It's weird when this happens.  I'm sitting in the back of Starbucks right now, near the bathrooms at a big lamp lit table.  Across the table from me is a short lesbian with distracting body odor.  She has been asking me for the time every fifteen minutes.  She has been eating a red pomegranate as if it were an apple for over an hour.  I'd tune her out with myPod.  Plugged in. James Blunt full blast.  "You're Beautiful."  Microsoft Word up.  Head down.  Then, for no reason at all, I looked up and caught the eye of a tall auburn man.  "I saw your face in a crowded place, and I don't know what to do" piped in.  We stared for what felt like a minute but couldn't have been.  "Cause I know I'll never be with you…" It was my ex-boyfriend from my freshman year of college.  "Boyfriend" is a stretch.  Friendboy is better.  It was my first year of college.  I'd met him on low library steps.  I liked his waspy name and shoes.  He looks the same now, full head of hair, just as I'd remembered, in a green roll-neck sweater.  It didn't take me long to place him.  I wonder if he knew he was looking at me, the woman who made him pesto over penne, the woman he'd used the words "commitment-phobic" with after holding my hand on the street.  Seeing him as fast as that reminds me I've had a life so different than the one I have today.  A life in a dorm where we stole bagels from the dining hall at 3am on Saturday evenings.  I'm still not waking until 10am on most days; it still feels like college, where I can listen to music and roast things all day.  Where I don't have any more "have to"s than the ones I make for myself.  And with my days being the same, my life is very different.  I don't prefer one to the other.  I love both, my life then and now, in their compartments, all part of me.  It's beautiful really.



  1. Is that all you stole from the dining hall? I once nabbed their commercial stove (with some help).

    The Past comes up to nudge us all the time, in our lives. At least yours has a head full of hair. Some of mine are missing teeth. I suppose it's still good; at least it (The Past) can't sneak up on me and bite me.

  2. thats probably why I don't live anywhere near where I went to college.. or for that matter, only communicate with who I'd refer to as "cronies" …

  3. will everyone PLEASE just get over james blunt, especially that song. it's just getting so so old

  4. Steph? Do you have the time?

    Oh wait… I may be a lesbian, but the oder? No… clean as a whistle… hehe!

    Funny how life changes and we find ourselves being a total different person with different perspectives.

    There's a great quote in the bible that I love!!!

    Ecclesiastes 7:10 Don’t long for “the good old days,” for you don’t know whether they were any better than today.

    For some reason, it just reminds me of how we should appreciate 'today' instead of focusing too much on the past, ~as well~ as the future.

    So? How did this encounter end? Did you two get together or plan anything?

  5. Isn't it though. We change but we don't. I think that as we get older our minds just open up more to possibilities and in most cases we are more willing to explore.

  6. Get back, Loretta!
    Your (ex) boyfriend's waitin' for ya.
    Wearing his waspy shoes,
    And a roll-neck swettah!

  7. Isn't it nice to look back on the past as valuable experience, as opposed to full of regret? I've run into a few exes–when I was younger, I probably would have melted into a complete mess at the sight of them; now, at 29–it all seems just a little funny & definitely much less important.

  8. James Blunt is amazing, try Brandi Carlile. In my own eyes…feels perfect for you on a day like today, minus the smelly lesbo. Which if you want to be a smelly lesbo, go for it!

  9. Was it the kind of sighting that made you have cold chills or the kind that made your knees weak? I sometimes wonder what I would do if I saw one of the yanks that I used to be chased by when I lived up North– would I run or would I saunter by? I think it would be kind of fun- either way! So, what happened? ;)

  10. This is a beautiful post. I love every single word in this one, for some reason. (And it's things like this that make me glad that my one ex boyfriend lives an entire province away.)

  11. Ari: It might have been obvious….if a straight girl has gaydar, believe me 'we lesbians' have it even stronger…

    Nevertheless, it's not hard to pick up in NYC! :)

  12. Stephanie,

    Was it a weak knees kind of ex sighting or a zing of gratification that he didnt/couldnt have you kind of feeling? ;) I sometimes daydream about what I would do if I ran into one of my ex-es… Of course- no pun intended- they all live in Texas! ;) So the probability is high- I saunter past them in my daydream and glare at them. Then walk out the door- never saying a word. It's very gratifying. :)~ Especially since its always a daydream about people I brushed off. eeeek!

  13. the line "There must be an angel with a smile on her face, When she thought up that I should be with you" says it all. thank you

  14. Accidental run-ins are a reason to avoid the neighborhoods of old girlfriends — We call them the "no fly zones."

  15. I think we've all experienced that quick flash, the synapses firing recalling another era in your life, and having that awkward, weird, caught-in-the-headlights feeling that comes with seeing an ex from a long-gone time, out of nowhere. Does she live in this neighborhood? Did she notice me? Does she recognize me? Is the restraining order still in force?

    It's like an emotional speed-bump and it always seems to come at the strangest moments, but for sheer nostalgia, it always winds up with me putting the memories and the positives that I am prone to remember back in the suitcase along with the reasons she is an ex and not a still-with.

  16. How weird to see this post today. I stumbled upon an old love a short time ago and still have not recovered. I left after our brief chat knowing I still loved him, and my heart is right back there aching and longing. I can't forget him. We are both taken…and have children who need us, but he's the one I want fate to introduce me to again…one day.

  17. To me, it's always the other way around… seeing people I was close to, people that held me close in the night, sharing the dreams and the nightmares… each time I bump into them casually in the street a brief smile reminds why I loved them back then, and only a second later, why I left them for a better "someone", now also in the EX division… When we talk, because most likely we go out for a beer to catch up, there's no desire to pick it up from where we left, but to re-discover that person I was crazy about from another (grown-up) perspective, still tender but not that wild. And in the end, when we leave in different directions, it's always him the one who looks back longing, always the one making a weird phonecall afterwards…

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.