jeudi, août 18, 2011

The (wo) man you let go

Recently I found myself thinking of someone.

Someone I knew a while (years) ago. A guy from my past. We'd been close to each other, and then we'd drifted apart.

And I found myself thinking....what if? What if we had taken our relationship one step further? What if we'd persevered? What if we'd tried to make it work?

Maybe you have someone like that in YOUR past -- a man or a woman you knew in high school, from your first job, from last year.

The years may have flown by...but you've always wondered.

You can't quite recall why you broke up with him. Maybe he wasn't the "total package. " Maybe you fought too much. Maybe you disagreed on things that felt fundamental at the time. Perhaps you didn't like his taste in beer, or music, or football teams. Maybe he didn't fit the "template" you had, the habit, your vanity.

The guy you're with now? He's financially successful, bright, a "guy's guy" that your girlfriends also like -- but there are times when you are so bored with your life that you could scream with frustration.

And when you are running, or at work, or sitting at home before he arrives, you think of the man you have tried to hard to blot out from your mind.

What if I'd been more loving and generous? What if I'd been able to deal with my own insecurities, instead of blaming it all on him?

If I emailed him, would he answer? If I texted him, would he bite my head off? Would he remember me?

No, impossible -- or close.

She lies beside you at night, sleeping peacefully. You and she are comfortable together -- she's a harbor in the storm, will never rock your boat, finds your utterances wise and your essence lovable. Every day, in some way, she tells you how grateful she is that you two found each other. She is beautiful, she tells you, because you love her.

She makes you feel good about yourself. You revel in her compliments, and her need -- it is balm for your spirit. Each time you look into a mirror, you see the same person -- no need to change. She likes you just the way you are. She lives the answers rather than the questions.

But in the moments before you go to sleep, you turn from her, and those old longings reassert themselves, in spite of your best efforts to incinerate them. You recall the other woman's gentleness, her quiet passion, the way her eyes would widen when you teased her -- the ingenuous way she'd tease you.

Grinning wryly, you are reminded of the way she would challenge you in a way that didn't offend -- believing that you could go deeper, jump higher, dream larger. Life would have been different -- the difference between a quiet, never-changing stream and the sometimes exhilarating rapids.

And for a moment, just for a moment, you turn away from the one who lies beside you. Slipping quietly out of bed, you look out the window, at the night that seems so tantalizing and full of mysteries. Even if you don't ever see her again, you wonder, a little impatiently, are you really done with her?

Will you ever be done?

3 commentaires:

BigLittleWolf a dit…

Those what ifs, those second chances, those images of other selves... all important to re-framing who we are now, I think.

And maybe preparing for a different future?

Offcenter a dit…

I don't could be. One thing about relationships is that they are never predictable!

BigLittleWolf a dit…

Those 'what ifs' are certainly powerful, I know. I'm not sure they ever fully leave us, and I don't necessarily consider that a problem. Lovely writing, by the way. On so many levels.