Thursday, February 9, 2012

Old Haunts

I've been taking a class in the Writer's Program at UCLA Extension. Tonight I gave my driving jitters a break and came out early before the traffic got jammed and agressive. On campus for the first time while there was still some daylight, I noticed that the building where my class is held is very near the Law School. I went in and had a look around, used the restroom, and tried to figure out why it all looked so familiar. It was The Someone who went to law school there--not me. But I guess there were presentations or award ceremonies or something. Or maybe I gave him a ride a couple of times when his car was in the shop. And I think there was a cocktail party or two.

I'm always amazed how a place can roil the waters of memory and before I know it there are bodies floating on the surface. Last week after class, I decided to take city streets home instead of braving Freeway detours, Cal Trans' late night habit of road work, and the outtage of dozens of lights. Dark strange roads plummet me into a panicked despair. Driving through streets and neighborhoods that I haven't travelled since the 70s took me on a different sort of detour. I had conversations with The Someone. Sometimes these talks are replays of real conversations that we had in the past--or at least the gist of them. Sometimes I'm talking to him in the here and now. Inventing conversations that will never happen. But really, if I saw him in person, I wouldn't rush over and get chatty. So why do I talk to him in my head? And how do I stop?


Elizabeth Harper said...

I think you still talk to him in your head because you were never heard by him during your marriage.

AdirondackDawna said...

I read that it takes ~ 2years of recovery for every 5 years of marriage following a divorce. You can speed that up with good counseling. Have you read "He's History, You're Not"?

You're beautiful, you're bright, and you're talented, and you are healthy. Let go of him. He is just another disappointing character in a nation full of losers. He will never regain his integrity where you're concerned. Let him go and take note of the gifts you bring.

Today would have been Dale's 55th birthday. She died of a brain tumor less than a month ago.
Time runs out.

Ms. Moon said...

The habit of talking to him is deeply engrained, I am sure. How long were you married? How could you not still have him in your mind, even without reminders?
It does go away eventually. Those ghost-spouses do go on and leave us to converse with more responsive people.

Wrinkling Daily said...

I think we keep talking to them because there are still things left to say... It doesn't matter if he ever hears them, only that you say them... I think...but I am obviously not an expert and find myself not so much talking to him, but listening to him, hearing his criticism. I wish THAT would stop. Maybe one day, when I put more time between it. I do know that I admire what I have read from you: your strength and insight. Maybe that bit of talking to the past, is just part of being a caring, feeling person and as time goes on, it will fade right along with some of the unpleasant memories.

Elizabeth said...

I imagine you will continue talking with him until there is no more to say. That might be forever. I don't know. I think what's important is that you don't resist those conversations but observe them -- the old mindfulness trick. Perhaps then, when you are not apt to judge but to observe, they will float away and he will continue his tormented life while you finally find ease and rest.