Originally posted on 3.21.11, but now updated: One of the healthiest things you can say about anything that’s over and done with is “okay, that happened.” Unless, of course, you’re talking about a stretch in a World War II concentration camp or something equally ghastly. Otherwise you have to be accepting, past it, unbothered. Especially when it comes to ex-girlfriends. We went there, it happened, nobody was right or wrong, that was then and we’re here now, living in the present…let’s get a coffee or a drink and catch up.
All my life I’ve been friends with exes, or have at least been open to same. And they’ve been open to calm and friendship with me. Except one. A very smart blonde with a great ass, a toothy smile and a relaxed and collegiate vibe. She’s married now and living in Pasadena; her husband — a slightly stocky, gray-haired guy of some means — doesn’t resemble me or her first husband (a doobie-toking small-business owner who owned a Harley and liked to go on long motorcycle trips with a gang of like-minded fellows) at all.
I gave up trying to be friendly with her three or four years ago. She really wants to erase that part of her life — the first marriage (which began in the summer of ’96) and the affair with me that began in early ’98 and lasted two and two-thirds years. We last spoke in ’11 or ’12. The most significant thing that happened before that was her friending me on Facebook.
Our thing began at the ’98 Sundance Film Festival and finally ran out of gas in late ’00 when her husband found out. I took the hurt and the lumps. I was dropped six or seven times. It was easily the most painful and frustrating relationship of my life. Whether things were good or bad between us was entirely dictated by her shifting moods. Her father had been a philanderer when she was fairly young and this had caused a lot of family pain, so she felt badly about following in his footsteps. But things kept on. She kept coming back and oh, the hunka-chunka.
The bottom line, obviously, is that she’s not at ease with what happened, or is certainly unresolved about having been a beloved infidel. Easing up and looking back and moving on by way of occasional contact or e-mails or a chit-chatty friendship just isn’t a comfortable thing for her. I could write a Russian novel about what happened during the waning days of our off-and-on thing but when all is said and done I’m basically a Woody Allen type of guy — the heart wants what it wants and all’s fair. I also know from experience that nothing hurts quite as badly as being the on-and-off boyfriend of a not-very-married woman.
But I’m past it. It happened. And I’ve always liked her besides. She’s smarter than me. A good judge of character, more practical, more planted, etc. But I’m deeper, stronger, a better writer.