I am addicted to the newspaper – especially the Sunday papers. In a perfect world, I sagaciously read the Washington Post and the NY Times cover to cover and without interruption (unless there is a rather interesting woman with whom I am sharing a bed and the papers and interruption takes the form of sporadic bits of great conversation or kisses) every Sunday. Most often, however, I read the papers in spurts, finishing towards the end of the evening while watching a game from the stool of a bar.
This past Sunday evening I was breezing through the last pages of the Style & Arts section of the post when I was gobsmacked by a picture. In the middle of the page that is porn for the Cotillion and Sorority set a.k.a. Wedding Announcements, there was an ex-girlfriend’s smile. The smile that could warm even Dick Cheney’s heart was shown next to her fiancé’s whose details I would not remember.
At one point in our relationship, I knew with the certainty of my own name that she and I would marry. We ended for good reasons – reasons that do not reflect well on either of us but especially me – and our fundamental incompatibility was an easy conclusion for us both. Yet, I sat there taking shallow breaths and stared at her picture for a longer than I should have feeling like I had just received a sucker punch to the soul.
Time plays parlor tricks with memories of all but the most horrific relationships, and time was pulling half dollars from my ear for what was surely too long.