I used to have an ex-boyfriend who would contact me whenever the woman who replaced me was out of town. Yes, it was the Bulgarian. I often wondered why he couldn’t be alone with his thoughts for a few days or a couple of weeks. I recalled he had lots of friend and was always quite busy when we were together. But once we broke up — and for a couple of years afterwards — her traveling meant his loneliness which meant he tried to bond with me once again.
This continued until even after I was married. She went back to Bulgaria for a couple of weeks in July 2008 and sure enough, he contacted me. I finally put a stop to the nonsense by giving her the low down of all that had transpired between us. Sure enough, I’ve yet to hear from him again.
Why am I thinking about the Bulgarian again tonight? I have written much about that relationship on this blog. It was very therapeutic writing and allowed me to focus my attention on my husband. Indeed, enough time has passed that I would all but have forgotten the details of what the Bulgarian looked like except he bore a very uncanny resemblance to Quentin Tarantino. And thus, his image is burned forever in my mind.
The Bulgarian is on my mind because the Ukrainian is out of town for 3 days on business. And, like a schoolgirl, I don’t know what to do with myself. I wondered, what on earth did I do in the evenings back when I was truly single? And my single-most #1 hobby? I flirted. I flirted with men online. I flirted with long-time friends. I dated whoever my flavor-du-jour was. I looked for better flavors. I kept an army of exes at my fingertips so boredom and loneliness was never far off. And while I did spend time with my girlfriends, it was the seeking of male attention that took most of my energy.
And now? I have the full undivided attention of the Ukrainian. I have so much attention that sometimes I find myself longing for my days of singlehood — not so much that I can flirt with an army of men, but so that I can enjoy my languid evenings of not having anyones’s attention but my own (and the dogs). That I could turn the attention on/off from male suitors just by the changing the settings on my computer and phone.
But tonight? Tonight, walking home over Nob Hill and up into Pacific Heights, I realized I’d be coming home to an apartment devoid of any human attention. Once again, it’d be the dogs and I left to entertain ourselves. What would we do? Watch a movie? Surf the internet? None of it sounded interesting. I thought back to old friends — especially male ones — thinking I could give them a call. Catch up on old times. And then I realized, I had none of their numbers with me. They had long since been lost as I upgraded from one mobile phone to the next in the past 2 1/2 years since I had met the Ukrainian.
And then I imagined the Ukrainian down in San Diego — where he had traveled for his business trip. There would be parties and dinners out and lots of fun for him at the conference he is attending. He might not have time to miss me and that would be understandable. But, oh did I miss him on that walk home. I did not feel the missing at all during the day, but once I began to walk and realized he would not be there during the walk or later when I got home, I felt that slam-kick in my stomach. It’s the one you get when you realize that no matter how much someone might annoy you from time-to-time. And no matter how often you kinda miss your old single self because god-damn wasn’t she great and fun and did whatever she wanted when she wanted without any regards to anyone else, you realize how gob-smack in love you really are with this man who has taken more than one vow to spend the rest of his life with you. And maybe…just maybe…life isn’t quite as fun right now as it once was, it is exponentially more beautiful because your husband is in your life, lighting up your life like a cliched 1970s Easy Listening love song.
And wouldn’t you know it, at that exact moment, when I was missing the Ukrainian so much that I was afraid that something might happen to him and my world would become a darker place again without him, he called. It was something the Bulgarian used to do. It was that odd, deeper connection he and I used to have. He knew when I was missing him.
And I’ve waited, longed for the Ukrainian and I to have that same connection as well. For as much as the Ukrainian and I love each other. There has always been this barrier of language and communication that seemed to have kept us from reading the other’s mind. But now, in our brief 3 day parting, when it would be so easy for him to have extra fun and me to reach out to my past, we find ourselves connecting even more.
And I know he can sense my missing him from so far away. Because once I started writing this post, he called again to tell me he was back in his hotel room early. He was missing me.