Somewhere along my proverbial ‘line’ I all but stopped writing. The critic, aka. ‘my annoying inner Gremlin’ repeating: “What’s the point? You have nothing to say. You have a decent man in your life, you’re not poking holes in your coat pockets scavenging for loose change, there are no more tick infestations, leaky roofs, crappy blue Fiats, Italian MacDaddys, or bi-weekly public transit strikes… and no more poverty – YOU are actually now part owner of your first house!”
So having it seemingly together made me rather fall apart creatively, and I convinced myself that if I wasn’t a completely, socially disfunctional expat living in Italy, that I’d have nothing left to write about and eventually, that I actually couldn’t write at all. In retrospect, one of the best things that came from my ‘Blog-spew’ were other the bloggers with whom I connected, ‘My Blog-Fam’ I like to call them. The inspirational writers and lovely creative folk I loved to visit via the blogsphere and who had in turn followed me as well. A few of which are still posting, and the others all have but vanished like myself. One in particular I idolized for her wonderful writing talent that included a carousel of vivid experiences complete with human versions of nymphs, minotaurs and unicorns. After meeting on numerous occasions. I have come to consider her my mortal oracle, overall touchstone to reality, and most importantly a friend. Last summer over tea we touched upon the subject of blogging habits. As both of us had stopped blogging on a more regularly basis at approximately the same time. She seemed to sum it up for both of us – all in one sentence. “I’m just not that character anymore.” It was my paralyzing reality. I wondered how many of the others’ lives had also changed to an extent that they felt they just didn’t feel the need or desire to carry on. Perhaps it was that writing was like the therapy they no longer needed? Was I was being over analytical? Maybe they just got busy? Regardless, if I wasn’t the character anymore what did I actually have to contribute? Should I succumb to guilt and start sharing casserole recipes? Or post annoying daily photos of how unbelievably adorable my English Setters are, as I do on Facebook? Ultimately I blogged neither, as the life I was living was deemed comfortable and irrelevant and I stopped writing all together.
But alas, doesn’t it just take an ex-boyfriend you broke up with in 2001, crawling out from under his 600 thread-count marital paradise long enough to grab his iPhone and friend you on Facebook, completely out-of-the-blue, which in turn – jet-fuels you back into some literary blogspew or perhaps more accurately – a cranky rant?
‘Why the f’ck are YOU friending ME?’ was my first thought as I wiped the sleep from the corner of my eyes and threw back my last gulp of espresso. I was the one that wasn’t “corporate” enough for you, remember? I held on to my proverbial ark, as then came the additional flood of unwelcome flashbacks. A 3-year term of vanity, narcissism, judgement, great sex, harsh criticisms, loneliness, turmoil, great sex, neglect, my own flaming neurosis over it all, and did I mention great sex? Sadly, that was one of the few things we had going for us, and prior to the day I handed his apartment keys back to him and walked out after 3 years, the soured cream part of our relationship had already been well within its range of expiry. Did He not remember that a few months following our departure, there was the ‘break-up sex?’ Him telling me he was sorry that he didn’t accept me/tried to change me, attempting to get me drunk on several Vodka-Cran at a gay bar (not knowing that during a trip to the men’s room I informed the bartender of the ex’s transparent scheme and to please refrain from serving me anymore drinks with alcohol). Then back at his place…
Him: “What is this? Fuck and run?
Me: “I got to work in the morning. Sorry. It was fun. Bye!”
And most importantly, not long after – the last thing I ever said to him after he told me not to be ‘bar meat’ when he heard I had been partying with 30 US Navy Seals at a club one Friday night after work. (side note: Which was EPIC)
“Really? I thought you liked those types. Y’know… YOU wanted to be ‘friends,’ but I don’t really think I like you as a person.”
How does one forget that? Is that some sort of ‘syndrome? Does morbid curiosity over an ex-girlfriend cause confusion, blurred vision, or selective memory?
Regardless, after asking myself the same questions repeatedly to the point of mental exhaustion, I concluded I wasn’t exactly the most grounded or sane individual back then. I was still on training wheels, trying to figure who I was and my baggage wasn’t exactly light and portable.
I decided to let it go and accept his friend request. If he’s curious, let him look. Maybe he just didn’t care about all that mess of the past. Maybe I shouldn’t either. People change, people grow. I have. A little small-talk or exchange of pleasantries never killed anyone… and I’m still alive. ;)