It can be hard to do right, part II

I will not look for information about him online tonight.

I will not look for information about him online tonight.

I will not look for information about him online tonight.

Well, maybe just a little.


Okay. Five minutes of looking.

Fuck, there’s nothing interesting anyways. Unless he died in 1917 and roams the world undead or is buying a mess of stem cells or had congestive heart failure or will give me a flat tummy in time for my wedding or now owns a venture capital firm in addition to the job that I’m sure he still has. (Why am I sure? Because I look for him there online every once in a while because I’m creepy that way. It’s “research” when it’s about autism, but when it’s about people you know without their knowledge/consent, suddenly it’s called “stalking.”) So now I feel bad about myself for giving in and for nothing. Way to go, Seer. Gold star. Chucklehead. Go to bed and leave him alone. Or else you’ll go back and read every communication you have from him ever.

What, like I’m the only one who does that, keeps old emails, and letters, and text messages, and postcards from people I am not supposed to be in contact with anymore so I can pour over them later to see if they have deeper meaning I didn’t catch before? Like you don’t do that. You don’t? Oh, sorry. My “bad,” as it were.

He is a particular favorite. I have real letters from him. Very sexy.

Also of note are the emails from The Doctor Who I Did Not Know Was Married When I Met Him Online. I was a good girl and cut him off when I found out, but I didn’t want to. I kept the emails, though. I think about contacting him sometimes now that we have 3,000 miles to chaperone, but I have no business contacting this man and I leave him alone. I just want the validation. He was very fond of me, and not fond of his circumstances, and I could make him dance like a puppet, so that’s why I liked emailing him. I give good email. Some men really dig it.

And there was The Man Who Toyed With Me. I never met him in person, either. Oh, Seer. There’s no Hope Road. But he was so perfect as a phantom. And always had such good excuses. And gave good words. And a year and a half after I found my backbone and all was pinched off he randomly replied to me by accident with the body of the whole email chain and nothing else in the message, which was really weird. So I told him some things about himself that he should know. Actually, not really. I told him he didn’t have to ever worry about running into me in New York, because I wasn’t in New York anymore, and now I knew he still had the conversation saved, just like I did. He was found out. The whole thing was something for him to revisit, too, a part of his sickness.

And then there was The Friend Who Fell In Love With Me. I read a postcard he’d sent me from Italy today, describing the loneliest dragon in the world, one hatched from a chicken egg that withered everyone it gazed upon with just one glance, “lonelier even than Midas, they say.” “Seer: what is its name?” he writes, as if I would know off the top of my head. I miss him. I miss him awful. I wish I could send him an AeroPress, the best coffeemaker in the world, because he would so appreciate it, more than anyone else I’ve ever met. I wish I could tell him of the shoe and coffee shop, Zombierunner, where I buy them. I wish I could give him my new recipes for beans. I wish so many things around him. But there is no common ground between believing someone has fallen in love with you and being uncomfortable in the relationship |↔| truly feeling you have not fallen in love with your friend and thinking they are full of baloney. There’s nothing that will mend that breach.

I had an excuse to brush up against contact with the first one, the real-live letter-giver recently, and more than once. But there’s no use for me to reënter that relationship. It doesn’t have what either of us needs. I just have no easy alternative, no boys I’m even looking at with interest regularly, so I obsess over it. (Yes, sometimes I run into the man who has told me that he wasn’t dating because of his legal problems and also of his sex addiction–both unsolicited, mind you, and the latter at someone’s memorial service. He asks intermittently and hopefully if I’m still dating “lemons,” but I am not interested or attracted to this fellow. I’ll introduce you if you like. He’s very nice.) I put him in my pocket and reach in there, touch the edges while I’m talking to someone about something else. I feel the heft of  him in there when I sit, and I have to take him out and put him in my purse. I’m reminded of it often because of why I had to be in contact with him. And I want to be distracted from my present circumstances. But it’s just wrong. Not terribly wrong; wrong in a tiny, tedious way, like a glass sliver in your finger pad, and it makes people say, “Oh,” in disappointed voices upon discovery. They thought I had real dirt, and I don’t, and they feel let down when I tell them.

I need to leave this man be. I’m trying. Not very hard, though.

Anne Clark– “Hope Road” (1987)


One comment

  1. Pingback: We hurt the ones we lust after | Occipital Hazard

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