Tuesday, 10 May 2011

On exes

I can't remember much of what happened on my second day out of my parents' house, but I do remember Tuesday night, or rather, early Wednesday morning, when I saw/talked to my ex-boyfriend Cory again for the first time since we broke up.

Cory was my first boyfriend. We dated for a grand total of three months, but when you calculate in all the intensity packed into those three months it was probably worth twice as much in emotional weight than what was on the price tag. There are a number of reasons for that. We were both pretty lonely. I caught him in the middle (and, I like to think, subsequently cured him) of a mini-depression and he had the misfortune to be the first person I felt like I had emotional security with since I first came to the realization of how much my parents sucked at taking care of anyone's emotional needs but their own, and that was many, many years ago. Not to mention, I'm told that your first relationship is always weird. I quickly fell into a role I never thought I'd find myself playing, and between my poor acting and my emotional neediness things started falling apart pretty quickly, and it weighed our relationship down like rocks. We backed ourselves into codependent corners. It felt like death at the time, and it was a miracle we both managed to escape with only a few bruises on our egos. There were a few fundamental problems that made us poorly-suited to each other, too, but those are best saved for a later post...

Anyway, I was the one that most definitely came out the worst for wear at the end of it, and up until a week ago I couldn't stand the thought of seeing him again. Two weeks ago, another mutual friend of ours, Jordan, tried to pressure me into getting together with him, Josh, my best friend Leslie, and Cory, and the thought filled me with so much grief and anxiety that it pushed me to the point of tears.

However, the nice thing about having to run away from your fucking house is that it tends to put your problems in perspective. Worrying about where I'm going to be sleeping a month from now made the prospect of seeing my ex much, much less threatening. Cory called Josh sometime between eleven at night and one in the morning. He was going on a drive through the city. "Cory drives, and he muses," Josh explained. Cory was aware that I was listening as Josh put him on speakerphone. Josh and I bummed around his kitchen eating Kraft Dinner as Cory ranted about his uncertainty over his destination and his purpose in life. I may have dated him, but Josh and Cory have been friends for over half their lives. I'd never heard him that insecure, that vulnerable, before. I shouted whatever insightful advice I'd had for him floating around in my head for the past two months. Eventually, Cory came over that night and we all got fucked up.

We flirted even while we were still sober, brushed legs in Josh's hot tub, hugged once and mused incomprehensibly about life. Josh was mostly silent. At the end of my night I went up to my room, shut the door behind me and hesitated. I heard Coketalk in my head telling me to do whatever would make the better story, so I did. I crept downstairs to the room in the basement where Cory was sleeping, knocked on the door. When I said his name my voice was high and tentative and childlike and uncertain. I opened the door a crack and wished him a good night. He responded in kind, and his voice was full of warmth and affection. I went back upstairs to my room and went to sleep. That was it. That was all.

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