Friday, July 02, 2004

When Worlds Collide

ok, thought of a story to share with y'all, one that i wasn't going to put up here initially, but what the hell? it's kind of amusing in a pathetic way.

i ran into the ex the other day at a starbucks in hollywood. yogaman and i were just hanging out, getting some midday coffee. he walks out to find a table outdoors where we can sit, sip and smoke. i'm just a few paces behind him, and i then i freeze, instantly recognizing pablo's meaty neck and bald spot. i look to his right and see his new girlfriend -- this crazy chick who lived in our old building. her dog is there, too, a huge mastiff named bella. he's with his new family and i look like hell -- wearing sweats, hair pulled back, no makeup. i stop to catch my breath. i had imagined this moment countless times before, played out various scenarios of maybe me mad-dogging her, perhaps smacking him with some biting and pithy statement.

and here it is, the golden opportunity laid before me, and all i can do is panic. it was a serious panic, as if i were in the midst of a terrorist attack. this crazy dread washes over me, making me want to both throw up and pass out. fight or flight. i feel my hand shake and grip my coffee tighter. why am i reacting so strongly? i'm at a loss, at a complete standstill just two feet away from the door, watching yogaman unknowingly get situated at the table directly in front of where my ex-boyfriend is sitting with his new girlfriend and her fucking dog.

i make my move. i dart out the door and grab yogaman's hand, pulling him onto the sidewalk and away from the starbucks. "we have to go. we can't stay," i must have said in rapidfire about three or four times while trying not to hyperventilate. i turn my head and lock eyes with pablo. he offers up an awkward smile and takes a drag off his cigarette. i don't look at her, but give her dog a once over.

the whole exchange must have lasted five seconds, but it played out in slow motion. five minutes later, yogaman and i are sitting at a coffee shop down the street. i explain what happened, probably very poorly, and then i get very, very quiet. he stares at me intently, tries to tell a story, change the subject, but i'm consumed by it for a good half hour. finally, he asks, "you still hung up on your ex?"

truthfully, i'm not hung up on him, i'm hung up on it -- the betrayal, the wasted time, the feeling that i spent four years with a stranger, deluding myself. i want out and over it, i really do. i don't want to be that girl with issues. those were the kinds of girls i would ridicule for being less self-possessed, but here i am with my very own set of hang-ups. they'll dissipate with time, won't they? i can't have them roaming around so freely in my brain, weighing me down, causing me to second-guess myself. i must purge them. i WILL purge them, damnit. i simply have no other choice.

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