Friday, July 30, 2010

Sleeping Dogs (& Sleeping Birds)

Holy cow. I wanted to write a blog post last night but then I stepped out of my room for five minutes, stepped back in and couldn't find Persil. Thirteen hours later, I was STILL looking for him without having slept a wink, and finally found him hiding under a towel on the back of my door underneath about a million jackets, scarves and other miscellany. He's now having a looooooong time out in his cage to think about his behavior. (Update 3 hours later: His time out is over, I opened the door to his cage and he refuses to come out. Ingrate.)

Anyhow. After I'm done hyperventilating, I'll go back to reflecting on what I was thinking about before the shit hit the fan, which is my exes. Yesterday, I became Facebook friends with my very first boyfriend, the Modern Jewish Boy (so named because at one point he was reading a book entitled "The Modern Jewish Man"). I was in love with him from age 12 to 16, and we dated twice, once when I was 13 and again when I was 16. Both times he eventually lost interest, but rather than tell me that, he just faded away, letting more and more time pass before he returned my phone calls and being distant when we did talk. (Actually, I suspect that depression may have played some role in this behavior. But maybe that's just me making excuses.)

I still have a pretty big soft spot for him, and I was excited to see him on Facebook. I immediately went to his page and started to write a note saying hi, how's life, I'd love to get a beer with you sometime, I often think of you, etc. Before I hit "post" I glanced down at his page and read the updates he had written in his one day on Facebook. I had the same reaction I had the last time I saw him, which is: Oh, yeah. He's totally immature and exactly the same as he was when we were 13, and 16, and he's probably always going to be that way. Better to let sleeping dogs lie. I erased my friendly note.

This reminder caused me to reflect that, in the end, ALL my boyfriends have kinda been jerks. Not that they went out of their way to mistreat me (though I would say that La Moustache did), but they didn't treat me with the consideration I deserve because they were too wrapped up in themselves and their own needs. This is a worrisome thought. Do I go for jerks? Is that why I emailed the cute guy on OKC who sounded totally self-centered in his profile? I know I used to like the bad boys when I was in grade school, but I thought I was past that stage; have I moved on to the adult version of the same disease?

There is, however, one partial exception to my jerky ex-boyfriend rule: l'Artista, my painting teacher who I met when I was 18 and he was 28, who after my immediate family was probably the most formative figure in my life. I can honestly say that I would not be the person I am now if I had not met him. Yes, he should have let me go sooner than he did -- actually, he didn't exactly "let" me go, it was more like I had to claw my way out of that relationship, hanging up on him when he called, putting a block on my email, etc. It often felt like I was cutting the umbilical cord. So, in a way, he was a jerk too; but he did really, really care about me, and a huge part of him really wanted to be with me. He just couldn't do it.

I got the following email from him a couple of days ago:

Dearest Heathen,
It's always a pleasure to hear from you.
Prezzemolo [Parsley in Italian] is very cute. Be good with Heathen! You must be very happy now to have him at home.
And your vacation? What will the two of you do?
I am traveling in Germany, working a bit, it's not really vacation vacation.
I hope to hear from you soon.

Longtime readers of my blog may remember that, in an epic moment of bad timing, l'Artista asked me if we could be more involved in each others' lives at the very moment when I was breaking up with La Moustache. This prompted a very snarky response from me. I thought that my breakup with l'Artista would be the hardest breakup of my life, but that did not turn out to be the case. Hearing from l'Artista at that particular moment was a painful reminder that when I met Moustache I believed him to be the antithesis of l'Artista in so many ways, and I turned out to be very, very wrong.

Now I'm wondering again if I should perhaps let l'Artista back into my life a little bit, and maybe have a phone conversation with him once in a while. I've often considered calling him, even while I was with Moustache, and my friend Miami Nice always squelched the idea (feel free to squelch it again, Miami). I think I could handle it at this point without opening up a big old emotional can of worms, but I could be wrong. He feels like such an important part of my past, and I'd like to reconnect with that, but is it always better to let sleeping dogs lie?

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