Wallowing in the Waters of Weariness

The phone rang last evening and per my tendency I checked out the caller ID before picking up. It was the True Cameron so I didn’t pick up.

The True Cameron is one of the great loves, the one who, the first time I saw his name, I knew that he would turn out to be important to me and how important he would turn out to be. It was like the universe shone a spotlight on his name. I didn’t meet him for almost twenty years after that but I remembered.

We met soon after I’d moved out from Rob/Bob (my ex) and soon after that we were lovers. We spent the next four years like Kathy and Heathcliff on the moors in a maelstrom of desire and emotion. I have described it as "A four year long on and off NSA arrangement that kept wandering into relationship territory." It was so toxic that we were only able to maintain it occasionally. Such melodrama!

The True Cameron is insistent like a dog who wants you to play. He wants you to throw the ball, and if you do, he’ll want you to do it again. If you don’t want to do it again, he’ll sit at your feet and nudge you until you push him away. If you push him away, he’ll go, but he’ll be back in a minute or two, approaching you from the other side. He is needy.

I have a new flatmate who picked up on the fourth ring and then came down to tell me I had a call. I have never been able to bring myself to ask my flatmates to lie for me, and I’m not going to start now, so I took the call.

Now I don’t know which is meaner: to take the call and disappoint, or to just refuse the call. I haven’t taken any of his calls since May 2005 – it was six or seven months since the last time I had spoken with him, four or five months since he’d last called. One of my friends and I had just been organizing a meeting and I had just hung up the phone. The phone rang as I was walking away, and thinking it was her calling back, I picked up. As soon as I took the handset from the cradle, I knew it was him.

That conversation lasted for 45 minutes: he used most of it talking about his shattered left wrist, and he had wanted to continue, but I had not, so we stopped. A few days later there was another call, then another, then another, one day seven, all logged on the caller ID. Twenty or so over the next week or two. One day there was a call at work, I didn’t have caller ID then and I picked up. As soon as I took the handset from the cradle, I knew again that it was him.

After he said "Hello" I said, "You have to stop calling me." He answered "Okay" in a small sad voice, and I thanked him and hung up.

He was able to stop, and I don’t know which is harder to take: the sinking feeling when I pick up and know it’s him or the disappointment that it isn’t him. He was able to stay away more than two years, in July 2007 I went away for a week and came home to find a message from him. I kept his message on the voice mail until I changed phone providers, but I didn’t return his call. Not speaking with him makes not living with him much easier.

But last night, I chose to talk with him, The True Cameron. He is one of the great loves, and I am not always the tough gal that I try to be, and last evening he and the universe and I conspired, and I chose to speak with him.

We stayed on the phone for two hours: he told me that his dad died (a year and a half ago), and he told me about having broken his right wrist, and he wanted to apologize for how he was before, and he wanted to see me – maybe we could go to a movie tomorrow night, and maybe he even wanted to know how I was doing. At the end I tried to sign off and he said "So you’re just going to leave me like this? I thought you’d enjoyed talking with me…Are you purposely being mean, or just tired, or just want me to go away?

I didn’t really answer because I don’t know what to say when all of someone’s accusations are true. Really, what do you say?

I already knew that I wasn’t really over him – I still think about and miss him from time to time, but I am no longer in the middle of the melodramatic place where I was, and I don’t want to be there again. Not ever. I am always grateful for my life without melodrama – I’m really not missing anything.

~ by thiscassandra on Wednesday 23 January 2008.

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