So, today is one of my ex’s birthdays.
I haven’t seen him in years, but he was my first real, serious, this-could-end-in-actual-marriage-and-eventual-death boyfriend. Obviously, I was terrified.
He, on the other hand, was not terrified. He was full-speed ahead, I have a schedule to keep, and it is time to get married ready.
He’s the perfect person to think of once or twice a year… uhm… From another state. He deserves to be happy, and that’s the way I picture him. Wife and kids. A dog, maybe two. Baseball games and camping.
Apart from the kids, the dogs, the baseball, and the camping, it’s not a bad life.
I had the chance to ask a while back. Ran into his father.
I didn’t ask.
I think I know. There’s just enough overlap in our social groups that now and then, I get a whiff of something through a friend, or a newsletter from a shared organization. The most recent update said North Dakota. And a career. It didn’t mention the wife or kids. And it probably would have, if they were there.
He was not cut out to be in a relationship with a creative.
He found my art-folders, once. You know, those big manila things with the plastic handles? No, not really polished enough to call a portfolio. I had two, and naturally, he had to see the one that was labeled “dirty.”
Charcoal dust everywhere.
I’m smiling, but I’m not going back.
And I’m wondering… If he saw me, now. Neck-deep in a day-job, still chasing dreams I’m not even I ever told him I had… revising the novel, collecting the rejections… You know… Would he perceive me as happy?