I Got Back Together With My Ex

It didn’t work out.

After over 20 years apart I started I decided to track down my ex. Turns out she was easy to find.  She was startled to hear from me and even more surprised when I told her I still loved her and wanted to see if we could give it another try.

I told her that over the years she had entered my mind many times and sometimes I almost called, that I had started letters and e-mails and never sent them and she was even in my dreams and I just had to know.

So she agreed to meet.

That first coffee shop meeting was exciting for us both. We could see the younger version of ourselves and there was enough electricity to move on to the next level. So I dressed up nice and came over to her place. It was just like I remembered it. A few updates here and there, but it seemed like home. She had slimmed down over the years; actually she was as lean as a long distance runner. Though I liked her better bigger, I respected her efforts to remain healthy. Or was she anorexic?

Within weeks we had jumped into the deep end and we spending all our time together. It started out great. It was fun to talk about the old times and listen to the old songs. She loved those old songs and listened to the same playlist every day. But new music? Forget about it.  She just wanted things to be like they always were and they aren’t. Time has passed. I have changed. The world has changed. But she barely changed at all. At first, that was cool, but she just didn’t get where I was coming from and as quickly as we came back together we drifted apart.

In just a few months I knew we were doomed, but I hung in there. I suggest fun new things we could do together, but she would hardly even consider them. I found myself looking around. Damn it. This seemed like a good idea and now I am half way out the door. But I stuck around, half-heartedly, I admit, and it was clear that she knew…and one day she announced that it was time for me to leave.

So I packed up my computer, threw my business cards in the trash and walked out of that Classic Rock radio station.

FM Radio. She once so sexy and wild and fun and free, but now she has become so cold and old and tired. There was a time I loved her with all my heart. But now I needed to get back to the 21st century.

And it’s good to be here. I like the future and that Spotify chick is super cute.

 

Photo: “Chesapeake Moonset” by Chelsea Clough 2015

I Wrote Something and I Want To Read It To You

 

“Hey I wrote something and I want to read it to you”.

The voice on the telephone surprised me. It was my own.

At 9:15 this morning I picked up my phone and called a friend I had not spoken to in years. We had not been totally out of touch, of course, we see each other’s posts on Facebook and give Likes and sometimes comment so we are not totally out of touch, right?

“Uh, OK Pete, go ahead.” my friend said, clearing his throat a bit, “Sorry, I don’t think I’ve spoken out loud this morning until just now”.

As he said that I realized that I had not spoken out loud to another human in about 2 hours, and that was a quick “Good Morning” to a dog walking neighbor as I hopped into my car. I had gotten gas, visited the ATM, picked up a few items at the grocery store and having used the self check out, not had to speak to anyone in order to do so. Reflecting for a moment, I realized that the only other words I had spoken out loud this morning were to ask the cat if she really wanted to go out into the 23 degree chill. She did.

“Well, thanks for taking the call. I don’t think what I’m going to read would have fit into a voice mail message.”

“Yeah, and I never listen to those anyway” my friend replied.

His voice shocked me. He sounds older, hell, he almost sounds old! I wonder if I sound old to him? I wonder if I sound old to my wife and my daughter. I remember the first time my father sounded old to me on the phone. I had to sit down for a few minutes and just realize that the old man was actually old…

“So here goes”, I said, and read him the short piece I had just written. When I finished he said, “that’s really good. Where is that going to be published?”

“Oh I don’t know if it will be published anywhere really. Probably just on my blog, but I was imaging you as the reader when I wrote it and I thought about printing it out and stuffing it in an envelope and sending it to you.”

“Oh man, you should have! I haven’t gotten anything close to personal mail beyond a birthday card in so long I can’t remember.”

“Well, I still could I suppose”

“Please do. And maybe throw in a photo of the wife and kids, make it a totally retro flashback letter!”

We chatted a bit after that, promising each other that we would not let it ever go so long between phone calls again. We made a vague promise to get together sometime and shared a moment to remember a mutual friend who had died this past year.

“Yeah, I hadn’t talked to him since Al Gore won the election and he and the Supreme Court disagreed. What is that – like 14 years? Shit. How did that happen?” his voice trailed off.

“I don’t know man, it’s like a rocket sled down an icy mountain, faster and faster and no hope of stopping, and we just got this far because we were lucky enough to miss the trees. Well, so far anyway.”

“Oh I’m afraid there is a tree on that mountainside for us somewhere, there is no medals podium at the end of this run, but there certainly will be a finish line” he said expanding and extending my metaphor.

“You should right that down. Then call up a friend and read it to him.” I said, “Or mail it.”

“You know, I just might do that. Well, Pete, thanks for calling, see you on Facebook. Well, I’ll see the part of you that you want me to see anyway.”

After we hung up I sat there for a while, staring off into the middle distance, not focused on anything as my mind took me back to a place and time long ago and not too far away where my friend and I had shared hours upon hours doing everything and anything. Just spending time. Spending it with total abandon, like we would always have plenty of it and wasting a bit today didn’t matter at all, there would be more of it tomorrow.

Then I picked up my phone. “Hey, I wrote something and I want to read it to you.”

 

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