As promised, here’s the 4/1 promised posting.
It ran in the Restless Anthology preview edition.
I can’t believe it. I canceled out on seeing her. Really I stood her up. Again. This was supposed to be breakfast and I’m ever so hungry, but I made the conscious decision to be a no-show without warning or explanation. Some cultures can ostracize a member for deliberately avoiding a breakfast appointment. Even knowing this, I still stick to my guns. This sort of scenario was far from the first time, and it was usually my fault. What is it with dealing with an ex?
The bright side about the death of a loved one or friend is the fact it’s over and permanent. It can be sad, granted. The shock, disbelief, and mourning process. But death is a done deal. An ex is the walking dead. The zombie of a deceased relationship which can permeate and consume a person. Just like the health films of junior high warned, it’s something that can strike anyone at any time. There are grief counselors and pamphlets in funeral homes to help guide a person through a devastating loss as death can be, but no pocket guide is truly out there to overcome a lost or failed relationship. But on to happier things. This is not meant to be morose, but the quandary of ex-girlfriends.
Family can push buttons. Most families somehow have a mechanic to keep from killing one another off. The difference may also be the fact of being hardwired to always love one’s family. Not liking necessarily, but loving. The conundrum of the ex cannot be explained so simply. This wasn’t the only ex. And this wasn’t the first time.
She wanted to meet up and have coffee. There are two forms of having coffee; each with a different dynamic. At the onset of a relationship, or for a first date, having coffee is slang: launching an exploratory committee to see what course of action to take next. There is a goal in sight– or insert sports metaphor here to entice a Fox studio audience to whoop and holler. Things can sour from coffee or move on to sweeter things…at least for that encounter’s worth. The second form of having coffee is basically Latin for platonic. A safe environment, oftentimes in public or broad daylight. A visual cue of “no means no” for lack of better phrasing. When an ex, the latter is the most practical, and wisest assumption to make.
The ex wanted coffee. She was in town and wanted to meet up, or spring whatever surprise or trap which I feared was in store. I had to say yes. Not forced, but compelled to agree in order to keep up with my nice guy image. I didn’t show. At least not in her eyes. I breezed by; half late hour late to pass by from afar and scope out the situation. There was a guy with her and I knew she had no brothers. I rounded the corner and called her cell. The movie was later than I thought, and I was trying to find my car- far as she knew. She said she was running late and waved off the meeting; scrambling to save face.
Another time and another female. Another place. It wasn’t coffee. It was too benign to mention. She wanted a favor for someone she knew. I discovered I wasn’t tagged as an ex, but was a friend instead. A friend to one who didn’t call unless a minor favor was needed which she selfishly veiled as dire. I didn’t care to deal with her or see what the dilly even was. I stayed home. Somehow I felt this infomercial was more important than whatever she wanted me to do. Not important enough of an hour long commercial to buy said product, but at least for the sake of watching.
There had been others, but why go into detail. The point has been made. I’m not known to be a serial stand-up with people in general. I don’t take pleasure by it. Far from. I love to be punctual as a rule, but there’s no little brochure yet to help me get over some of that breakup fallout. Not the sense of drama– more similar to an atomic blast from science fiction. Tiny particles of radiation floating through the air which reorder the atoms inside of a person. Altering the chemistry of any living thing when passing through the subject. A former relationship is akin to the red kryptonite. It won’t kill, but can sure mess me up in an inexplicable way.
I suppose maybe a person from a past relationship can be explained best as a tuning fork. Not as a metaphor for love, but as a more tangible example. Meeting and connecting is like striking a tuning fork. It’s a tone or vibration which somehow I’m drawn to. People rarely change their spots, meaning the person in that dissolved relationship can still strike the same note from that proverbial tuning fork. Being in the right proximity can cause the same feelings all over again from the first time; no matter how “over it” I thought I was.
That tuning fork of love, or whatever mystery emotion, can still rattle through me. Sometimes I am able to keep the effects diminished, but it’s on a case-by-case basis. Would I ever confide this in an ex, or any female I had a feeling for? Heck no. I’d rather chalk it up to being petty or a guy that can’t get past certain truths. I thought jerks were known to have better luck with the ladies anyway.
So here I sit. Laying really. Contemplating while on my back. Hands over my eyes in fists with my elbows out. Searching for the hows and why. How I let things get to me and why I refute this encounter. Now on the cusp of reconsidering. All I have to do is keep my head down and keep focus on my eggs, that little glass of orange juice, and whatever variety of pork product I decide on scarfing down with delayed (and yummy) greasy guilt.
Maybe it won’t be so bad. Maybe she’ll even understand. Who am I kidding? I’ll take a raincheck on that bacon.