Exes in the Inbox: Part 9.

It's so humid here.

It's humid back home in New York, but it's different here: the air is thick and still and the ground is still damp from an afternoon rain. There are owls and cicadas and crickets here, and I'm laying in my little niece's bed listening to them sing outside. 

People think they know the south and are quick to judge it, but few of those people have ever even been here. I've lived here, albeit only arguably as southerners and Floridians alike are quick to point out that South Florida isn't exactly The South. I tend to agree with them.

The air, though. The air is the same in Miami as it is here in Atlanta. 

Exactly 9 years ago this weekend I left my beautiful Miami Beach apartment for a Labor Day Weekend trip to Seattle. And it's weird, you guys. It's weird how I'd forgotten how I felt a week later when I returned home alone crying inconsolably and forever changed. I know this blog is about stories and I know stories are all we have but I wont bore you with the precise details of what happened on that trip. Not today.

I will tell you that this series is about exes, and on that Labor Day weekend long ago my lips met those of a very forbidden boy who very vocally became my ex just inside of a year later. And when he left me I fucking cried. For weeks. And I promised myself that I would never do that again.

But that very first Friday night, that very first weekend when he reached a thumb to the corner of my eye to brush away a single tear and I defeatedly let my cheek rest in his palm; in that moment before he leaned his mouth to mine I hoped against hope that I would have the will to keep it from happening. It was then, I think, when I knew that all of it would very much happen, and although I've lost some of the details these days but I remember so vividly the thick fear I felt of this imminent kiss and how every muscle in my neck and shoulders involuntarily gave way to let it happen, and I remember the faint, whispered "oh god" that escaped my lips when he brought his face from mine and my eyelids had again parted. I'm not sure guys, but I think I'm sure; It might just be all of this hindsight, all of these years between then and now that seem to make me believe that I fell in love with him that night, maybe even before his lips left mine.

But does it matter anymore? I suppose the when of him isn't near as important as the sheer fact that there was a him, but I'm obsessed the when lately, as if eliminating one little moment from our history would change our path completely. But seriously though. Would it?

What would I remove? What could that thing possibly be that would have saved me from all those weeks of tears and hordes of inappropriate boys that I paraded through my bed in an attempt to replace him?

That kiss, that very first one that we shared in the middle of the night in his tiny childhood bed, I think we've already discussed why it can't be removed. So could I take back the rest of that night? If I could, would I remove the part where I undressed that slight teenager like a savage, and in doing so would we have simply returned to enjoying the yearlong friendship that we had had until then? Maybe if I hadn't blown him in the shower in the morning. Maybe I shouldn't have fucked him again a couple nights later. Maybe I shouldn't have flown back to Seattle within three weeks time and spent days and nights laying around his apartment in Olympia in various states of naked recline. 

There's no point in debating this, I suppose. I did those things. All of those things and more; and I was good to him and horrible to him and I expected too much and asked for too little. But all of our months of being so, so in love and together and even the ones where we were so, so in love and not together were made possible by one unspoken pact we made when our lips first met: we didn't fucking tell anybody. 

Days passed, several weeks in fact before everyone really knew, and I hid him elegantly behind my problems with my best friend rather than come completely clean. I mean, wait. Let's skip ahead.

He flew to my little beach town from Olympia that New Years Eve, and by then the birthday we shared had come and gone and too many months had passed to ignore the 'us' of us. And for the first time we debuted ourselves as some sort of couple; we held hands in public and stole kisses on street corners and clinked our beers together in the sunshine. We finally began to have a dialogue about each other, but not with each other, as that took several more months and came out as a series of screaming matches that we had no idea how to navigate.

Now, I know it's not entirely this simple; I know there was no equation that dictated what would and would not happen to us, but I have to believe that all of the greif that we suffered at our own hands might have been alleviated had we been honest with each other. And it sucks, it really does, because in the end we hurt each other so much that we haven't spoken since.

You will never hear his take on things, at least not from me. Not here. I guess that's why I took the time to tell you this story, because as much as I would love his part of this series to be about some grand reconciliation or even a few terse lines traded via email, it just wont happen. Maybe not ever. 

Maybe I'm telling you this more for me than for you.

Maybe I need to tell you this story because it's so humid and still down here, and maybe it reminds me of all those South Floridian nights way back in my early twenties when I would lay awake late into the night with naught but a beautiful, naked memory of a forbidden boy far away to keep me company. 

But that was long before I had this blog.

That was even before I knew my Sister, so it stands to reason that it was long before I sat in a coffee shop in Toronto and realized that I only had one day back in Brooklyn between Canada and Atlanta, That in between visiting Acacia and my Sister I would have but one day to indulge in local forbidden boys, boys that may hail from Florida, boys that would, if they were laying here with me right now as they have joined me often in my bed in Brooklyn, could note the properties of this still night air and appreciate it as a phenomenon that doesn't occur in the flat, wide expanse of Brooklyn where we now live.

And that was even long before I promised myself that I would never, ever, make those same mistakes ever again.


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