Sometimes in a moment of your life when nothing seems to be going your way, you might get a small, yet extra — ordinary, surprise. This does not make up for the fact that nothing seems to be going your way, because, it still does not, but it is kind of a break in a seemingly endless negative routine you are stuck in.
This just happened to me last week.
I was working on a project I have been working on for quite some time, with little enthusiasm, I must say. I decided to take a break and look for a picture which I needed for said project, but it was like taking a break, because instead of staring into a blank hostile screen, I would be frantically looking for all external hard drive(s) and USB key(s) I possess and then staring at all the jpeg et al until I could find said picture. So in my mind it seemed like a micro extra — ordinary change of pace.
The external hard drive and USB key quest turned out to be fruitless, so I tried my Facebook page, perhaps I uploaded it there some time some place ago and forgot all about it. It was a long shot, but worth a try, anything to avoid going back to the hostile blank screen.
Not so surprisingly, the picture was not there, BUT I found something else incredibly extra — ordinary.
A friendship request.
You might think that this is not such an extra — ordinary event, after all you get friendship request all the time and I have even come to know that there are people that meet on the Facebook and engage in relationships which then tragically end in a face off on Catfish the TV show.
But not me.
I kind of only have Facebook friends who are also real life friends (and kept some that were – it seems impolite to “delete” them) and I have not received a new friendship request in about 6 years, which also coincides with the situation in real life.
A — mazing. I was in shock. Such an unexpected turn in the seemingly mundane search for an old picture.
But the real shock was the identity of the person requesting the friendship.
A guy, and more precisely ‘the guy’ that was the subject of the very project I was working on.
This is KISMET — I said to myself out loud. It gotta be.
And about a nanosecond after hitting the “accept” button I panicked.
What if the dog sitting on his lap as he was surfing the net and going through his Facebook page, moved its head and accidentally sent the friendship request hitting the screen with his fluffy ear?
After all I have not heard from this person since 2009 when we ended our surreal relationship in the arrival lounge of an airport after THE trip from hell. I have vague memories of what went down, but for sure it was ugly. It haunted me. All I could and can remember was the frustration and the anger I felt in that moment.
For the longest time I wondered what happened. Why it went from ( one of ) the greatest love to the greatest disappointment. I am writing a chapter of my book about that.
And as I was in the midst of his chapter, he comes up with this “friendship” request. I was flabbergasted. I still am. Partially. So naturally I wrote to him, and then I deleted the draft. What if it was the dog that touched the screen and he did not mean to get in touch and he is expecting me to know that and ignore the friendship request. Well…kind of too late — as I accepted it already. So I re — drafted the message, mentioning the dog situation and that it would have been totally cool if he wanted me to ignore the request, but in the off — chance he meant for the request to reach me, I was totally cool with getting in touch. Or was I? Am I? Can’t be 100 per cent sure . I am working on it as I write. He got back to me saying it was him and not the fluffy dog that sent the request and that he wanted to know how I was doing.
…inquiring about how I am doing? A bit of a cop out really. I clearly thought he was going to say that he has this 6 years’ worth of letters he wrote to me but never posted and that his therapist has now finally allowed him to get in touch with me for real ( as opposed to virtually through the never posted letters) to discuss the content of those letters he never had the gut, and later was forbidden by his therapist to send. Major bummer. Anyhow, I can’t really say to him that I am dedicating a chapter of my upcoming book to him, can I? So I guess we are even. Major cheeky face.
This situation, however, begs another question: the book chapters I am working on are conceived to be a one sided reflection on the relationship each of them examines. The chapters have questions that are designed to stay open and perhaps unanswered as the recipients of the messages will not receive the message directly and, to avoid bitter lawsuits, I won’t be using real names. There could only be a dialogue post – book publication, in the highly unlikely case any of the recipients grabs a copy, recognise him or herself in a chapter and gets in touch to discuss it. Fat chance.
But in this case, he got in touch with me while I am writing — or trying to, ref to the hostile blank screen above — so, should I ask him the questions I would like him to answer or should I maintain the status quo? I don’t think I would have the same chance with other recipients, and this could spoil the balance of the book. Additionally, I have been thinking about some of “our” issues for some time, I am kind of prepared for the uncomfortable conversation that we never had on what went wrong. If I were the one that had sent the “friendship” request there could have never been a doubt on whether or not that was a purposeful act. I don’t have a dog. And I rarely would send accidental anything. But with him, I don’t really know. And I don’t think it would be fair for me to steamroll him with such a serious and heavy topic out of the blue. On the other side, if he knows me, even a little, he must know I have spent part of my time obsessing on the reasons of our break up and before that, on the reasons of our getting together. He must know I will dedicate part of my time obsessing about this till I find a good solid explanation and / or get an injury or illness that prevents this function of my brain.
We agreed on a friendly chat (video/audio — not sure) at an unspecified time in the near future.
He felt the need to let me know he is in a successful relationship which started a couple of years ago.
I said that knowing that he is happy makes me happy.
More joyful than over — the — top — out — of — this — world — happy; I am not doing any happy dance of any kind.
So the jury is still out. I am back hard at work on my chapters and have put his aside for a while.
Maybe we will have the (video) chat sometime soon and I will see whether or not I can introduce the conversation.
Maybe we will never have the (video) chat and he will never hear my thoughts on us, as he so skilfully did when we were together.
Only time will tell.
And my book.
Whenever that will be ready.