Tuesday, 24 May 2011

A Talk With My Ex

I was just getting home from the community garden. Gardening therapy had been partially successful. I watered the beds for two hours while thinking of things I could have said better at the dreaded meeting. I wish it were possible to have parts of one's mind erased at times like these. I'm bored of my own thoughts. Then my ex-girlfriend Beth called.

I said, "Hang on, I'm just locking my bike up." She listened to me fumbling with my key. Then I went and sat outside the block entrance, next to the flowerbed I planted with Busy Lizzie and Asiatic Lilies, to talk to her.

We agreed that what had happened had been silly and regrettable. That was nice. Beth apologised. She said that she hadn't wanted to put a veto on me going, but I hadn't given her any time to prepare for it and as she was organising it that month it had felt really stressful. It occurred to me then that simply giving her two days' warning had been thoughtless, so I apologised too. I would much rather have an arrangement with Beth that we are both happy with than have the right to turn up whenever I choose. We also agreed that we would prefer to find a way of being ok in each other's presence to taking turns to go to the social.

Beth said she wasn't up for meeting at the moment. She's really busy, working here and there and being away a lot. She said she was really happy and healthy now in a way that only people who have had times when they have really not been happy and healthy can say it. I said I was delighted to hear it, but I felt sad that she thought that seeing me might destabilise that.

I said: "If you put something in a box and hide it, the thought can end up being much worse than the reality."

She said she realised that, so maybe there will be more talking in the future.

That's the only proper conversation Beth and I have had since we broke up four years ago. I envy people who keep good relationships with their ex's. It makes me think I must be such a shit.

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