Monday, June 13, 2011

Caller ID

On Saturday, less than an hour after I'd gotten the text that Michael had let go, my phone rang. Shivering a little in the drizzle and wide eyed in the middle of an epic craft fair I stared at the screen trying to place the phone number. It looked so very familiar and yet I couldn't force my brain to give up the connection. Worried that it was someone long lost who wanted to tell me something in relation to Michael I hit the green button instead of the red.


"Hey hey," said the brushed velvet voice of my on and off and off and on again ex, a man I have loved deep and wide and far, far too long. When last we spoke, about a year and a half ago, I threw him out of my home then texted him to please return a book he'd borrowed. This past November, standing in a favorite bookshop with Misti on the occasion of her 40th birthday, I pointed to a gently used copy of the book and told her how angry I was not to have it and how defeating it would feel to buy another. So she bought it for me. On her birthday. Because she's a problem-solver, that one.

"Wh-whaaat's up?" I faltered.

"Nada mucho," he replied, apparently still unafraid to kick off a conversation with a whale of a fib. After some dissatisfying chat about mutual friends and families he got to a point. I was later to find it was one of two. "So, I wanted to return your book."

As we get older we make peace with the fact that our physical reflexes become slower. I was surprised to find that age had quickened my emotional ones. I have always known that "return your book" meant "get together and eat a meal pretending that's all we're doing then get naked briefly before I leave for another unspecified period of time" but usually I'd still agree to it. Not so this rainy, emotionally raw Saturday in Hipsterville.

"Oh, well, I've already replaced it...but thanks." I even managed to brighten the tone at the end.

I heard him swallow quietly on the other end. Ever the gazelle, though, he moved on to his second point.

He's getting divorced. A skillfully buried lede, I'll give him that. I offered condolences and thoughts and asked a few questions. My favorite was, "Why did you choose that?" given the infinite number of conversations we've had about life choices.

This conversation fizzled quite quickly after that. I don't think we can blame it on the rain.


  1. You handled that better than most would have. Well done.

  2. I've always believed salvation can be found in a bookshop. . . and I already told you what I would've done given the circumstance.
    You're solid gold sparkly strength.
    Queen of Awesometown.

  3. I know that must've been tough for you...but you did good :-)

  4. Take that! I'm so proud of you and your awesomeness. Well played Kizz.

  5. Well played indeed. (I wish there was an emoticon that included a monocle somehow).

  6. Miflohny1:59 PM

    Had I realized on Sunday, I would have given you an even bigger hug!

  7. Thanks everyone for the back pats. I still kind of can't believe I did that.

  8. Shanti2:00 PM

    "I've already replaced it." I think you meant more than the book! Just perfect. Good for you.

  9. Hi - visiting from BlogHer nominations. Shanti's comment is perfect. I tried to click on the link about Michael letting go, but it let to my blogger page? Anyway, great post.

  10. Lady Jennie, thanks for stopping by and thanks for pointing out the broke link. I'll fix it now.