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So Monday, October 18th, 2010 marked what would have been my one year wedding anniversary. For the most part, it was a pretty typical day- classes, studying for midterms, homework. In a frustrating parallel of last year, when my faithful old Prelude decided to throw her timing belt and trash her engine on what would have been my wedding day, the S decided to develop a flat right-rear tire- probably due to the alignment being thrown off from the shitty road quality here in San Diego. I was lucky enough to have a classmate give me a ride into school, and I took the trolley and bus home after class in the evening. Another interesting parallel- and this time, I didn't flinch or feel any rush of emotions as I rode past the County Admin building (where we'd purchased the marriage license) or saw the condo in Little Italy.

Am I better? I've asked myself this a lot over the past couple of weeks. I think I'm still getting there, and I'm sure it's continuing to be an ongoing process. As for the future, I'm not really in any hurry to find a serious relationship any time soon. While I WOULD like to find a playmate for the last few months I'm here, I don't know how healthy that could be for me. As I was describing to a friend of mine yesterday, I feel like a fox that got caught in a trap but managed to escape- the wounds are still there, and I know it's making me more wary, a bit more jaded, and much less likely to trust again so easily. Not necessarily bad things by any means, but things to remember and take into account regardless.

The biggest test of how I'm doing is yet to come. A classmate of mine invited me to go see Dead Man's Party when they play here Halloween weekend, and I know for a fact that The Ex is going to be there with her new boyfriend. I don't anticipate any problems, and we're not planning on trying and talking to each other or anything, but it's still going to be unusual. I always suspected this kind of situation would eventually arise, after all.
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I'm not sure if it's my Porphyria acting up because I haven't eaten anything yet today, but it's definitely been one of those days.

I've got buttloads of homework I've been very slowly meandering through, but I just can't seem to focus for more than a few minutes at a time. I'm not really hungry, but knowing I need to get some carbs into my system, I have food on the way here. Maybe after I eat something I'll feel a little bit better, and my mind won't wander nearly as much.

The truth is, I miss her. I never thought I'd think that at this point, let alone say it, but I do. Perhaps it was the conversation I had earlier today with [livejournal.com profile] redeemed_143 , maybe it's the conversation I had with my roommate earlier today about the fact that I'm spending a lot of time by myself; easy to understand, what with classes getting back in and the lack of a car, but I know she and her boyfriend need some time to themselves as well. The main catalyst for my realization, though, just came about an hour or so ago when I was writing a pre-lab for Chemistry and Nickodemus popped up on my Pandora station. I immediately recognized the track without having to look, and memories started flooding back just as quickly.

It was just over two years ago, and I was in the middle of my tour in hell as a recruiter. Tana and I hadn't yet moved in together, and the proposal was still eleven months away. However, our relationship had gotten very serious, and of course our shared love of good music had been the basis for many fun nights and adventures, as much as my schedule would allow. I remember the look of excitement on her face when she told me about one of her favorite artists, New York-based Nickodemus, who was scheduled to play a show soon at the Kava Lounge here in San Diego, and how she'd already taken the liberty of getting tickets for us. Thankfully, I was able to make it home at a decent hour on the night of January 18th, 2008 for us to be able to make it to the show with plenty of time to spare.

The Kava Lounge is located on Kettner Street- probably just over a mile where we would soon be making a home together- perched precariously on the hill overlooking the airport. The club had been the first location of The Casbah, and Tana told me about her first experiences going to shows there with that gleam in her eye that always showed itself when she was especially excited about something. I immediately liked the location, the local artwork hanging on the walls, and the delicious all-organic drinks they served at the bar, and we talked about how we should hang out there more often, once we had the time. More of those plans we started making that were doomed to never reach fruition.

The show itself was amazing- Nickodemus had live musicians backing him, guest vocalists, and even a couple of local DJ's also sharing the stage with him. We danced, in our own little world of rhythm and music, entranced by the beats and each other, and completely oblivious to the rest of the world around us.

As I continue listening to music from the same artists and other similar to him, I can't help but find myself wondering about what's been said and done, and what might have been. Part of my procrastinating on my homework today has involved re-reading old posts on her blog page, and I can't help but ask myself if she really meant it when she said we were never meant to be, and that she could never see herself as a wife. I couldn't help but picture how today would have been different if things had gone differently- I'd be sitting at the dining room table working on Calculus and Chemistry while she'd be puttering around, probably watching a bit of Food Network and trying so hard to simultaneously be non-intrusive to my efforts, but wanting to flirtatiously steal my attention away from my studies as often as I'd let her. Instead of getting Chinese food delivered here, one of us would be cooking something organic and mostly vegetarian, and we'd probably both have glasses of wine in hand- maybe either one of the bottles we'd picked up in Temecula  or one that had been a wedding present. And when it was time for bed, we'd be cuddled up together in the bed that we bought together, and in the morning she'd be up, sipping her first cup of coffee, and probably making sure I had a lunch packed by the time I dragged myself out of the bedroom. Such was our routine for most of our year in Little Italy.

I had a talk with a friend recently about things that I still have a hard time doing, or can't even bring myself to do at all any more. Taking the trolley to school had been an adventure- my heart starts beating furiously in my chest when the train approaches the Little Italy stop, and if I happen to look over at the County Center building across Pacific Highway, where we'd applied and paid for our marriage license a scant two weeks before the breakup, I can feel a great sense of sadness wash over me. The same thing happens as the trolley crosses Union Street as it continues it's trip downtown; every time, I glance down Union Street to where I once lived, and as I see the top of the high-rise tower of the La Vita complex poking above the surrounding buildings, the same fleeting wave of melancholy hits me again. Strangely enough, I can't seem to look away- like a grisly train wreck or something, I can't seem to NOT look away when the train passes my old street. I don't know if it's my subconscious saying, "hey asshole, you're supposed to be living there," or what. Maybe. I still can't bring myself to go back through Balboa Park, I'm thankful that we don't have a TV here (that way I don't have Jeopardy and and Food Network constantly reminding me of things), and as I look through internships and part-time job opportunities, I find myself purposely avoiding anything having to do with Sempra or SDG&E, and there are still several restaurants around town that I can't even think about eating at. And Lord help the girl that wants to go out downtown with me.

Memory serves a purpose, and emotion is a big part of that. I'm feeling too lazy and hungry right now to look up any wise or witty quotes about that, but I know they're out there. Anyway, I keep telling myself that everything happens for a reason, that there's something else down the road that's going to make all of this seem like it was a fleeting rough patch in my life. However, if nothing else, memory serves the purpose of reminding us where we've been, which is important to know where we're going. Take physics, for example. A vector has to have both a starting point and an endpoint, otherwise it would be impossible to determine anything in between. So, as I figure out what my direction and magnitude are, a little bit of looking over the shoulder has to be expected, right?


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Tiger In A Cage

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