as a human being, but I would never want to date him or any of that. And I do of course remember the hurts, but without that fiery ember. I’m not angry with him and I see it more clearly, the ways neither of us meant to hurt each other and the collision that was our end.
And maybe that’s why I’ve been thinking of him. For a long time I made myself crazy going over things and then for a long time I tried not to think of him much at all. But I can think back now. I feel healthier. I feel like I can see things more accurately.. all of the ways I contributed to things good and bad, and the ways he did too. Neither one of us is a blameless victim of anything and neither one of us were evil. We were both such fallible human beings. Have you had a break-up? Relate to this at all?
I have been thinking about the people that resonate with us. My ex used to hate this, that I talk about people resonating. I can’t help it. It interests me. I wonder what the effect was on us of loving each other. What did I leave there, after the healing, after the end, after all of our years, what’s he holding? For a while I couldn’t see him accurately. It hurt too much and I was angry. I know it was like that for him too. I could not imagine he knew me so little. It was crazy. But I was making him the angel and the demon in my mind when really he’s just a man.
I wonder if he ever thinks of me when he’s riding his motorcycle? Does he associate me with the fun of riding with others? Does he hear that noise our engines made with each other and remember our overlapping headlights and the feeling of being separate and free and dancing in tandem like that? Am I in there, in the love of the road I gave him?
Does he think of me when he’s really happy about something and he does his little dance where his arm swings around? Does he see me in his daughters’ love of reading or art? Does he ever go into galleries anymore, keeping the interest and familiarity with art that I brought to his life? Does he still have that appreciation for every day art I gave him? Did he buy a new carpet to replace the one I took? Did he hang anything on the walls? Does Van Gogh still live there? Does he still notice architecture and remember how I knew the names of all the pieces of buildings or how that delighted him? Did he keep my love of built in bookshelves? Beyond my dishes and my furniture and the color I painted our bedroom, beyond his Harley shirts and Hawaiian shirts, and all the things I left, what of me is there?
Am I there sometimes when he plays scrabble and boggle and cribbage or trivial pursuit? Can he play games without thinking of our years of playing games (mostly while mostly nude) or all the get-togethers with our friends? Does he think of me at roller derby or when he’s walking among books or listening to electronica? Does he think of me with gyros at Med Mix or pasta at Bengodi or dinner at Cafe Nola? Does he remember all of our talks on weekend mornings over downtowners and coffee at Blackbird bakery? Even if he doesn’t think of me, is my mark still on him? Do you wonder about the mark you leave on others or those they left on you?
I know I’m in there. We spent most of our adult lives together. Of course my mark is on him as his is on me. I find that oddly comforting. We loved each other so much and had such a good thing for so long. He’d have to have been affected just as I was. I can’t separate that love or stop it. We healed each other so much and supported each other though so much. We made each other better for a long long long time. We found a way to make each other laugh even in the emergency room. Hell we cracked up during his vasectomy.
But it’s nice to be here. I feel like I have some perspective. And all that’s left is the love really. I mean.. we’ll be healing for a while yet I’m sure. We left some pretty big marks. I just find myself in this sort of sweet place of acceptance. And from there I just love him and wish him well. I don’t want anything from him. I just hope he’s happy. I wish him joy and feel grateful. I hope he remembers the good we did for each other.
For a while it was just too painful to remember but I can again. I don’t think he was perfect or forget his wrongs. And I’m not repainting him to erase his shortcomings. I see that there are a lot of good things about us not being together too. There are things about loving him that were really hard. Not that I am a breezy walk in the park either, mind you. All the people in all the world have bonuses that we bring and costs you gotta pay to put up with us.
But more and more and more when I think about him it is from a place of friendship or kinship. I wish we could have a cup of coffee like humans and I’m sad that we can’t. No. That’s bullshit. It kills me that after all this time we can’t have a cup of coffee. I honestly don’t know why he is so angry and he won’t say.
But I digress…
After we broke up I talked a lot about how I was hurt but not broken. That’s kinda bullshit. I was broken. I am broken. But it wasn’t my first crack or my last. God some break-ups are just…. I literally don’t have words.
But then there is time. It comes along and sweeps the bits into a pile, or dulls the shattered edges, or something. Maybe they just tumble around enough in you that they smooth out like glass you made sea glass in a rock tumbler. You wake up every day and you breathe in and out. You talk to people who care about you and you slowly love again. You put one plodding foot down and then another and then after a while you look and you are asking yourself:
“What resonates with you?”
“What resonates with me?”
“Am I in there? Where?”