Posted by: alphafemme | November 2, 2008

The inevitable, accidental, coincidental run-in with the Ex-Girlfriend

I ran into my Ex today. I knew it would happen eventually; we both live in San Francisco, and we’re both gay, so we were bound to cross paths at some point. But I didn’t think it would be on a harmless Sunday afternoon downtown.

The day started off innocuously. Actually, it started off really well. For some reason, I was inspired to go to church. Don’t ask why, I certainly don’t know. I grew up singing in the choir at an Episcopal church in my hometown, a fairly conservative, traditional, docile church. But I’ve never felt particularly religious and so I stopped going to church when I left home. But yesterday, for some reason, I decided that I would go to church today, so I went to Glide Methodist church in the Tenderloin. It’s a social justice church, an anti-oppression church, an all-inclusive, welcoming church. So it advertises itself. And I can’t imagine it being more true. It was just, overwhelming. In a good way. I was so moved to be there and feel like part of this force. Especially with our brilliantly momentous election coming up, everyone there was so rallying around this notion of change, of choosing life. And they kept reiterating, “NO ON 8!” There was so much energy and camaraderie… I think I’ll be going back. I know I’ll be going back.

And then I went to vote. They have early voting here in California and I figured I’d do it now so I don’t run into any crises on Tuesday–since I’ve moved recently, I wasn’t sure they’d gotten my change of registration. Turns out I and half the city had the same idea, so I waited in line for three hours–THREE HOURS–at City Hall to vote. Phew. There were No on 8 people campaigning outside, though, reminding us: “Barack Obama says NO ON 8! Arnold Schwarzenegger says NO ON 8! Diane Feinstein says NO ON 8! My mama says NO ON 8!” Et cetera. Cute. And I VOTED!! I nearly cried as I was checking the box for NO on 8 and for Obama. Today I’ve just been really teary for some reason. Been feeling moved, awed, inspired by humanity. So it felt so heavy and meaningful to cast my vote.

And then I finally left City Hall after three and a half hours and there was my Ex, walking by. I was kind of stunned, and I think she was too; we didn’t really know what to say to each other. It was like this wall was up. We were going in different directions, so after a couple minutes of awkward, stammering “so how are you? Yeah, I’m great, I’m happy, blah blah blah,” we parted ways. “Would you want to hang out sometime? Like go with me to the Academy of Sciences?” I asked. “Yeah, sure, that would be cool,” she said, noncommitally. Sigh. Now I’m feeling drained.

Those lips, I kissed those lips,
I woke up
with my arms around that body,
tangled up in those legs.

Those eyes, I soared and floated and sank in their gaze,
I ran my fingers through that hair,
fluttered my eyelashes against those cheeks,
Mesmerized by
the fantastic reality of our lives and bodies intertwining.

No longer intertwining, as we stand here.
I see those lips, those eyes, that foreign body;
Tactile memories flood my senses, confuse my composure.
The air is thick with evaporated love, like carbon monoxide
Or laughing gas.

A couple feet away,
I could reach out and brush her cheek,
But my arm can’t interpret such a gesture,
and those few feet are unreachable–

What was once so effortless now so utterly impossible.


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