Friday, June 01, 2007

A familiar stranger

She and I never celebrated an anniversary. It was a running joke whenever someone asked how long we'd been together. Should we count from when we started dating the first time (even though we didn't remember the exact date)? It made more sense to start counting from when we'd picked up years later, the 2nd and final time around. But that time the relationship was long distance, confusing things. She had been ready to name it "dating" and "girlfriends" before I was. So again, we were left with no one day to celebrate. We could've counted from when I took the plunge and crossed state lines to move in with her. But that seemed too late a date to start counting from. So, the answer always ended up being "about a year," "a year or two," and finally, at the end, "3 or 4 years".

I do know the exact date that it ended. The day (actually it was night) when she turned to me and said, "You know this is pretty much over, don't you?"

"Yes, it is."

The one year anniversary of that date came and passed recently. I mentioned it to my mom that day as drove home. Minutes later I saw my ex on the street. Me still in my car; her standing on the corner smoking. I watched her while I waited at a red light, briefly entertaining the thought that it was somehow significant that I saw her on this anniversary. But the light turned green and I did when I've been doing for a year now, turned away and headed in my own direction.

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