Several lifetimes ago I read the book The Remains of the Day. It had been suggested to me by a man I’d met and had a brief…something with. I wouldn’t have called it a fling, exactly. It certainly wasn’t an affair. More a case of mistaken time and place, perhaps. One of those things where if circumstances had been different, perhaps the end result would also have been different.
Or perhaps it wouldn’t have.
It’s hard to say. But I do remember in one of his letters that he had mentioned the book, expressing the fear that perhaps we would meet again in the distant future, only to realize in that one moment that we had made a terrible mistake – that we might have wasted a chance at happiness for the sake of practicality.
But that’s the rub, isn’t it? Because you can never know what the end result of your choices may be. It’s entirely possible that I might run into him again 20 years from now, but who can say?
I was unable to sleep last night for a various number of reasons (yes, the back pain is back – I’m about 90% sure the disc has herniated again, but I’m working with the doctors on additional options, at the moment). So for some reason I was thinking a lot on choices and regret – heavy topics for the wee hours, I suppose.
And the truth of it is that I’m still sad about having to make a more recent choice. A greater person would probably be able to get over and get on with their lives…but I’m the bulldog of obsession. It takes me a very long time to let go – and I have a tendency to worry at the issue until it pretty much just falls apart. I’ve been told I’m a slow boil, so maybe that’s why. There are times where I wish I could just get pissed off and then get on with my life…but I don’t. I’m a fixer – I’m constantly trying to see where I went wrong, if there was anything I could have done differently. By the time I figure out I should have just gotten really angry about it, it’s almost too late. So I stew and worry and stew and worry. And then one day I realize that I haven’t thought about said issue in quite a while, and I know I’m over it.
Harder for me this time around, having to realize that someone I trusted so deeply turned out be someone much different than I thought. It makes me question my judgement, and that’s the hardest thing of all, especially given the circumstances. And I am full of regret for so many reasons.
But who’s to say things would have turned out differently, even if I hadn’t cut the cord as I did?
Apropos of nothing, I reached out to my non-paramour friend recently (being that the internet is a fickle sort of beast). Call it curiosity if you want, or maybe just a need to touch base with my past, a reassurance that I can, in fact, make a good decision. Turns out we’re both married with two children, careers and all the rest of it – and there are no regrets on either side.
And that makes me dreadfully happy.
So now, I suppose it’s up to me to find out what to do with the remains of *my* day, however long it lasts.