Submitted by megan on Thu, 07/03/2008 - 21:56
N.B. Eric! This is entirely about how I'm continuing to process our break up. I don't say anything bad about you at all, but it's more than I would ever say to you in person. If you’re okay with reading that, fill your boots.
Truthfully, I'd been rather dreading Eric's return from Berlin. He left early April, I think, and oh, but it was a sore relief. I stopped shaking every time I saw a green parka. I went into Bridgehead without doing a surreptitious survey of the computer tables through the steamed up windows. I walked around the neighbourhood with impunity, as relaxed as one can be in early spring layers.
So that I'm sitting here in the umi cafe, an hour after I thought we were supposed to meet, and not steaming fucking mad? Pretty damn good. I must admit my first thought was, "You're fucking kidding me - he's late for the first time we have coffee plans? You are. Fucking. Kidding." But then I remembered a couple weeks back, answering the door in my cat hair yoga pants and thought, meh, probably just a mistake.
Feels much better.
I saw him a couple days ago too, at the Chateau Tabernac for a Canada Day barbeque. Chateau Tabernac is owned by people I met through him - I'd always called them Eric's friends. But I ran into A. a couple weeks ago, and he invited me to the C.Day festivities, warmly, genuinely. I ran into B. and D. a week after that, and they invited me too, same sentiment. On the day of, I walked in the door and D. gave me a huge hug; M. kissed my cheek and nearly squeezed the breath out of me.
"Wow," I said. "I'm a lucky girl. That's quite a greeting!"
"We're just happy you're here," D. replied, her gentle smile.
Their house is huge, so Eric and I didn't spend much time around each other. The times we did share space were awkward, I think for everyone present. But no more so than expected. He didn't seem to know where to put himself, what to do with his hands. I barrelled through it, the awkward pauses, my shifting stances, asking him brightly about his new job, making sure I was smiling big and not shaking.
The weird thing was that I didn't really feel like shaking.
It didn't feel like normal to see him. Not the normal we'd had, anyway. But he did seem like just a guy. These past months, over the tiniest-Megan winter, he was bigger than big, looming around every thought, in the nano-gaps between every pulse sending yet another wave of rusty blood through my busted heart.
And then there he was on the back balcony, the sun too bright in his eyes: his regular size. Not the guy who had flattened me, not the guy I'd felt had written me a cheque on an empty account. Just a handsome, clever boy in possession of a nice voice and cool way with words.
At the end of that last paragraph, I looked up, out the big windows, up Percy. He was standing in front of the Tang Coin, looking sheepish. I waved. He waved. He came in. He’d just gotten my email asking if he’d gotten the wrong day. He had. He was apologetic, I said –no worries, if I’d finished my coffee, I wouldn’t be here, ‘sall good. I showed him pictures of my house, he told me stories full of longing for Berlin.
Neither of us mentioned dating, each other or other people. He knows already, he keeps up here. I don’t really know, but I don’t feel the need to. It’s fine, either way. Eventually it'll come up, we'll have another few awkward moments, I'll probably well up a little. And then normal will be that he has a girlfriend who is not me, and I will still be dating my house.
I don’t know that we’ll ever be good friends. Maybe. He's not one for making himself vulnerable, and besides laughing, that's what all my strongest friendships are built on - taking care in those moments. But I like him a big whole bunch, and I feel better about that now, with both of us in our right size skins.