Sunday, February 24, 2008

I Googled You Yesterday

I don't know what made me do it or what trip down memory lane I felt I needed to travel, but I googled you yesterday.

Is it because I miss you or that I miss the life I had with you (which in my narcissism could amount to pretty much the same thing)? Sure. Is it because I wonder what you're up to and what you've been doing since I left? Sure, that too.

I found out, though, that you're much harder to google than I thought. I had to plug in quite a few search terms to get to you--your full name in quotes, where you live, where you work. I didn't find any kind of personal footprint that you've left behind--no personal Web site, nothing that at least I could find on MySpace. Which doesn't mean you're not there. It just means that I, 37-year-old mother, doesn't know how to find anyone on MySpace.

(And I could be okay with that.)

But I did find out that you've been doing good things. You've won awards. You've been caught on the edges of someone else's photographs. And you look good. Still young. Still spunky. Still sporting that sardonic grin.

(I always hated that grin. I think you could outgrow that now.)

You know, I felt comfortable with you. I felt like I belonged, like I knew what I was doing, like I was some kind of worthy. And I felt like you accepted that, saw the best bits of me--and the rest you just laughed off or slapped straight with a rolled up L.L. Bean catalog.

(That did hurt, by the way.)

It was too easy to leave you. Somewhere, in the back of my mind, I always thought you'd be there, waiting, captured in some kind of snow globe, ready for me to shake when I was ready.

Not so much, huh?

When I left, you went on doing your thing. Without me. And apparently you picked up some new tricks. And I suppose that I moved on too.

But still, thoughts of you make me pause. Make me wonder what my life would have been like if I hadn't left you.

Would I be happier? Would I have already lost these 20 pounds I've been trying to outrun for past four years? Would they have found me in the first place? Would I have ever discovered the pleasures of the Italian Cream Soda or running my hands through a field of lavender? Would I have fallen in love with Jonathan Safran Foer or Michael Chabon? Would I have found my cancer sooner? Would I even have kids?

Would I have laughed more?

I know I need to let you go. To let that piece of my past go. Because it--and you--have already let me go.

But I do have to wonder, even though I shouldn't . . . I do wonder if you ever think of me.

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