“A man travels the world in search of what he needs and returns home to find it.” –George Moore
Yesterday I had coffee with my ex-husband, at his request. I didn’t have a clue why he wanted to talk with me. A thousand possibilities ran through my mind. I know he’s broke. Does he want to borrow money? Maybe he’s working on his 9th step. He wants help dealing with family members who aren’t too friendly with him. It might be one or any number of things from a long list. I have sensed for some time that his heart was heavy, that he was troubled.
I could tell he was serious. He was already there when I arrived. And I was on time. I’m almost always on time. He almost never is. We both got coffee and I got a bagel and we sat down to talk. He started the conversation by catching me up on members of his family and we moved on to the children and grandchildren and my family. At some point we both took bathroom breaks and then kept talking. We caught up on mutual acquaintances and all manner of trivia that we both would have found interesting were we still married. We made jokes about getting older. It was very much like a conversation we might have had back in the day at the dinner table. Back in the day when we still talked. Before he started to fool around. When we both still cared what the other was thinking.
I’m a little unsettled. On the one hand it felt so very normal. On the other it felt contrived, which it was, of course. It was typically D the salesman. For a little while I was one of his valued customers whom he was courting in order to make a sale. I still can’t believe we spent almost four and a half hours in the coffee shop. I’ve been thinking about it today: That’s one hour for each year we’ve lived separately and about a half hour for him to get to what we were there for, which was for him to apologize for hurting me.
We both shed tears. It was emotional. I hope it helped to lighten his load. I think it did. I’m ambivalent. I have wanted him to at least admit that he treated me badly. And he did. I’m glad for that. I think some part of me also wants him to say he never should have left me. He didn’t say that. And so it goes. The healing continues.