Two weeks from today I will be boarding a train enroute to New Brunswick from Toronto. Whatever is to happen, will have happened. Since Monday’s news I’ve been seriously freaking out. I can’t even get my head around the concert, the whole reason for this excursion. I can’t even get excited about Jon Bon, how pathetic is that? It’s been a concern all along. Could we go and not haunt the old neighborhood? On Sunday I made an executive decision — YES! We could totally go to the city without entering the west end. There’s going to be so little time anyway, who could fault us for staying downtown and being total tourists after all these years? I felt good with this, and started to get excited, started looking at websites and maps and drafting a rough schedule and expected spending report in my head.
But then Monday came and the whole plan fell apart. Damn the universe! Why must she butt in? Why not just let me be? Let me veer as far off the path as I want. Leave me to find my own way back. Unexpected phonecall Sunday afternoon. Out of nowhere, a voice from the past, who has NEVER called before and will probably never call again. And my “stay out of the west end” plan has gone up in smoke, we’re scheduled to visit. We’re returning to the scene of the crime. People who don’t believe there are powerful forces at work in the world, pulling the strings and manipulating our lives like puppeteers, simply aren’t paying attention. Obviously, for some reason, I need to go back there.
Based upon my violent reaction to the concept (Monday night was spent in rather hysterical bouts of tears interspersed with an upset stomach that sent me reeling to the bathroom more times than I care to remember), yes, based on my reaction it appears this is a raw nerve for me. And having everyone tell me not to be so foolish, that it’ll be okay, really doesn’t help. It mightn’t seem like a big deal, but for me, it’s huge. I mean I start gagging and choking if I allow myself to think on it for more than a few seconds at a time. Yes, I know it’s completely irrational, but that’s just the way it is.
Maybe if I saw that he’s okay, I could let go of some of this guilt. Maybe if he’s not okay, if he had the opportunity to tell me face-to-face how much he hates me . . . if he made me cry once and for all . . . maybe that would be the end of it. That’s all he wanted, my tears, some hint that it had mattered to me. He got a little crazy when I was slipping away and he couldn’t stop me. Did insanely uncharacteristic things like revving his truck until the motor blew, leaving me at a party downtown in a jealous rage, breaking everything on the walls in the apartment including the light switch plates, trying to trap me into a pregnancy . . . we watched Sleepless in Seattle and he cried. He cried. I had never seen him cry before. He cried and I didn’t. I had disconnected, fled already, mentally and emotionally, if not physically. He cried and I couldn’t believe it, couldn’t feel anything, couldn’t do anything. The absurdity of it, finally some emotion from him, which was all I ever wanted, the root of my dis-satisfaction. Too fucking late.
He wept and I busted out laughing. I didn’t mean to, was shocked and horrified and unable to stop, crazy uncontrollable giggles. I’ve never forgiven myself for laughing. I’ve never forgotten the way his eyes looked just then. But even that didn’t destroy everything, we stayed in touch, were still connected despite my moving back to NB. We’d talk on the phone every few months. When I faced particularly difficult challenges, it was him I called. When he had news, he called me. And years went by like that. I had other boyfriends. He visited me and met them. Tried to convince me I deserved better (he was right about that). And this was fine for awhile and then he did the unthinkable.
One last trip to lay it all on the line and get me back. He talked marriage and building a house and moving to NB or anywhere I wanted to live and helping me with the business or supporting me while I did whatever it was that I truly wanted to do. Anything I wanted, if it was within his power, he’d see that I had it. He opened up like I’d always wanted, offered me the world. And I didn’t know what to do, didn’t know what I wanted to do. I was cruel, cold, unresponsive. He gave me his heart and I laughed. I’ve never hurt anyone like I did him. I’ve never seen someone’s heart break right in front of me like that. I’ve never been involved in such an emotionally messy altercation. It’s the worst thing I’ve ever done. It’s one of the worst days of my life. And I know a lot of time has passed and I know he’s moved on and is probably a hundred times better off to be rid of me. And he probably doesn’t even think of me anymore, and if he does occasionally, he’s probably past hating me . . . And there’s a thousand logical reasons why it’s perfectly okay for me to go there again . . . but when I think of it, all I can see is his hurt eyes, crying, and it breaks my heart to think I did that. He deserved better than that. I did him wrong like I’ve done nobody wrong before or since.
I always thought the universe punished me for what I did to him by sending me Marty . . . but maybe I chose Marty to punish myself. The universe obviously has other plans, because she’s sending me back there. And maybe it’s just to let me torture myself only to go there and not see him anyway. Or maybe it’s to get closure on this once and for all. I’m just the puppet.
Walking to the store last night in the grey shadow of sunset, cursing the universe in my head, plotting how to still get out of this . . . when the setting sun struck the wall of windows at the athletic centre, rays bouncing off and reflecting back into the treeline, onto the sidewalk, illuminating me in a bright spotlight. I imagined the universe laughing at me, showing me who’s the boss, like there’s any way I could ever get out of it when it’s what she intends for me to do.
Listening To: Don’t Cry, GnR
Hair: tiny ponytail