A Lack of Direction
October 16, 2006

There was the ex. She came right before me, like seriously a few weeks, if that. I knew about her early on and even had a moment of panic one morning when I thought things were different. I just had one moment when I processed everything and tried to really look at things clearly. I grew REALLY concerned that this was a Sanjay type situation. Where I am just a replacement. A space to fill and a warm body, literally. So I panicked and confronted him. He swore it was nothing even close to that serious between them. There was nothing to really "get over" and since this was going so well it was not even a question. I believed him, since this seemed reasonable. I too had the same response about my most recent relationship. Those were my feelings, so I knew he mirrored them.

Yet, there was still unanswered questions. He had a giant big old box, of Tampons on the shelf in his closet. He had shampoo and cream rinse, for color protected hair in his shower.He had straightening product in the bathroom. He even had one of those disgusting pillows you attach to your shower to lean your head against while taking a bath. Finally, there was the grossest, tackiest piece of jewelry, an ankle bracelet probably, that looked like it came from Claire's, left in the bottom drawer of his night stand. I found that when I was looking for a heating pad. I asked, a long while ago, about the shampoo and told it was his sisters, left over from when she came to visit. But this made no sense. Who brings an entire normal sized bottle of Pantene when they travel? I know she was not there for more then a night or two. She is 35 and has three young boys. She was not on vacation or an extended stay. It also does not explain the tampons or bath pillow. No one travels with that crap. SoI knew they were hers. And he was lying to me.

Two weeks ago, after several classes of wine, two beers and no dinner I got the true story out of him. I didn't even ask. I had long ago dismissed my concerns. After being re-assured that one panicked morning and trusting him, I stopped thinking about it. It really was nothing to be concerned about since we had progressed even further since that initial conversation in February. She had lived with him. The version I got, was it was for one month and she was still engaged to the person that she is now married to. She left him to go to Paris, never returned his calls and is now supposedly married and living in Tallahassee. They do not talk, out of respect for me. Not something I ever asked him to do.

The story actually clarified all the questions from above. Yet, I chose to keep my trap shut and not say that I already knew and suspected that to be the case. Or even point out that this was not the version I got when I actually asked about it in February. I know he knew that already. It was good that it came out. I could care less if they ever talk, she is married and he cares about me enough that occasional conversations are not a big deal. After all, I spoke to G just last week at Temple. There is nothing significant about it. Again, my feelings were supposed to be a mirror of his. However, this morning she came up again. But she was not mentioned. I just know that he was talking about her and therefore had talked to her. And even worse it was done in the context of questioning me.

"What route are taking to Tallahassee? Is it really the most direct one? Have you thought about this?"

"I am not sure what you are asking? What highway are we taking? Or are you asking to help me out and plan our trip?"

"Well I was just talking to someone in Tallahassee and she said that the way you wanted to go would take five hours and there is a way to go that would only take four"

"Oh, who were you talking to?"

"Just someone who lives there"

"I see."

"Well, don't you think there could be other routes that take less time then going in 75? "

If we were in the same room I would have thrown my papers at his head while simultaneously kicking him in the gut and screaming my head off.

Since I am at work, I draw my breath in sharply and begin. "I do not know why you even question me on this. I have just spent 20 minutes on Mapquest printing out five directions, one from work to Tallahassee, one from our hotel in Tallahassee to the restaurant, one from our hotel in Tally to our hotel in Pensacola, one from our hotel to the church and one from the hotel to the airport. Looking at the direction on 75, it is 240 miles or by their estimate, going 60 mph, it is 4 hours and eight minutes. We all know no one drives 60 mph. Not to mention that I have done that drive 57 times having lived in New Orleans for seven years, so I know it will never take five hours. Now have I thought about it more then that? No, actually I have not considered that state road 19 offers an alternate route that does not take us into the middle of the state and through Gainesville, which is out of our way, like 75 does. Nor have I even driven on 19 before as an attempt to see if it is actually any shorter. Nor have I thought that 19 is a state road with two lanes and a 50 mph speed limit. There are no rest stops or motor assistance. There are no restaurants or gas stations. Nor have I considered that for us to get to 19 we have to go out of our way, or to get to our hotel in Tallahassee from 19, we have to go out of our way, or even that from where we sit in Tampa we are directly on the on-ramp to 75. But I have not really thought about it. So do you now want to tell me who told you it takes 5 hours to get to Tallahassee or whether we have considered alternate routes?"

He knows it is best to hang up quickly. Or my shoe may have made it through the speaker of the phone to the 15th floor of his office building.

Before getting off the phone, he did happen to compliment me and say that he trusted my sense of directions. Well, buddy, if that were the case, why then did you open this whole can of worms?

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