Long, Long Time

     I try to tell myself I am being silly, too cynical, but when I come round to it, my experiences suggest events will take the course I see. All too often in my life, the course of events has followed exactly what I foresaw. It is not a precognition so much as an instinct combined with experience and awareness. In my interpersonal relationships, my children are really the only ones who are prone to surprise me. Therefore, my attempts a reason sound more akin to denial.
     At first when we stopped being lovers, there was little overt change in our relationship other than the ceasing of physical contact. We talked almost as much as we always had. She still called late at night. She still called from home. It was April when it changed. She moved in April to a new apartment and had several friends help her. I helped as much as I could, my responsibilities to the girls making it impossible for me to be there as long as others. Then I went to her store one day and she giggled and blushed while telling another she had been up all night with someone, yet she would not tell me who. Even now, I cannot believe she did not mention this in my presence intentionally. So it was I quickly learned she was starting a new relationship. It was then that she stopped calling me except for when she was at the store, maybe not immediately, but quickly. For a while, we continued having breakfasts together on the days when her daughter and mine had preschool, but school ended and so did our breakfasts. After awhile she officially moved in with her new boyfriend; they rented a suite in a house. She has never given me her new number. She has never called me from her new home. She does still call me from the store, and she has actually spoken with me some about her current relationship, yet by the end of the month the store will be closed and I wonder, what then?
     I know I have managed to cause some tension. It seems to be a natural gift with me. Early on there were a couple odd things said, and a few times I have briefly aided her financially - always paid back quickly - which has not helped. I am not sure quite how bad it is - not bad, I think - but experience suggests it would not get better. Boyfriends just do not like me it seems.
     It is not a matter of trying to hold on to some mirage of a relationship as lovers, it is a matter of not wanting to lose a friendship. She is the first real friend I have made since I became friends with W. It has been hard for me to open to people since the events of '95. In fact, I never told C. about those events, she already knew and brought it up herself. I think it obvious then that this is someone important to me, someone with whom I would rather not lose contact. Unfortunately, the nexus of our current relationship will soon be no more. I try to take solace in the fact that she does call me, but I always return to the truth that she only calls from her store.
     And I have managed to stay in contact with very few of my former lovers, which pains me to no end. I have cared greatly for them all, and I care greatly for her. I just want to keep my friend.

'Cause I've done everything I know
to try and change your mind
and I think I'm gonna miss you for a long, long time
'Cause i've done everything I know
to try and make you mine
and I think I'm gonna love you for a long, long time

-- Linda Ronstadt, Long Long Time


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