Every once in a while, the universe bonks me over the head with something heavy. It happened when I was living in Vancouver and a girl came into the health food store who looked so much like Jen (hi, Jen!) that although we hadn't spoken in years, I went home and wrote her that letter I'd been thinking about. I spent a bunch of time muttering things under my breath to the gods, things like "you don't have to yell, you know."
Well, I'm stubborn. Sometimes they do have to yell. And sometimes I think they just do it for their own amusement. Like the other week at work when I turned my head and there was a man coming down the stairs who looked, in profile, so much like my ex that I froze on the spot, unable to take a breath. Perhaps I should clarify: when I say "my ex," I should say My Ex, in Winnie-the-Pooh capitals, because most of my exes are dear friends (hi, Jen!) and get to have their names and all. This Ex is a lovely person who, through some fault on both of our parts, I do not speak to any more. Despite his loveliness, our split could best be described as "soul destroying," and I spent the first couple of years uneasily expecting to run into him around every corner. Never did. Ha ha on me.
I did work out fairly quickly that it was not, in fact, Him. Nevertheless, I spent most of the afternoon feeling like I'd been punched, because I'd tensed so much so quickly that my stomach muscles were sore. When Cookie came in I told him all about it. He's been through the Dating Wars. (See? This post gets all kinds of random capitals!) I knew he'd understand.
He laughed, of course.
"There's nothing like being tested and having it become clear that you would fail fail fail." I nodded in miserable agreement.
"On the other hand, based on what happened today I think I can safely say that if I did run into him I'd just pass out, relieving me of all responsibility for a socially appropriate response."
We stared off into the middle distance together for a moment before we shook ourselves and got back to the business of mocking me.
Perhaps you're wondering why I mention all of this now. I'm not going to tell you--the beauty of online journaling is that I can be as arbitrary as I want. Suffice it to say that I'm muttering and shaking my fist in the direction of the divinities. You're never safe from tripping over your stupid past.