March of last year, I got an e-mail from my ex Rob, who was my boyfriend in Boston about seven years ago. I hadn't heard from him since 1996, and the best I could garner, he was responding to an e-mail I'd sent him a year earlier to apologize for being a dickweed in Boston, after I'd had a dream about him. A year after I'd sent it, this past March, he was responding to say that it took him a while but he accepted my apology, and quite casually, I answered the last line of his e-mail back.
>What are you doing these days?
Actually, I live in San Diego now... making friends, living life, hanging out. Nothing too exciting to report.
That was it. I wrote no more than that as I didn't think I wanted to start up communication again. I figured it would clue him in that I was no longer living with Larry, but I also thought it was vague enough not to really start a conversation. Instead, he responded:
>Actually, I live in San Diego now... making friends,
>living life, hanging out.
I'm almost afraid to ask where in San Diego, since I live in Mission Valley.
Knock me over with a feather. It wasn't Rob's style to play a joke with me like that, but how in the world could we both end up in San Diego with years of no communication and no link to the city when we last spoke? Moreover, how did we both end up in Mission Valley, the same section of San Diego, not even the gay section, all the way from Boston on the other side of the country?
At 09:23 AM 3/18/01, you wrote:
>> Actually, I live in San Diego now... making friends,
>>living life, hanging out.
>I'm almost afraid to ask where in San Diego, since I live in Mission Valley.
You're shitting me.
*I* live in Mission Valley.
It was almost surreal. I knew it was true, but it was too bizarre to believe.
Rob's next e-mail asked me where I lived in Mission Valley, and I began a game of quid pro quo.
With the next exchange of information, it sounded like we lived in the SAME apartment community. The detail I'd given him about mine was fairly unique, and he'd responded back with a detail about his that narrowed it down quite significantly. He also asked if I wanted to continue. I responded:
At 12:30 AM 3/19/01, you wrote:
>I'm not sure where this is going, but do you think it's a good idea?
Actually, no, I don't.
I mean, part of me is curious as to where you live, but the other part would rather leave it a mystery. I mean, we aren't going to meet anytime soon I don't think, and should we live in the same apt. complex, I don't want to wonder about you every time I drive past (and vice versa no doubt). Perhaps that is letting the situation take control, instead of just meeting ya for coffee or whatever one day, so who knows.
If we do continue this "where do you live", I'd want to meet and say "Hey" in person. The choice is up to you.
That was the last I heard from him... until we bumped into each other at the mall a few months back. I had a business meeting scheduled for a few minutes after we caught sight of each other, so I couldn't stay and talk, but we quickly said hello and I mentioned that I might be moving to Florida. As we said good-bye, he said for me to e-mail him, but I figured it was a gesture of courtesy more than sincerity, as it wasn't a phone number and he hadn't taken his sunglasses off while we were talking.
Ergo, I did nothing.
A while later, a month or two, I'd guess, I got e-mail from Rob saying that it would be shame to live in the same city and not get together once before I left. I wrote him back explaining that I wasn't sure if he meant for me to e-mail him after the parking lot meeting or whether he was just caught and had to say something. I also included my phone number and asked what he was doing that night.
A couple weeks after that, we finally got a matching break and met for coffee: It was an entirely unique experience. In several ways, I already knew him, but in others, it was like meeting a new person. Six odd years had allowed us to mature quite a bit, but at the same time, in many ways our personalities were decidedly in the same vein as they had been. We caught each other up on how we'd gotten from Boston to San Diego, and we talked about things that had changed... and things that had stayed the same.
I was amazingly honest and vulnerable with him, and it felt nice. It was actually really nice, and as I hugged him to say good-bye, I smelled him and instantly knew that it was his smell. I hadn't thought about his smell, and he had no real strong smell, but the instant I smelled it, it just came back to me that that was his smell.
Things like that, little "oh, I remember that"'s about his personality and preferences, and even how he walked, came back when I saw them. It was like he was new in many ways, yet others made him all familiar, with things stored somewhere very deep in my brain that were immediately recognizable once I saw them.
In the time since we met for coffee, which was about three weeks ago, we've seen a few movies, gone to an Indian casino, spent a day at Disneyland, and had dinner several times. We've talked computer gobbledygook and business, too. It's been nice, as Jay's not into computer nerd stuff at that level and his business experience at the self-employed level is limited. Jay and Rob met and got along, too, which I was a little worried about, so it's just been nice, really nice, all around.
And sitting here thinking about it, I'm amazed at just how the paths on this crazy thing called life move and intertwine. Larry's with Jeremy, the red head, and I'm hanging out with Rob again. Whoda thunk? If you would've told me that two years ago, I would've never believed you. Now, it'd be pretty hard to phase me with any sort of future predictions at all.
Oh, and for the record, we don't live in the same apartment community... we do, however, live in ones right next to each other.