Thursday, May 19, 2011


I'm curled up on my chair with a mug of hot tea in my newly cleaned room. The fact that I've finally tackled the cleaning aspect of it, is of course comforting, as it was gathering layer upon layer of dust and crap, the kind that put me straight into "cleaning avoidance". Yesterday evening I finally bit the bullet and went for it, mop and broom, Pledge and floor cleaning detergent.

The result of which, there is actually a space on my desk for my laptop and I'm sitting there writing this. If you know me well enough, you know this is rare. Usually I'm hunched over my laptop in bed, not very healthy and I'm told, not good for insomnia.

I had to be up and at 'em early today because of an early assignment, after a night of not sleeping at all, so that was interesting. I arrived early at Starbucks to wait for the guy I was going to interview and got myself a mug of hot chocolate with whipped cream and a doughnut (my very two favourite things in Starbucks) and watched the other patrons furtively to see if anyone could be the guy I was supposed to be interviewing.

At one table, there was a job interview taking place, where this guy in a shiny vest was interviewing this other guy who had been there earlier plugging away at his laptop. The vesty guy was saying: "We advertise a lot through Facebook...." and I thought wow. It took me back to the days I used to interview all these dotcommers who were young and hungry and eager to change the world.

Except that shiny vest guy looked a little too sleek and well-fed for that. He was like the cat who had been fed too much cream. Even though he was the one conducting the interview, he sat down casually and allowed the other guy to buy him a drink...just an Earl Grey old man, I've had my breakfast.

There was a very attractive girl in a sort of jumper suit (shorts, not trousers, not skirt) who set up her laptop across from me. She bought two drinks and looked like she was waiting for someone but all the time I was there, no one turned up, and at one point she came over and asked if I could watch her laptop as she needed to go to the bathroom.

But all of this is besides the fact. I glanced up once or twice to take in my surroundings but then buried myself in my new Shawn Achor book, the Happiness Advantage (which explains that you got to be happy first to be successful, and not the other way around) when I suddenly heard: "Hello Jennifer..." and looked up.

It was Ridwin, my first boyfriend, you know from back when I was a teenager? Anyway, there he was staring down at me, and then he pulled up a seat from another table sat carefully out of reach, trying not to intrude in my space, but wanting to have a conversation nevertheless.

The last time I had encountered him was on Facebook, where we ended up in a fight (but of course) and his parting words were: "You have hurt me enough." I had just quit my job and gone to England for a break, and on finding out I was there, he had asked me to bring him back a present. To which I replied in the only way possible:

"The only present you deserve is a good swift kick in the butt."

Bitter? Well, you have to remember that even if it was 20 years ago, this guy cheated on me for most of our relationship. He admitted as much later when we were both with other people and it should have mattered less. Instead there was a surge of rage and all I wanted to do was scratch his face to ribbons.

I did it with words instead.

At every available opportunity.

So it was weird seeing him today and having him sit down and talk. He is married, has been married for more than a decade and has a "pair". I said he made his kids sound like dogs. He edits academic journals for a local university and was out of the office that day because he needed to take his father in law to the national heart centre.

Anyway, he asked after me, seemed surprised that I wasn't married (I said, listen, if I were married by now, I'd be divorced by now, I just don't believe in marriage)...and he nodded seriously, not understanding but wanting to appear to anyway.

He seems to have settled into his routines. He chatted a while asking for my number:

Him: Is it the same?

Me: No, too many weirdos had that one, I changed it.

Him: Can I have the new one?

Me: (silence. gave him a look)

Him: I guess that means no, huh? I just think we should meet for a meal or something.

Me: Why?

Him: What about Facebook?

Me: I'm no longer on it. Or rather I am, but different name, everything.

Him: What's your new name? I guess you won't tell me.

Me: No. I keep it limited. Less than 10 friends. Too many Facebook fights before. You were one of them.

Him: I'm sorry.

Me: No worries. Water under the bridge.

Him: So you won't give me your number, you won't tell me what you go by on Facebook, so how do I contact you?

Me: (no answer because the whole point of this is that he doesn't contact me).

I had a discussion with Nits about whether I've become a recluse. She said no, I still have a social network. I feel I seem to have withdrawn from most of it. So who knows?

I feel like there are some big changes afoot. Like there is all this roiling going on underground. What I most felt, on meeting Ridwin was the lack of animosity. There was just a great indifference. Yes, I didn't volunteer my information, but I tend not to do that anymore. I find it easier not to give my number, than to give my number and then have to change it.

If he was my first boyfriend and some sort of resolution is possible, does it mean that it is possible with all the others as well? Is everything moving towards some sort of resolution?

If only.

No comments: