Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Engrossed in my search of the souvenirs for my nieces and nephews as well as TT and Princess Agnes, I bumped into someone. With out really looking up I excused myself and kept thumbing through a picture book. Have you ever had the feeling that someone was staring at you? I did and it was Dmitri. He smiled and said hello before bussing me on the cheek, as we talked, I looked at his familiar face, I noticed the changes, his hair shorter, but still brushed straight back, his beard trimmed with a few graying hairs short of a streak descending from the corner of his mouth, the beginnings shallow lines emanating from the corners of his eyes, that deepened slightly with his smile.

We talked superficially, he asked about my business, hearing about it from his sister Marta, and asked if this was the business that resulted from the plan I worked on that summer. I acknowledged that and asked what he was doing and if he was still at the same school. Our conversation was limited to things we knew about each other through Marta, who is our only connection. As we spoke, a woman slipped up beside him, he introduced us, but gave no context, and after a moment she excused herself. What ever their relationship, she’s comfortable enough to leave him speaking to another woman, I thought.

I’ve often imagined the conversation I’d have with Dmitri if we ever met and carefully thought about what I’d say to him, but with him in front of me I drew a blank and could only think to ask him if he remembered Buster, the old Volkswagen camper that D fixed up and in which we traveled that summer. “Of course,” he replied with a perplexed look. I told him that Carole and Tomas had him now and that Buster had taken them on an extended trip through Tunisia and Libya last winter. That made him smile, but he wanted to know how C&T acquired Buster. I told him about seeing the van for sale and talking to the owner and of telling C&T, who immediately went and completed the purchase. “Buster made it through the desert?” he inquired skeptically, so I told him that Tomas had replaced about everything that he hadn’t, and D smiled again.

We had reached that point in conversations between former lovers, explore our deeper feelings and memories or move on, to my relief and regret he said that he needed to be going, we hugged and I felt a shudder as his arms reached around me and then he left. I went back to looking at the bins and against my better judgment, looked over my shoulder to catch a last look at him disappearing into the crowd. “Was that Dmitri? Anne Marie asked coming to my side. Tears welled up in my eyes as I reached for her seeking comfort. “I thought I was over him” I sobbed, “why can’t I be over him.”

Kim

4 Comments:

Anonymous VJ said...

Geez, sorry about that Kim. You are over him, mostly. It takes time, and plenty of distance. More so than you thought perhaps though. But that probably was not the time or place to ask everything you ever wanted of him, would that he even could have ever provided the needed answers. But time will tell. I'm betting he's not quite over you either. He was just scared witless, which is less becoming with time & distance too. Wishing you brighter moments with the fam & friends, 'VJ'

6:15 AM  
Anonymous Phantom man said...

Kim, you may be familiar with the Kubler-Ross Model of the five stages of grief, which tells us that in time, we do finally accept our loss. I also think that meetings are not accidental; they are arranged for us to help us let go and come to acceptance. I hope this meeting will help you and you will find someone new, someone who makes you forget all previous ones.

9:20 PM  
Blogger Kim said...

Thanks VJ & PM. Probably not the place to talk, but it was a chance to ask for a conversation and it passed.

K

10:55 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Or perhaps it was planting the seeds for a future conversation. Call him, ask him for a meeting. What's the worst that can happen? He says no. That's where you are at now. So, to my simple thinking, the worst case is you are where you are--if you know what I mean. The best case scenario is, well, whatever you might want it to be.

You're not really extending yourself too much by reaching out. And if he rebuffs, at least you know you tried. You can be comfortable with yourself.

But, if you sit on your hands, then you'll always ponder what might possibly have been.

I wonder how many times in relationships both sides want the other side to make the first move. But neither side does, and the potential happiness--in whatever form--simply withers away, painfully.

Wish you luck in whatever course of action you take.

s

2:01 AM  

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