I’ve mentioned Tony a few times here and there since our breakup, but mostly in passing. I guess I felt like I was in pretty good mental shape when it came to him (Tony, that is), so I didn’t spend a lot of time worrying or analyzing.
I saw him a few weeks after our breakup, at the end of January.
I can no longer recall if I mentioned the Valentine’s gift I bought for Tony. It was a vintage Hermes tie with a cactus and hedgehog pattern. Simply perfect…me as the cactus and him the hedgehog. I once said to him even if I was a cactus I would be dying from his lack of care and feeding. It became a running joke between us.
I told myself there was nobody else I could give the tie to, and since it was vintage, I couldn’t return it. I told myself I just had to give it to him and I wanted to get it over with. I had my son Liam with me for two weeks straight since Will was travelling, so my choice was to have him come over one night after Liam was asleep.
Tony ended up in my bed. It’s just so bloody comfortable with him, it’s not surprising it’s going to happen. I can’t fool myself anymore that I can see him in a private venue and not have sex happen.
It felt like yet another goodbye…a test of how I would feel afterwards. How did I feel? Nostalgic, but not hopeful. It had been nice to get caught up after a few weeks of virtually no contact. But I was okay with where things were, and I knew I’d made the right decision to not be with him anymore.
I laughed the next day when he sent me a morning text that said “Your ninja cactus has bitten me twice and already drawn blood. Well trained.”
In early February I drunk texted him from a sporting event. It was fairly innocuous text chatter, prompted (I told myself) by him being my date the last time I’d seen that particular team.
And then again, drunk a few days later (it was quite the week) I again reached out. I told him I had to move forward and assume there was no hope for us, but the thought of not talking to him was incredibly painful.
Annoyingly, he was sweet and supportive.
I impulsively asked if he wanted to know if I was dating someone. He said “of course…because at least in that scenario we are still talking and not gone.” Weirdo.
I texted him on Valentine’s day, in my funk of thinking about him and lost in the other guy’s crazy behavior: “Thought I might hear from you today but regardless, wanted to wish you a happy Valentine’s Day, Tony. Hope it’s been good”.
No response. The next day, feeling sorry for myself, I simply texted “:(“
He apologized, saying he wasn’t sure when to reach out and when to remain silent. Fair point.
At this point I’d reiterated with the the other I couldn’t be exclusive. And not sure what exactly prompted it this time, but I again reached out to Tony. We joked about the Valentines’ gift.
We talked about seeing each other but work intervened and it didn’t happen. It was just as well. We had a phone call instead. It had been three weeks since we’d spoken and it was nice to get caught up, frankly. He always made me laugh.
We kept up a steady but infrequent text exchange over the following several days. Nothing flirty, just updates here and there.
I suppose I could say that any contact with Tony made things harder for the other guy. I’m sure some of you reading would think that’s the case. But I wasn’t feeling as if there was any real hope of rekindling our relationship. It felt like a friendship more than anything else. Simply a connection with someone I care about, who makes me laugh, and who is interested in my well-being.
I’ve been telling myself that. It was true for a while, definitely. But I’ve seen him twice since and now I’m not quite sure if I’m doing myself harm. More to come.
[Image is from “Night of the Living Dead”, which is no longer under copyright. Sometimes I learn something new searching for images!]