I am in cottage country this week, near a small town. In that town lives (I think, thanks to internet “research”) a woman I was once involved with (for a short time), and her husband and family.
I find myself thinking back to when I knew her, a long, long time ago, before she met her husband to be. I was very smitten with her at the time – she was, and presumably still is, a terrific person. We kept company for only a short time, and I had a very difficult time (at the time) letting go of what I thought might have been. I think, some months later, that we ended up as distant friends.
I remember highlights of knowing her, and being in the excitement of a new relationship. That particular relationship was likely doomed from the start – I was likely overly needy (want-y?), and it’s likely fair to say that the timing was complicated in several ways.
But there are a few memories of that short time with her that I hold close after all these years.
I find myself – especially while temporarily in presumed geographical proximity – wondering how she is, how life has treated her, who she is now. Wondering if we would recognize each other if we bumped into each other on the street or in the grocery store – it is a small town after all.
There is part of me that is curious, but I have sometimes found that memories are sweeter when un-sullied by reality. People live their lives, and over the years, they change a bit, in one way or another. I am certainly older, greyer, and a few pounds heavier, and I’ve been affected by the life I’ve lived in the past almost quarter century. Sometimes, perhaps, enjoying the memory of the moment is the best alternative, leaving it unaffected by reality.
But still, perhaps, I wonder. It is all affected, of course, by the gaps I perceive in my life, wanting, perhaps, to attempt to hold on to the highlights of my past that I think are currently missing, and that I worry will never return.
But still, perhaps, I wonder. About her and how life has proceeded for her. But likely better to enjoy the memories of the past, than to distort them with reality. But if I saw her at the grocery store, and recognized her, I think I would be unlikely to run off and hide in the baked goods section.