So I’m standing at the counter filling out all the paperwork associated with rejoining the YMCA. I went to a parenting seminar a while back. One of the things the speaker said was that the thing you feel least like doing is the thing you should be doing so I packed up the girls and we went to the Y.

In a way it’s like the past few months never happened. The same people are hanging out at the rock wall, we know the girls working at the snack bar, I had a chance to catch up with my friend who works at the front desk. More and more I feel that it really is who you know in life that matters. My friend at the front desk waved the joining fee for us. That saved me $150 and I let her know how much I appreciated that but she waved it away which was nice of her.

In order to climb the rock wall you have to have a waiver. The waivers are only good for a year and it seems like I’m always filling another one out for someone. I was filling a waiver out for my daughter Jane. The girls were running around. It was so good to see their excitement. Just being at the Y is a change of pace for all of us. I noticed one of the girls was playing with the courtesy phone at the front desk. I was just about to tell her to stop when a guy carrying a baby walked past.

I looked at him, he looked at me. We started smiling and I’m not sure if we recognized each other at exactly the same time but I think we did. He’s one of the guys who stood up in my wedding and except for the baby on his arm he hasn’t changed a bit. He gave me a hug. I hugged him back and it was just like old times only instead of dating one of my best friends he’s now married with two children of his own.

We stood there talking for a while. It seems like every time I go to the Y I run into someone else I knew in a previous life and it was great to run into Eric again. All sorts of thoughts and memories ran through my head. At first it’s all the good stuff. All the times we went out to eat or played games at someone’s place. Then it’s the not so good things. One of the reasons he and my friend broke up was because he had a drinking problem. A couple of his brothers have drug related problems. I didn’t start thinking about that until later. For the moment I was caught up in Eric and the past. I got his number. I lost my cell phone a couple days ago and it was embarrassing having to tell him that but all he did was smile and ruffle my hair.

My girls were bored with the conversation. They left to go climb the rock wall. If we would have been alone we could have gone out for a couple of drinks but I had my girls and Eric had errands to run so I gave him another hug. Our fingers slid down the other person’s arm like we don’t want to let go. For me Eric is a link to the past. I used to be a big party girl. I haven’t felt that way in ages and I don't know why but suddenly I'm reminded of another day I went to the Y when I didn't want to.

That was another day I had a chance to reconnect with a friend of mine. Relationships are such interesting things. With all the people and all the books and studies out there, you'd think people would have this relationship thing down pat but that's not the case. Eric didn't ask about his ex-girlfriend but I told him she was married with a son that I've still never seen despite my throwing a very expensive baby shower for her. I don't care about the money but it's disappointing  to see how the relationship has deteriorated. Now Eric is closer to me than she is and I think that's sad. I'd like a chance to reconnect with her and another friend of ours. I've made a couple attempts in the past. The last time we got together I almost died when I went into anaphylactic shock so that wasn't a time to talk about what could be done to save the friendship.

I have a dream boy who appears when I least expect him to. I've always had very vivid, intense dreams and whenever the dream boy shows up I know something is going to happen. Standing in the lobby with Eric was like being in a dream. I felt as if I wasn't really part of the surroundings. I know I was but something about the experience seemed abstract.

I don't remember the last time the dream boy visited. I couldn't even tell you what he looks like but I always know who he is in the dream. He shows up when I'm out with my friends. Usually in the dream I'm with a group of people but I've been separated for some reason. I'm in the hall when everyone else has been seated or I've stepped outside for a breath of fresh air. Whenever the dream boy shows up, either he takes my hand or at least that's the impression I have. That his hand closes around mine. We always go to some event but we're not spectators in the same way the other people are. There's an intimacy between us that creates a feeling of insulation from the crowds around us.

The last time I saw the dream boy a really good thing happened to me. I associate the dream boy with change and it's always change for the better. I wonder if my memory of the dream boy visiting was real or just something I'm imagining. It's hard to say because the dream boy is so real to me. I find it interesting that I can't describe him. I'm apparently willing to leave the friends I'm hanging out with to wander off with the dream boy but there's no sense of deserting anyone so I wonder about that and what that all means. The dream boy is someone very special in my life. I catch glimpses of him in other people but none of them are really him just as none of the characters I have are really real. They're only real to me and today, that's all that matters. That the people in my head are real. To me.

 

Our empty bedroom where we once shared a blanket, mattress, and each other’s warm embrace now lies vacant at the back of the apartment. It is desolate and seems more barren than when you gathered your things and moved out.

The room is no longer dominated by your queen sized bed that once served as an infinite canvas on which we artistically displayed our love for each other. Now, this space seems much too claustrophobic to be called the master bedroom. It seemed like it was much more spacious in my memories of us getting out of the shower and making our way to the bed to have as much of our skin in contact with each other’s as possible.

When you would wake up before dawn to prepare for work, the walk-in closet seemed quite a distance away from the bed. Now it seems to be within an arms reach of the imprints left in the rug where your bedposts once stood.

This room is closing in on itself. The walls are collapsing in on each other as if they are the walls of my lungs as I take a deep breath of the air in this lifeless-smelling room. I only let out a sigh when I notice that I can’t see out of the window anymore. The small tree that was below the second story window had grown to completely cover the window, denying any sunlight entry into this room.

When you left, the exuberance bled from this room. All is eclipsed with you moving out, leaving only an empty silent darkness of a bedroom graveyard.

We had our issues while living together, but why do I miss you being here so much?

 

I miss those days when you were there with your comforting bright smile……

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