Missed Connections

It’s been literal years since I’ve posted here, and I’ve spent time being alone, not alone, and in a one-sided love that is all too familiar. The list of exes is now much longer than four or five, depending on how you define “ex.”

Today, I’m thinking about the people I’ve missed out on in the past few years. It’s not regret, exactly. More like curiosity.

How would it have been if I hadn’t been too shy and you hadn’t hesitated that night we both know we’re thinking of? Would it have been a few hot months, or would we have settled into companionable reading next to each other in bed? We’ve drifted in and out of proximity for so long that I know we’ll never find out now, but I wonder sometimes.

And you. What if you hadn’t pushed me away after those few hot months? What if we’d both been confident enough in ourselves to figure out what we wanted? There’s, of course, the possibility that it would have turned toxic. (Isn’t there always?) But I think I was pretty close to in love with you. By the way, thanks for the booty call years later. I know I turned it down, but it gave my self-esteem a little boost.

You, sir, kept me hopeful when things were not so hopeful. I knew we’d never be together and I tried not to live in the fantasy, but to be honest, the fantasy buoyed me in the death throes of my marriage. I think I scared you with my awkward non-flirts, and I’m sorry for that. Just know I felt for you in those months and I’m happy you’ve made it to where you are.

My friend, I may have been in love with you for years now. Logically, practically, it never would have worked. We don’t mesh like that. But your love and kindness have shown me the possibility of love and kindness in a world that is so often harsh and cruel. I love you, but not like that. Probably.

And you, my Shane. The internet brought us back together and I’m not sad. The mystery of what could have been is gone now. (It would clearly not have worked out.) But I’m grateful for your friendship and for the memories of love that carried me through some of the darkest times of my life.

This whole blog is about nostalgia, and I know you can’t live there, but it’s so lovely to visit sometimes.

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