An episode from the past that might help explain some things.

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Names changed to protect the innocent.

In 1996 I met Lucie. She was a few months older than me and crazy and had awesome taste in music and worked and the same movie theatre as my friend Will did. We all mutually hung out a few times, and she and I went on a coffee “date” that summer, but I was still hung up on the Canadian girl at that point, but that’s another story for another time. So she decided to move on and I was fine with that until I found out that my horndog friend A. was pursuing her, in which case something rose inside me and I was all like, “FUCK THAT! She’s MINE!” And that, funnily enough, was the start of one of something wonderful. More or less. For about a year. She taught me a lot of things about myself, and I’ll never forget her for that.

Or for what came after we broke up.

Almost exactly a year later, after a few failed attempts at reconciliation, we called it quits for good. Now, I had just recently moved in with her cousin as a sort of stop gap measure btwn. living w/ my folks and living w/ her, but he and I were buddies, so we saw no reason to alter the arrangement. Of course, THEY were still buddies, too, so she was around. A LOT. They’d go out on thursday nights to this goth/industrial club and come home in the wee small hours. She meets some dude whose name would sound like a pseudonym even if I put it down here, but I’m not gonna do that. Oh, and then she throws a party to introduce him to all of her friends, including me. And she had done the same thing when we started dating. It should also be noted that I had NOT handled the break up very well* and was drinking HEAVILY to counteract the bad vibes. I had a number of enablers in this endeavour, so I didn’t really see anything wrong with it. 

And then one thursday night, my roomie doesn’t go out to the club, but the ex calls and asks to speak w/ him. Being the concerned kind of guy I am, I ask if I can help and/or take a message. She insists that it’s important and that I get him. So I knock on his door. And he picks up the phone. Now, right about here is where the wise man hangs up the phone and goes to bed. But instead, I just put the phone on mute and eavesdrop. A betrayal of trust, I know, but something was up.

Lucie:”J., what I’m about to tell you…you have to keep VERY close to your chest.”

J.:”Ok, what’s up?”

Lucie:”X. asked me to marry him. I said yes.”

And I SLAM the phone down. And then I get up. And then I go to the kitchen and slam 3 beers. And then I drive around. Dumb, dumb, dumb boy.

It tore me up for a good long time. Eventually she and I made peace, and I even grew to like him. And as it happens she wound up marrying the dude AFTER him, so it was all no big deal.

 

However, since 1997, I haven’t had a relationship that’s lasted more than 4 months. And after every breakup, it feels like something like this could happen again. In some cases, similar things have. Though never that serious. 

 

I really have to stress that this wasn’t motivated by anything going on currently, but I thought if I put it out in the cosmos, I could take away from its power. So there you go. 

 

 

Take care, be good.

 

 

m.h.

 

 

 

*the same week we broke up, I lost my job and found out my mom had cancer. SUCK!

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4 thoughts on “An episode from the past that might help explain some things.

  1. I think this is why we need some sort of universal system for post-relationship friends status. Some people say they’re cool, but they’re not. Some people say they’re cool, but they overcompensate to point out it’s cool. Etc, etc, etc. It’s unfortunate that you were in the position to be so close to her life after the breakup, despite still having some issues with it. I completely understand what you went through…

  2. Ugh, breakups are so terrible … Amazing to look back on and reflect later, though at the time you wonder if it might kill you. Especially when you’re the one not handling it well. Great post … can relate to this.

  3. Is it any consolation whatsoever to learn that the last I heard of her subsequent-to-you-beau, he was in prison in Denver for armed robbery?

    I always felt like you put Lucie on a pedestal she didn’t really deserve. Actually, during the years I got to know her, I figured out that she put *herself* on a pedestal she didn’t really deserve, and invited other people to come join her on it. And then kicked them off when she got tired of them.

    She’s nice and all, and I *like* her, and we very nearly became really good friends, but there’s a deep, deep elitism in her that I just can’t overcome (even when I’m invited for the ride).

    Anyway. This is actually less relevant than it would be for me to tell you about my current boyfriend, who was semi-permanently wrecked from a relationship *he* had in 1997 or so, and with whom it took some serious patience and diligence on my part for us to get to a comfortable place where he actually felt like he could commit to me without risking permanent wounding. It was hard, man. I can’t even tell you.

    So yeah. You’re not the only person who’s been way more screwed up than they should have been. And I definitely think the power of that compounds itself the longer goes by without a meaningful, lasting relationship. But it’ll get better. You’re significantly awesome, and you will absolutely find someone who’s willing to trudge through your issues with you (as you trudge through hers, too, no doubt).

    Gah, I hate this whole comment and I feel it’s way too personal and specific and will probably bite me in the ass. But whatever.

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