After you break up with someone and enough time passes, it’s easy for nostalgia to obscure why the relationship ended in the first place. That’s what happened with me and my California-based ex Mark (a.k.a. Sparky).
A little over a year after I broke it off with Sparky, he came to New York on business. Following a blissful first night together, the downside of our roller coaster chemistry kicked in. I now Open The Vault and take you back to the fall of ‘96...
November 3rd, 1996
New York, NY
In keeping with tradition, the day after with Sparky was disappointing, upsetting and ridden with reminders of why I broke up with him.
No matter how hard I try not to let his insensitive, egocentric ways get to me, Mark invariably manages to do it anyway. He loves me and yet never fails to be condescending and cold when we’re together.
Today, he dominated every conversation. He went on and on about his job, his aspirations, barely letting me get a word in edgewise. You’d think after 11 months apart, he would be interested in knowing more about where I'm at. Not so.
* * *
November 4th, 1996
Armed with twenty-four hours worth of pent up frustration, I confronted Mark over dinner at Raffaele tonight.
Not surprisingly, he didn’t want to hear what was upsetting me and I saw a flash of the angry side of him which has brought about some horrible fights between us in the past. He came thisclose to getting up and leaving the restaurant. I must admit it felt good to put him on the defensive for a change.
I calmly told Mark that I feel like my pursuits don’t interest him. As usual, he disagreed, maintaining that I was taking things out of context.
He said he wouldn’t remain in touch if he didn’t love me, but that he can’t allow himself to get too emotional when we’re together. This push-pull dynamic has been a constant with us and I suspect will continue until such time as our situation becomes a more normal one (IF that ever happens).
Later, wonder of wonders, Sparky actually asked about my work and we started laughing and cuddling. Even though we didn’t necessarily resolve anything -- do we ever? -- I felt like he really heard me for once, like we were truly communicating.
In my heart, I know the chemistry we have is too volatile to sustain anything permanent. But I also believe we will continue to be a part of each other’s lives for years to come. A part of me is forever his.
* * *
After Sparky’s hurricane-like visit, romantic dramas of the more local variety resurfaced as the month’s theme of revisiting old flames continued.