Sunday, August 22, 2010

Approach/Avoidance

Sometimes, when I'm restless, I wander. Since I live in an area far removed from most shopping venues, I've got to drive about 75 miles, minimum, to reach decent shopping. I've gone to the town closest to Ft. Knox, also to the city where I went to college at dear old SFU, and down to the small city where both my godparents and Hopkins reside- which has the advantage of being in another time zone, an hour behind where I live, i.e., that's an extra hour of shopping time. It's also all parkway and interstate going down, so a desolate but quick trip on the whole.

After work on Saturday, I thought I might go abroad for a few hours, and chose rather haphazardly to head South. This involves some elaborate planning once I arrive- while I realize that I'm in zero danger of encountering Hopkins in T.J. Maxx, it's adjacent to a corporate bookstore containing a cafe frequented by the local technorati. I usually come in from the north end of the parking lot, sweep past the bookstore, and recon the cars as I head for T.J.'s. If there are no Scion xBs in the lot, I'm pretty well in the clear. If I spot any, there's no chance in Hades I'm going in the bookstore. Yes, Hopkins is the proud owner of a Toyota Crackerbox...

Same thing goes for Target- it's right across the street and I don't know if he's ever in there, but it's not a chance I'm willing to take. A couple of trips ago, there was an xB in the Target parking lot, so I left without running that errand. I stopped at a WalMart on the way back to the town where I live.

This stems from a couple of incidents in the last several months. I have seen him...and I've surprised myself at how fast I could neatly pivot and leave without being spotted.

Childish though it is, I live in terror of bumping into him somewhere, given that the last time we ran into each other by accident, it was a total disaster. I have never blogged about it until now, and I rarely discuss it. I'd given up on him, and I'd become engaged to someone else...he saw me, with that two-carat solitaire plastered to my left hand. Before I could speak, he turned on his heel and walked away...and out of my life, until May 15, 2010.

If you've been reading this blog for any amount of time, you may realize the scope of this event. That was the third time I'd lost him; I wanted to immediately crawl in a hole and die.

It's not that I haven't kept up with him- it's that we had not communicated directly with one another for about eighteen years. I had consciously pushed it down into myself as far as I could, until he sank into the coma...and it all came tearing back through me with an almost primal force. There is a trite expression that it's better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all- well, the loss of love is one of the most agonizing experiences one can ever have. I wouldn't wish it on my worst enemy.

You can imagine that I have no desire to randomly appear, since it all went so hideously wrong that long ago December evening in the Smalltownland Pizza Hut. Largely for that reason, I entertain no real expectation that he will ever consent to see me again, and if that is indeed the case, I have to live with that decision.

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