Saturday, August 21, 2004

Venture Cautiously into Section "G"

Opening the "Social Notices" section in the Saturday paper, his face jumped out immediately.

C.C. was married to N.B. in a beautiful evening ceremony on July 24, 2004...

I don't quite know how to categorize C. in my past, other than to call our relationship tumultuous. Conflicting passions, you might say.

I was young. 19. He was a few years older, completely sophisticated, and way more than I could handle. I was a dreamy kid, he was a very smart man. He was originally from here but working on his doctorate in Chicago, quite likely never to return for good.

The idea of him was magical and I was smitten from the first moment he paid me any attention. I was also smitten despite the fact there would be no future for us, a fact he clearly stated from the get-go. He wanted a fling when I wanted way, way, way more.

We had a whirlwind week, then he left and broke my heart. In reality, I suppose I broke my own heart, knowing very well what I was getting into.

The years passed and we ran into one-another at a few functions in the years when he returned home for Christmas. He always told me how he wished it could have been different, that we could have met at a different point in our lives. I always acted like a bratty teenager, having had my pride bruised when he did exactly what he said he would do, which was go back there without me. How dare he not love me for ever and ever! Ha!

The second last time we talked, I was down in Indiana recovering from the devastating breakup with the first person who ever said he would marry me. (There have been a couple.) I contacted C., thinking we might have a coffee like mature adults when I passed back through Chicago on my way home. I wanted to apologize for how ridiculous I had acted over the years. I wanted to show him that I had, indeed, become a mature adult.

But, he turned the tables and played the bratty teenager -- un-inviting me when I told him that, no, I didn't want to spend the night with him. I just wanted to get a coffee.

The last time we talked was at a wedding, a few months after the above situation. I was licking some new wounds as the First One Who Said He Would Marry Me had recently re-appeared and played some cruel games with my heart. As such, I took advantage of the open bar at the reception and got firmly and squarely liquored. I gave C. flack over the Chicago un-invite but the alcohol prevented me from having any resolve in being cold towards him. My face still flushes with embarassment at what I might have suggested to him when we danced. Probably good that I don't remember. (At least... I THINK I don't remember. But we don't need details, do we?) He said he would call but of course he did not.

That was the last time I saw him, until today.

Seeing his picture in the paper didn't make me feel bad about the romance that never really was. It just made me feel embarassed. I am simply the snotty, immature, drunken girl in this married man's very distant past.