Friday, September 25, 2009

Dear John, 3 Years Later

I don't really know what to say here.

I hope that you are faring well, that you are healthy and happy.

I hear random tidbits of news about you- I know you are up north, working and living, seemingly very well. I am honestly so happy for you. I never wanted to make you unhappy, and I never wished you anything but the best. Better than me.

It's been a very long time- three years. In three years, you've turned 30. I've had a quarter-life crisis. We've both switched jobs. We've both moved. We've both been living and motoring ahead, far away from the reach of the other. In those three years, you were never far from my mind, though you may not believe it.

I still remember, at the end, those flowers that you sent me at work. I was working those insanely long hours, and you were endlessly patient. I got out of work at midnight or later, cranky and whiny and just a mess, and you so adeptly handled it, handled me. I remember the exhaustion when I got those flowers. And I remember just falling apart and crying. It was the sweetest, most amazing gesture, and so wasted on me.

I do regret that my 24th birthday was spent in tears, but since it was my own doing, I have no one to blame but myself. I regret wasting your time. I took up so much of it, time that you could have spent doing better and more worthwhile things, meeting better and more worthwhile people.

For the precious two and a half years we had, you were everything. You were the best friend that I have yet to replace, the kind of friend that is not only unconditionally supportive but also brusquely honest, a rare combination that I have not seen since. Those years were so formative for me. They were years that helped me to become this person that I am now, this person that I think I might like.

In November, I still think of our day. Every year, without fail. I have a little pang and wonder where you are, what you're doing, if you have even given the day a passing thought. I hope you do, so that it's still remembered, but I also hope you don't, that you have found a new day that usurps whatever that day in November meant to you.

I drive by Johnnie's Pastrami and think of you and your love of mayonnaise.

I see someone tall in a baseball cap and think it could be you.

I watch movies and wonder what we would have said about them, two of the most critical movie-goers in the history of cinema.

The transition from the 101 to the 5 will forever remind me of you.

9 mm Berettas make me wonder if your collection has grown.

Tikis, Disneyland, comic books, certain types of food, some of our mutual friends, white Russians, blue Col-Erase pencils, giant Dell laptops, my iPod shuffle, Nixon watches, horchata, cheesecake with strawberry sauce, that crazy cat, and the house I recently moved back into? They all bring back memories of you.

All this to say, I am thinking of you. I remember all the good, and the bad gets fuzzier with each passing year. I hope it is the same for you, that you aren't angry or upset about anything that transpired. You've seen the absolute best and the hideously worst in me, and I hope you don't judge the bad too harshly.

Someday, I'll work up the courage to ... call. Or e-mail. Perhaps just drop by when I'm visiting your work. But for now, this will have to do. You know I have a confrontation problem- that, at least, hasn't changed in the past three years.


Diana E. September 27, 2009 at 5:04 AM  

This is... moving. I don't know a word to describe the feeling of understanding without really knowing and sadness of loss tempered by reflection and the passage of time you've captured here.

It's beautiful. And brave.

I couldn't bring myself to write this kind of letter to the most significant ex two years ago when I went through my relationship series on my blog. We've been broken up since 2003.

I'm getting married in January and I still don't think I could write it; maybe I'll be able to one day.

jeanny September 28, 2009 at 2:44 PM  

Thank you, Diana. So much!

I just re-read it and it's actually difficult for me to read.

But writing it? Wonderful, almost cathartic.

I think it's safe to say that you are over your ex, as you seem very happy (and engaged!). I'm trying to stop being so afraid of commitment, and this is part of my ongoing attempt.

yeon September 28, 2009 at 5:03 PM  

you should visit him at work! like "o you work HERE? color me surprised!"

jeanny September 28, 2009 at 5:17 PM  

If I ever said, "color me surprised," he would say, "YOUR SISTER PUT YOU UP TO THIS."

And then I would have to admit that yes, yes, my sister DID put me up to this.