Looking Through The Window

I don’t know what made me think of him last night.

R is out of town, as he often is, and I was having myself a little Grey’s Anatomy marathon on my computer.  Me, myself and a bottle of wine hunkered down after the children went to bed, and I fantasized about happy endings with my own personal McDreamy.  I know you’re reminding me I’m married and all that, and you’re right.  I have my own real life version of a happy ending with a good man.  That being said, I know that it’s TV and it’s not real, but sometimes it just is easier to imagine that had life taken this turn or that turn that I living a completely different life with an insanely handsome man who knows how to use hair product in addition to being sensitive to my dark and twisty needs.

When I opened up my computer screen this morning, my internet browser screen was still open.  And I realized that I had drunk Googled a few people in my wine induced haze late last night (I also woke up wearing my jeans and the turtleneck I’d worn all day yesterday; don’t judge me).  Thank goodness I hadn’t drunk Facebooked or worse, drunk emailed, or the grandaddy of them all, drunk dialed.  Although I’ve already done that with this person before.

I’d searched for Dennis.

I don’t know what made me think of looking for him last night.  Maybe it was because the episode I was watching (Season Finale of Season 4 in case you’re a fan) had to do with kids in high school.  Dennis defined my high school experience, my kind English teacher who gave me the attention I craved while nursing the wounds (both literal and figurative) that forced my family into lockdown during my teen years.  I harbored a not so secret crush as I lobbied to be his favorite student during my high school years and his over achieving mentee during my college ones.  As we transitioned from teacher student to colleagues, our relationship changed as well, eventually turning into an affair.  I swayed dangerously back and forth between guilt and full on life fulfilling love until I forced myself to stop seeing him.  We remained friends and kept in touch sporadically until I moved away from my hometown in 1999; I haven’t contacted him since.

I think about him though, sometimes.  And in these days of 21 century technology, that means I consult Dr. Google to see if I can find him.  A phone call after all of this time seems so intrusive, but I always think that a casual email would be a fine way to reconnect.  Or a Facebook message, as so many have done with me over the last few years. And each time I have consulted The Big G, I find bupkus.  Nada.  Nothing.  Not even a random comment on a message board.  Which seems odd to me, always, and then I go back to my life and don’t think about it again for weeks or months or longer.

But for some reason he popped into my head last night.  And when I opened up my computer this morning, I saw something different.  I saw his name listed on a cover band website.  The name, an unusual one, was right.  The location was right.  And sure enough, there were photos.

It was him.

He looks about what I’d expect him to look like 13 years after not having seen him; he was 22 years my senior, which puts him now in his sixties.  He plays guitar.  There are photos of him singing, playing, in a recording studio.  There he is, alive and well, and living life…just like me.  One of the photos is of him and his wife, sitting together after a gig.  Smiles, his arm around her.  Happy looking.

I’m glad he’s happy.  And frankly, I’m glad he’s still married.  I’m glad he is still that good but flawed human being.  At least I think he is.  I don’t know, of course.  And that’s the rub.  Because now I’ve seen him.  And now I want to know things.  Like if I was the only one or were there others after me.  Or if he ever told his wife about us.  Or if he now thinks what we had was a mistake.  Or if he randomly Googles me from time to time.

Which is all insane.  Because all of that, it’s all about me.  He’s gone on to live a good life; so have I.  I don’t need his validation and approval and attention anymore.  These days I know who I am and I am (mostly) secure in my self worth and place in the world.  Why do I need to hear that he remembers me?  And thinks well of me when he does?

I can see him now, through the window.  A one way glass, he doesn’t know I can see him.  But I can.  I can see where the last thirteen years have brought him to in his life.   So why I am I struggling with this?

I can’t decide if it’s enough to just look through the window.

Part of me wants to knock on the door and see what happens when he answers.

Why isn’t it enough just to look through the window?


One Response

  1. […] time it was Dennis.  Dennis, whom I had drunk Googled a few months back, and then later, screwed up my courage and called on the phone.  The […]

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