It’s Wednesday, and instead of yammering about how I haven’t written much lately and how much of a slacker I feel about that, I thought I would actually, you know… write. I found this meme called Letters I’ll Never Send and one of the topics is to write to The One(s) That Got Away…
It is just barely dawn when I leave my house every morning. The sun is but a sliver of light on the horizon. The grass is wet with dew and the air smells fresh and clean, not stale and full of the fumes of everyday life as in the afternoon. The moments just before sunrise are my favorite time, really. Before me stretches an entire day with which to play and perfect. It cannot and will not be repeated, but heaped upon the other days it is part of a set. How today goes might sway my week one way or another.
Just before sunrise this morning, I got in my car and started it up and set my music to play. Oddly, I need it loud and thumping, crashing through the quiet. As I point the nose of my Camry through middle and upper class neighborhoods, my left foot taps and my head bobs in time with the heavy rhythm and strong lyrics of Ludacris, Eminem, Kanye West and Jay-Z. My daily journey is mostly side streets and one long jaunt where the homes are worth millions, set back from a winding road lined with trees already full with the bursts of red, orange and yellow that scream the arrival of autumn.
This time of year finds me despondent and reflective. Contrary to popular belief, it gets cold here in the south. The air takes on a chill during the fall, causing an intense craving for salted hot chocolate and apple cider and candles that smell like pumpkin and vanilla. Wreaths of dried leaves adorn doorways; cartoon witches and goblins hang in windows. And everywhere, it seems, people are coupling up, walking hand in hand through drifts of fallen leaves. Something about autumn makes me take particular note of cute and cozy groupings of two. They bring my mind to thoughts of You.
Not You, singularly. You, collectively. The One(s) That Got Away.
I have reached an age at which there is a threat of possibility that I may never walk hand in hand with someone, or glance up — or over– at him with a twinkle in my eye and a subtle smile on my lips. Memories of relationships past to come to mind and the thought creeps in alongside them: was there One That Got Away? Was there more than one? Was I too picky or obstinate? Not understanding? Too much of a prude? Not enough of a prude? Was the timing wrong? Was I in the wrong place at the right time or vice versa?
Or were we just not ready? Or not right for each other? Or just… not right?
What may bother me the most is not that You aren’t a part of my life anymore. It isn’t that I don’t see Your smile and hear Your laugh or have intimate moments with You to look forward to.
It’s the Unknown. I have no way of knowing if there was something real between us. If, had we given it more time and effort, it could have turned into something great; if lust would have given way to a deep, comforting, fulfilling love. I have only my thoughts to keep me company, my imagination to fill in the blanks of what might have been. I never consider the alternative–that we might drive each other mad and run in opposite directions and crave an expedient and forever end to us.
This is heavy thinking for such an early time, just before sunrise, while the world is waking up. I suppose I allow it because deep thoughts of people who have blown into and out of my life wake me up. In a strange way, they give me a goal– to take what happens today to heart, because I don’t know what tomorrow might bring and if, two years from now, I might be driving down the road thinking of the people I know and love today as the One(s) That Got Away.