Here I am, emerging from the frenzy of a new love affair, trying to catch my breath.
Immersed in the new relationship—swept off my feet by stimulating conversation, by surprising introductions to new pals, by soul-satisfying food and drink and scary-but-exciting forays—I can’t help but think now and again of my former love(s), our old life.
In fact, this last week almost everything new has a reminder of the old.
Even though you all know the last time I was actually in a real “rebound” was, eh-em, the late 70’s when David and I had that year long breakup senior year, and you might be rolling your eyes at my tortured metaphor (what do I remember of such things, right?), the parallels are striking.
Oddly, the intensity required to make a new life: remembering how to get to the market on unfamiliar-slowly-becoming-familiar roads, reciting to myself the new neighbor’s name and occupation for recall next meeting, glancing around carefully every time I walk through the door—here’s where the keys go, the shoes, the empty grocery bags—this requirement to be “on”, to be present and vigilant and “in the moment” is quite exciting. Like a new relationship. Especially when almost every day there’s something new.
The new life crowds out the necessary mourning for what’s now gone. (And that old guy, he’s not goin’ away. He might have hooked up with a new girl, but he’s still there. My old house, my old business, Massachusetts, yep, all still there.) I can soothe myself with the thought that I’ve moved on, too, look at this great life, this beautifully perfect 70’s sunny Northern Cali day, our dinner at the Peruvian place to watch the sunset over the Pacific, the bike ride tomorrow through un-discovered parts of campus, next week’s Writer’s group meet-up.
But, I’m a bit bereft, and can’t help uttering “it’s not the same…” Just like last time, when I was 17.
(Here’s David trying to make it better for me, the porch before and after:)
Hey, at least we don’t have snow! Here’s the “old” guy: