I have only one. He and I were four years. I haven't spoken to him in over two years and haven't laid eyes on him in maybe three, and he lives in the area still. This morning I checked my email to find a message from him regarding my personal website. He gave me his numbers where I could reach him, but I didn't have the desire to speak to him. The last time I called his home number, it was to get his parents' new area code so that I could visit them and get my belongings out of their shed, where they had been resting more than a year after he and I broke up. His wife answered the phone, and while I'm not sure if she knows about me, he was not amused.

I knew right away why he wrote me. If you run a search on his name, my site pulls up and my depiction of him is far from nice. Since he works in the computer industry, he likely didn't want such a negative perception of him to be so well known, to show up on the first match on Google. So I checked my website to find that there was an error pulling it up. I had posted to the night before, so that startled me. I thought maybe The Ex had taken the site hostage, maybe he wanted to sue me for slander. How would I know?

I emailed the guy who runs my site for me, frantic for reasons why the site was down. Then I emailed The Ex to see if we could discuss this via email. It is hard to have an ex in town that you do not have anything to say to and the one time you do, it's surely going to be unpleasant and cold. An hour passed.

I had emailed The Ex my work number. I felt infected by even having his number on my screen, let alone having to use it. Fortunately, he called me. He announced himself with his full name, as though I would not recognize his voice. He went on and on with what felt like a very cold and business-like manner, which I expected. He said he found the site and saw that my writing was improving impressively, that he was happy that I was doing well, blah blah blah BUT he would prefer that anyone looking to hire him not be so able to find out about his seedy past.

Some people told me that unless he really did sure for slander, I should keep the site as it is and chalk it up to "you made your bed and no you're going to lie in it." But from talking to him in those brief moments today, I remembered something my friends had told me after they heard of our breakup. They said that while he was a nice guy overall, The Ex was always a bit too fake for them, that he was holding up a heavy front. When people who have never met him in person see photos of The Ex, they describe him as cocky, self-centered, over-confident. And it wasn't until today that I saw it for myself and agreed with them.

It turns out that he had nothing to do with the site being down, but I'm sure if that's what he wanted to do, he could have. And I could have dealt my end differently. I guess I just don't have it in me anymore.

Dutch punk band formed in the late 1970s on a whim. Members living in anarchist squats at the time decided which instrument they would play by drawing straws and apparently subsequently stealing the equipment from music shops. Highly politicised, The Ex also keep a bizarre sense of humour in lyrics such as "let me tell you about Karl Marx / A visionary fish in a pool of sharks". Over the years, their drunken-rhythmed hardcore sound has grown to incorporate bits of folk, jazz and traditional Eastern European music. The band are also admired in avant-garde rock circles: collaborators include Thurston Moore and Lee Ranaldo of Sonic Youth, and their latest (sixteenth) album was produced by über-producer Steve Albini.

I bought my first album by The Ex, the band, as a result of that record store game where the clerks call which chumps will buy the album that they put on. I was one of those chumps.
The record was awesome. I was drawn into Starters & Alternators, because I thought their sound was reminiscent of Pere Ubu. From what I've read, they share several influences with the band from Cleveland (most notably Captain Beefheart). As you can tell from the titles of the albums this band from Amsterdam has a political bend to it. Anyway, they rock, so it's all good. Here's a list of their albums so far: note: Ex Records distributes their music in the U.S. through Touch and Go Records.

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