I saw my ex today.

I haven’t seen her in a year and a half. Not once. My friends have. I’ve received reported sightings. My queries have been monosyllabic at best. I’m not terribly interested. I don’t really want to know where she was seen, what she was doing, what she looks like. It accomplishes nothing to show interest, nor to feign interest. Yet I am not a complete cad; a cursory interest does no harm, and I admit to the barest sliver of curiousity.

I don’t know if she saw me. It matters not if she did. I saw her only in passing, in the entrance way to a mall, leaning against the wall, doing something with her cell phone. Just the briefest glimpse, as I registered the presence of someone to my left. I glanced that way, recognition registered, and then my eyes slid right over and past her as I continued on my way. Yet I felt myself stiffen; I surreptitiously straightened my back, my shoulders, and stepped away with a sudden determination. And was at a complete loss to explain the surge of emotion that flooded me.

I walked to the bus stop (oh yay, back to public transit), my brow furrowed, trying to sort through a jumble of feelings I couldn’t name, but which felt familiar nonetheless. Oddly, for one very brief moment, I felt like going back, envisioned myself walking up to her and saying “Hi”. I quickly squelched that idea, disturbed that it had actually occurred to me. On the bus, I rode in a state of distraction, keeping an eye out for my stop, but otherwise oblivious to everything around me, my thoughts focused inward. I couldn’t put a single identifying label to anything I was feeling, except one: Confusion.

And one other, though I believe it’s this that is confusing me. I’m not sure if it’s pity, or sympathy. It may be a conglomeration of both. She was a troubled girl, perhaps still is, though I am not privy to that. Realistically speaking, I should not have gotten involved with her. But we all know what is said about hindsight. And while the relationship itself became troubled, that was not wholly her responsibility. I accept that I played my part in the fuckaroo. But that did not in any way absolve her of her infidelity. And while I tried to do the responsible thing by confronting her, and giving her an ultimatum, a choice, in the end such actions really hold no water to the final outcome. 

I have made many mistakes. I’ve tried to learn from them, and I believe I have. I am not a weak person. When faced with difficult or confusing situations, I try to sort through them, figure out what I’m feeling, thinking, and how to deal with it all. It is, perhaps, this need to understand, to grasp the importance, the relevance that causes me the most confusion. There is no straight line path with such efforts. It’s like blundering your way through some overgrown, tangled and dark forest, when you were initially blithely making your way down a well-trod walkway. You have no idea how you got there, and now you have no idea how to get out.

Suffice it to say, I didn’t go back to her and say “Hi,” That would have been utterly foolish. We parted on extremely bad terms (her choice, not mine), and I have no reason to believe she feels any different today. I think it is this that is causing me confusion. Not because I have any unresolved issues over our relationship. I don’t. But because some things don’t change. And because I know that she holds onto grudges…and she had a huge grudge against me. Unwarranted, in my opinion, since it was her actions that resulted in my actions. But she was never interested in my explanation; she’d made her mind up I was in the wrong, and there was no altering that.

Which makes me realize there is one other emotion involved: Sorrow. It sorrows me to know that she is so inflexible, so intransigent, that I will never be allowed the opportunity to explain why I did what I did. Anyone else who knows, has absolved me, has understood. I have absolved myself, and have always understood my actions. But she never wanted to know, and her verbal refusal to even attempt to listen was venomous. I don’t know or understand how anyone can be so closed off to illumination. But I’m not naive or stupid. I never pursued the issue, and never believed she would alter her stance on it.

Seeing her today merely reinforced all I have come to know, all I have felt, and still feel traces of. Which has made me realize that that’s okay. It’s okay to feel, and to work through those feelings, and thoughts, to better understand where I am. Not where she is. But where I am.

Because the absolute best I can do is understand myself. And go from there.