Sometimes the Internet scares me. No, really.
I am so not stalk-worthy. The only time I've been interviewed for print media was in seventh grade when I tied for first in the national junior high chess championships. My bling consists of the simplest silver wedding band possible. Last night for dinner I had an entire box of Velveeta Shells and Cheese.
In the last week, though, two different people from my past have tracked me down, largely from a circuitous path of Google results that you get from putting in my name. One of them wasn't really noteworthy but the other was. I'm still not sure exactly what to think, depsite trying to wrap my monkey head around it for a week or so now.
I met N my freshman year of college. You can already probably guess where this story is going. Stories that start like that end in one of two ways:
1) The happy couple gets married, birth many childrens, and spends summers volunteering as missionaries for Jebus in Equador.
2) Things explode in dramatic boomstick fashion and leave numerous, longlasting psychic scars as neither party is ready to deal with anything resembling a relationship, especially one that gets heightened importance attached to it due to the cicumstances.
I'll take door number two, Monty.
I won't even go into all the gory details, as we all know the story. We were always about two-thirds there, but never made it. I was too stubborn and too much the infatuated monkey to walk away. She was into it just enough not to kick me out the door. All of which would normally have been fine and would have petered out in the normal adult way if not for the added, looming sense of this being VERY IMPORTANT and both of us being really young and dumb.
So it went on and on and on. And off, and on, and off, and on. For the entire damn time we were in college. Four years. We'd go months without speaking to one another then spend all our time together for months. Over and over and over.
Things pretty much spun completely out of control when I got accepted to grad school in Texas and we both knew I'd be leaving. True to form, though, the final ultimate explosion only came when I devolved to the point of pawing through her stuff when she was at work, convinved I'd find hard evidence that she was bumping uglies with a suspicious character that she'd been hanging around with. And, like in 99% of the cases in which you find yourself reduced to the point of looking for such information, that's exactly what you find.
(This is the point of the story where briefly break down and I stop being measured and fair, and revert to Angry Grunting Male. This girl fucked with my head pretty soundly. For whatever reason I decided she was THE ONE and that I would, by sheer persistence and effort, convince her of this, always swallowing my own injured pride, always taking her back. The worst part of it is that I almost became conditioned to playing that role, seeking it out. I know, cry me a river, but still. Shit. Fuck. Fuckity fuck shit fuck.)
So boom. We had it out, I left, and we never really commmunicated again, except for a couple of emails and letters here and there. End of story.
Except I got an e-mail from her last week. Completely out of the blue. To say that she'd been wrong, that she made a mistake. That she was only writing in the hopes that I'd tell her that I was perfectly, wonderfully happy, so that she could completely bury the idea that there might be something to salvage, that it might not be too late, yada yada yada.
Umm, excuse me? Cripple that pig and run it by me again. All this time I've been referencing that situation as the Great Fuckup of 1992-1996 and now you tell me I was RIGHT?
Just to be crystal clear, I am indeed perfectly and wonderfully happy right now. To be honest, it's a great relief to me that I found an incredibly amazing and wonderful woman that'll put up with my monkey ass, and that I somehow hoodwinked her into marrying me. There's absolutely no part of me that desires to rekindle any sort of relationship with any old flames from the past.
The best part of this story, though, is that N was only able to track me down because some kid at Princeton plagiarized a story of mine for his thesis. And he was only able to somehow find and yonk it because it was published on a fairly obscure online website. (And I won't even go into the fact that the original publication of the story itself resulted in my one, brief taste of true stalkerdom/groupiedom.)
What's the point of all this, you say? No point, really. Just be careful about taking it out of your cyber pants. Once you do, it's hard to put it back in and anyone who wants to can rise up and kick you in the junk.
References to monkeys in this entry: 3
References to Jebus in this entry: 1
References to bumping uglies and junk kicking: 2
Monkeys > bumping uglies and junk kicking > Jebus