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Other People’s Love Stories

Screen shot 2015-02-26 at 10.44.14 AMTell me about it I’ve tossed out to date after date, boyfriend after boyfriend. About the intricacies of their jobs (I can talk BRT with the best of them and know quite a bit about the quagga issue). About their family dynamics (I’ve been whispered the darkest of the dark, and the joyfullest of the joyful). And about their past loves.

My mom always told me not to ask about my boyfriend’s relationship histories. And I began to see she had a point: my turning a conversation into the intricacies of a boy’s intimate past meant the spotlight eventually swiveled around back to me. And with few exceptions, boys were not welcoming of my past. Silly conversations became fuel for fights as I wound up revealing my history of kissing banditry.

Regardless, I’m both fascinated and fixated on these boys relationships past. Not because I’m a sucker for a green-eyed jelly bean down my throat – I learned long ago not to feel jealous for the women who used to share their lives. Rather, because I deeply want to know a partner, inside and out. I want to experience their experiences, the ones they had before they even knew I existed.  I want to feel like I’ve been there for everything with them, been through everything with them, and have a deeper understanding of them.

Yet it’s more than that. I’d suppose there is an undercurrent of a feeling akin to jealousy, but it’s more a melancholia for nostalgia I’ll never have. Tales of the boy who hitch-hiked across America and Croatia with the woman he loved (and arguably still does) in their 20’s can’t be replicated in my own past – it simply didn’t happen – yet I yearn for it to be mine, too.

So many stories over the years have sung my heart into the air yet simultaneously dropped it out of my body completely. How they dealt with unplanned pregnancy while he and I ate pizza and beer. Naming the cat they just adopted spontaneously on the New York City subway while we sat on the couch, drinking beer. How they fought like cats and cats while we gently lay in hot springs. Discoveries made in London as they traveled abroad for the first time while we traveled abroad together for the first time. Pieces of the vows they spoke to one another a decade before their divorce while we lay in one another’s arms.

I’m incapable of not craving these personal moments. Of wanting to know them. Of hoping one day we’ll be as close as twins, where we know all each other’s stories and there won’t be much between us, not even ourselves.

 

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