There are days when you realize you have a routine, you have a habit, you have a fucking system. And you have it down pat. You get up, you bathe, you choose your clothes, you know whether it’s the day to wear something risqué and cause a stir or the day to just lie low and wear that old t-shirt and jeans. And you are always right. You eat your cereal, you catch the auto, you time your journey and you’re always always right. You know that if you leave at 10:15 you’ll breeze through the signal and that if you leave at 10:20 you’ll get stuck at it. It’s unfailing. You reach work, you set up your laptop, you mentally run through work and prioritize your day, check for meetings, check if the lawyers come in, you always need her, always, open outlook and download your mails, open Facebook simultaneously, open Gmail in yet another tab, open yahoo in the fourth tab. Check check check check. Time for coffee.
Come back and see 10 friendship requests. You barely know 3 of them. You never click ignore. You simply do. You like seeing the words ’10 friendship requests’ on your home page. You feel wanted. You’re somehow always automatically signed into facebook chat. You have 15 friends online. Some you haven’t spoken to in years and haven’t even exchanged pleasantries with when they first sent you a friendship request. You just accepted the request and showed you were alive and well by an acceptance click. You have granted someone you met randomly at a club or summer camp or sat next to you in 3rd grade access to who you are now, what you look like now, who your friends are now, where you work, what your horoscope says, even who threw poo at you.
And then someone you knew briefly says Hi on chat and since you’re just about bored enough to be curious about his life you say hi back. Basic info is exchanged. You say you have to run and say bye. You even end the bye sentence with an X. The X that says take care, see you soon, kiss kiss and please stop typing anymore all at once. And if that person gets the hint, it stops right there. End. Period. Finito. Fin. And you go back to your routine, your schedule, your habit, your fucking system that you have down pat. That you think nothing can unsettle. That you think will never experience any upheaval, because lets face it, there’s simply no emotional cord that binds you to it. Your hormones are finally in check (because the meds are finally working), you are never waiting for the phone to ring, you are never waiting for a special message. Infact, you have simply stopped waiting. You know you are a clean slate. There is nothing, nothing from your past that can unsettle you.
Until it does.
Until after the X, someone decides to say “By the way I bumped into XYZ the other day and he was asking about you” .
Ay there’s the rub. There’s the invisible umbilical. There’s no easy way to get over the X. Even when it’s at the end of a sentence. Even when its continents and 2 years away. Even when it’s just enquiring about you in a matter of fact way. Because suddenly you are no longer here at office in front of your laptop. You are standing at the airport watching him walk away as the tears don’t stream down your face.