I can't do it. I can't blog about Tom #3 (or as my father lovingly calls him "Tom the Turd"). Not in the way I want to. Sigh. One day... I swear.
Onward, then. It's terrible to call the next guy a rebound, because Ric's an awesome person who is still a friend and the only ex who I know for a fact reads this thing on a semi-regular basis. Unfortunately, upon much reflection, that is what I believe he was for me--an eight month breather to get my head on straight.
After I ended things with Tom #3, I was heartbroken in a way I've only just now begun to recognize. However, that time was also the shortest I've ever been single between serious relationships in my entire life. I lasted all of a week and a half. I'm not exactly proud of it. What can I say? It was my extra senior year of college (after the mono junior year I needed another semester, which I turned into a year so I could be a resident assistant, take theater and writing classes, and, originally, finish the math part of my degree and spend more time with Tom #3 who was a year behind me...). I was needy.
The circumstances of our getting together are bizarre, even without the rebound melodrama. We had been in a community theater production together when I spent that summer on campus. He wasn't a college student anymore (at the time he was in customer service). I knew he liked me (even before I broke up with Tom #3, though his amorous pursuit had become more intense in the week since I announced my status as single).
We had spent one Saturday afternoon together, and he continued to entertain me as I went "on duty" in my residence hall. We were flirting and talking and watching movies when a junior girl came into the office.
"Are you a cool RA?" she asks. I'm not, but the way she says it lets me know that it would be in the best interest of serving my duties to let her think I was.
"What's the problem?" I say, trying to sound my "coolest."
"There's a girl outside who's a little drunk. She just needs to come in and go to sleep, but she's afraid you'll write her up."
Ugh. Drunk shenanigans again. "Don't worry; I'd rather she's safe. Tell her to come inside."
I want to go back in time and kill this bitch. Twenty seconds later she and two other friends carry a freshman girl inside who is so far gone on alcohol poisoning that she is unconscious, barely breathing, and pukes all over them in the entrance hall. They drop her into a pile of her own vomit (literally) and run, because she was pledging the organization they were in charge of and they didn't want to get in trouble. I call 911 and the campus police while a good friend of mine who happened to be hanging around the dorm even though she lived somewhere else, holds the girl's head in a position where she can't choke on her own vomit.
I spent the next three hours dealing with the incident (and other related ones). It really shook me up bad, because if this girl hadn't started puking when she did, causing them to drop her, they would have left her in her bed, possibly to die. By the time I remembered Ric, I assumed he'd be gone.
He had been the one to break out the mop and clean the front entrance of the dormitory (we don't have a night cleanup crew at the dorms on weekends at my small college). And he held my hand after it was all over. I needed someone to hold me.
And of course, it turned more romantic over the next few weeks...
Ric was the only guy I've dated seriously who shared my arts--writing and theater. This made things pretty intense at times. And a little competitive. I think some of the best things I've written came from this time in my life. For that, I will always be grateful.
Ric's a really nice guy. A really nice, normal guy who wants, more than anything else in the world, to be melodramatic and fucked up. It would never have worked in a million years. Because I'm the precise opposite--a really fucked up and melodramatic person who wants more than anything in the whole world to be normal. He wants to be the hero and rescue someone, but he doesn't have the ambition most of the time to actually do it. He gets bored easily, but his idea of a date is to watch movies or play video games with no other interaction. And sometimes he drinks too much and brags about it or he gets angry and punches holes in walls so he can show the scars and holes off later. I was more disturbed by his exhibitionist compulsion to show off the one or two bad habits he had than I ever was by those bad habits.
In the end, he dumped me. Thankfully. I was horrible to him those last few weeks because I had finally figured out that I wasn't in love with him. We're so much better off as friends. He still pisses me off sometimes (like when he recounts nuances of our early romantic relationship details--the kind of sweet stories you tell about your current beau--at a party with mutual friends and another more recent ex of his sitting right there, more than three years after we've broken up), but I love him and I hope he finds whatever it is that he is seeking.
And though your name ain't really Ric, I'll send this little message out to you: I know you read this thing, I'll apologize now if my recounting of this tale pisses you off. You know I haven't said anything here I wouldn't say to your face--and I've left a lot of things out about us and about you that I cherish and things that I abhor in my memories, but they are ours alone, forever. Call me anytime.
Hell, when I really think about it, that message applies to all my exes and all my friends and family. Some more than others. Such is the nature of memoir writing (which is as good a genre as any for this blog). Honesty in writing is such a relative term. Can I ever give true words to the experiences that transcend them?