This month’s Blogging 4 Books topic: Write about your Ex.

I don’t particularly want to write about my Ex, though my profound reluctance leads me to believe I probably need to. That tiny voice in the back of your brain, the one you usually ignore against all good advice – it’s telling me I should use this opportunity like cough syrup to expel him from my soul. Certainly, I could go the other direction and interpret ‘Ex’ as something benign or existential. Oh, I wish I could. But I can’t. Any time I hear or read the word – Ex – he pops into my mind like a grinning jack leaping from his box. I’ve heard the music a thousand times. I know it’s coming. I steel myself for the startling memories his arrival inevitably brings. Yet each time it happens my heart still jumps into my throat.

It’s been twenty years since I first met him, seventeen since it was over, and fifteen since I saw him last. It takes less than two seconds to conjure up a crisp, clean image of him in my mind. It’s the eyes. It was always his eyes. They were the most curious mixture of blue and green. Indescribable, or so I thought. In fifteen years, I’ve seen that color only one other time – reflected in the warm slow waters of the Caribbean as they lapped against the sugary sand of a little Jamaican cove. Jamaican blue. Caribbean green. Sun-kissed golden flecks. Soothing. Exhilarating. Haunting.

It ended abruptly on a hot summer night. Raised voices. Exchanged insults. Extinguished. Just like that. The charred remains were abandoned without a word. Closure? Heh. Just the word – closure – sounds too soft, like two pieces of Velcro hastily mashed together until something comes along to rip them easily apart again. A song on the radio. A smell in the air.

I don’t just want closure. It’s not enough. I want excommunication, an exorcism, and just to be safe, a rewriting of his very existence. I don’t want to see his eyes, or his hands, or that quirky grin he used when he showed up at my front door. One. More. Time. I want to drive through town and not worry about running into him, and not worry that if I do… I might, once again, examine my decisions. I don’t want the chance to see if all the rumors are true – that he’s fallen so very far from the person he once was. I don’t want to be disappointed or feel pity for him. And not for a moment, do I want to allow my heart another chance to care. I wish I could forget the words he expressed to me on his wedding day. And those he spoke on that last night. And all the rest…
Except, maybe those from before, between, and after.

What we had was extraordinary – once – but now it seems like just a brief moment in time. A Fourth of July burst in the sky, the colors brilliant, the noise excessive, and then nothing but the deep black night again. And while he was the perfect example of who not to fall in love with, he was also the exception to all of my rules.

Etymology: Latin ex from, out of: free from : without

What I truly want from my Ex – an apology. What I want out of him – an admission. I don’t ever expect that to happen. But perhaps this exercise will free me from the memories, leaving me without any further doubts as to why I’m here and not there.
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5 Responses
  1. Anonymous Says:

    This is great!! I can't wait to read the next entry. How often will you make entries?

  2. dragonfly Says:

    Thanks. I'm hoping for every day but we all know how life tends to get in the way of things.

  3. Anonymous Says:

    This all seems very familiar somehow...yet its not my life. I guess we all have them-"ex's" I mean. Keep up the great writing..

  4. Léonie Says:

    What a beautiful post. I feel like you captured exactly what it is like to hold someone in your memory and to be unable to sweep the last remains of them from your mind.

  5. Cele Says:

    Where we've been, is who we've become. While you want so hard to forget him, remember to be thankful for the things that you gained and became strong for. Out of bad (for the survivors) comes hindsight and strength. Great post.