(I know, this is long and starts off as more of a topic everyone is sick of, but there’s a positive point… stick with me.. lol)
As a sort of offshoot of my main department, I work at another department for all of their special events.
It’s a living history museum, that needs some extra people for their event days, but they have to be employees and be trained, so they borrow some of us.
Except for one day that I was sick, and one day that I left early to deal with a crisis in K’s life, I’ve worked all of their special events for years.
So, obviously, K knew this.
Which is part of what made it extra weird when he randomly showed up to an event.
A halloween event.. meant for families with kids in costumes to bring them through to get candy and play halloween games.
But he came by himself.
No kids in tow.
One of the only people by themselves that weren’t tagging along with a family of their grandkids or friends with kids or whatever.
And of the three lines, came to my line…. even though it was cash only and was behind him as he entered the doors, so should have been the last line that he would choose… mainly the overflow line. And there was nobody at the other line, or behind him.
He just sort of appeared.. and goes "Hi! How are you?"
Out of just normal habit more than thought… I replied "Ok, and you?"
"Can’t complain!" and he pauses and waits.
Now, I know his cheerful answer isn’t an accurate story.
Through the head shaking wonderings of multiple mutual friends trying to figure out his life, I know that his rollercoaster has continued.
Hospital stays, surgery, his "career ambitions" job failing to be such and turning into two more short term jobs added to his list in addition to searching struggles, troubles with his dream truck turning into a nightmare, at least 7 women he has dated including two engagements both of which fell apart…
The rollercoaster for him has continued its course.
In retrospect later in the evening, there’s many ways that I would have replied had I been thinking on my feet enough… given what I knew.
But the response I gave… which later made two different mutual friends laugh hysterically… was simply..
"That will be $5."
The same thing I was saying to every person that I didn’t know at all.
I was at work… I gave a work response. LOL
He went in.. and I went on with my night, wondering what in the heck he was doing there, and what that was supposed to be about.
There was no emotional waves… no tears… just completely baffled trying to make sense of the randomness and figure out a "why"… even though as I sent messages to two mutual friends about it, I knew that whatever the "why" was, it was that he’s a mess. Whether it was just trying to get me upset, to get me to chase him again, to check if there was a ring on my finger or still a brace on my leg, whatever the goal was.. it wasn’t a healthy, sane action. It was simply a game playing maneuver.
And honestly.. the main feeling behind my side was a mix of baffled head shaking, and just true pity for him and the places he’s still in.
I kind of beat myself up a bit for even caring about the why.. for not just shaking it off completely.. but within a day or so, it was completely forgotten.
But it wasn’t until the start of December that I really stopped and realized the real significance.
At the museum again, the first night of the Christmastime events.
Another visit from a man from my recent past, the guy that I had fallen for over about a week of dating only to find out that he’d spent time in prison when he was 19 for fondling a 9 year old. (I forget what name I assigned him on here… and don’t really feel like digging it up)
In this case, this was a more honest visit.
I knew that he’d come to the Christmas event in previous years, and in that same conversation, I’d mentioned to him working the events.. but it’s a toss up as to whether he would remember.
He was by himself as well, but went to the other line and didn’t say anything to me, though I could tell he was watching me.
He went in.. and the night went on… but my mind lingered.
Wondering if he had someone new.
Kind of wishing I were out there walking through with him.
Considering catching him as he came back out later, or going out onto the grounds and catching up with him after we stopped selling admissions… just to say hi.
Or to maybe get a big hug.
Or.. ok, given that I’d had a hard week, maybe even let it develop into a shoulder rub.
At home that night, being honest, I really would have liked to just curl up next to him… to rest my head against his shoulder for a while with his arm around me.
I considered emailing him… a variety of different emails.
I did nothing.
Not because I didn’t want to… or couldn’t have really used the emotional boost at that time… because I very much could have used it and did want to.
But because I knew that I didn’t want to take the path that it would lead.
I know that regardless of rather liking the guy, and loving being treated kind and sweet by the guy…. that the past is a dealbreaker.
I’m not sure if I would make that same call if I didn’t have a kid, but I do.
After all the times that the heart vs logic thing killed me…. logic still won.
But… the other realization was much more important to me.
I realized that I hadn’t had a single one of those thoughts towards K when he turned up.
None of them.
It wasn’t that I battled impulses with logic and won as I’d done with the second gentleman.
The impulses just never came.
That was what I needed.
That’s the point that I needed to reach.
I know a lot of people were not in much agreement with how I dealt with things with K so extendedly.
I heard that I just needed to stop thinking about it… stop dwelling on it… force the feelings to go away by not giving them attention… to focus on the "think upon these things" list.
But that’s why I needed to process them through… because now, they have been processed and worked through and almost entirely resolved.
I still think of him sometimes. I still care about him, and worry a bit sometimes about him.
But it is resolved.
The feelings are nothing at all like the unresolved feelings over the second gentleman, with whom there was very little history and development… even when things had developed so much more with K over the extended time together.
That is the why that I battled on, knowing it was the harder path at the time than just ignoring it and forcing forward.
Because it is now finished… rather than just buried to be dug up later and dealt with again and again in various ways.
As for the other guy… I realize that honestly, what I wanted was not a hug from him.
It was just a hug.
It wasn’t that it was him in particular the way that K was particular to K… it was just a desire for someone to be sweet and gentle and affectionate… for some emotional fuel from whatever source at a time when I was very much depleted… and he just happened to be a source that I knew was an availible supply that I could use to meet that need.
Someday, I hope there will be another source… but for now… life goes on anyway.