Sunday, July 29, 2012

Packing up, moving on

This weekend, my friend M went off to work a craft fair out on the Cape. She crashed at the house of a friend of Leif's who she met a few weeks ago when we were both there for the weekend; at the time, he generously offered her his spare bedroom when she mentioned she'd be coming back. He also said she'd be welcome to bring a friend, so she told me I could tag along.

I was tempted. So much so that I seriously considered it, despite how impractical the timing is -- I'm in the midst of packing up my apartment and moving. I might have gone for it, too, except that I wasn't sure a) how Leif would feel about it (I texted him to say I was thinking of going, and by the time he got back to me to say he felt fine about it it was too late) and b) what my real motives were in wanting so much to go. Not that I was wanting to be all stalker-y and try to get to Leif through his friend, but I've been enjoying how carefree and fun this summer has been, thanks in large part to Leif, and I wanted to extend that/recreate it a little bit.

Leif is good people, and I might like to be friends with him eventually. I would definitely like to be friends with his friend on the Cape, provided it didn't feel to Leif like I'm stepping on his toes. But I've learned that the only way to have a healthy friendship with an ex (if such a thing is possible at all) is for it to happen when you don't care so much anymore. The intensity of my feeling of wanting to go to the Cape was a red flag for me, letting me know that I'm not ready to have that kind of contact -- even though it's not even Leif himself, just his friend.

Back when Dreamy and I broke up, he felt the same intense desire to be friends with me. He told me, "All I want is to be good friends, the way you are with l'Artista" -- one of the most ironic statements I've ever heard. It's true that l'Artista and I talk, and that we care about each other. But we had little communication for a solid three years after our breakup. And it would be a stretch to describe our friendship as platonic -- when we talk, he invariably slips up and calls me "amore"; when I was in Italy last summer, I became irrationally upset when he refused to invite me as his guest to a wedding he was attending. He described seeing me again, after six years, as being like a bomb exploding -- not exactly the foundation for a healthy, comfortable friendship.

L'Artista and I want to be in each others' lives despite this tension, because we care about each other and are an important part of each others' history. Since that's far from the case with Leif, I doubt we'll actually become friends or stay in touch. Nonetheless, it comforts me to think that it could happen when I have to stay home on a rainy Saturday night filling boxes rather than watching the stars and eating fresh fish on the Cape.

Sometimes even when you know you're in the cocoon of denial it can be a huge comfort. And on that note, it's time for me to face reality and get back to my packing.

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