Monthly Archives: November 2006

Letter To An Ex-Girlfriend: Michele

Why should I stay and pretend?
You make me laugh again
My darling, truth is we are not even friends
Love comes and it goes
Where your heart stops no one knows
How did I wind up in this mess, here with you?

Just a moment of weakness
I should examine my head
Just a moment of weakness
I never meant a word I said

—Bif Naked, Moment Of Weakness

The first thing about you that caught my eye was your platform shoes. More specifically, the lanky way you walked in them with your plaid skirt on. You had such a funny gait that I would study when I was walking behind you in the halls. Sometimes you looked like an injured fawn, vulnerable and awkwardly running away with your long, slender legs. It was the very definition of sexuality to a depressed, hormonal teenage male.

Those shoes gave you an extra couple inches, and I resented every time you subtly knelt so you wouldn’t be taller than me in any pictures.

I only have a single good memory of our relationship. You were sitting on my lap in the jacuzzi at Cammy’s place. It was February, and there was snow all around us, but we were warm and wet. Every few minutes, we would dunk our heads under the water, then style each other’s hair, the winter air freezing it within seconds.

The more I got to know you, the more I learned that it was all a big mistake. I stuck it out because I didn’t want to break up with you in the months leading up to your exams. It was especially hard when Lisa started showing interest in me, but I couldn’t do it.

You were a sexual bore. No sound, no reaction, nothing in bed. Your friends were all snobs. Your thoughts were trite, and your interests were shallow.

You never knew it, but I had to decide between dating you and Marina. It tore me up for a week, knowing that one of you was going to be hurt. I chose you in a moment of weakness.

It was the biggest mistake of my high school career.

The Letter To An Ex-Girlfriend series

  1. Introduction
  2. Ashley
  3. Michele
  4. Christie
  5. Jackie
  6. Louise
  7. Bronwen

The Diary Under The Bed

On the 25th of September, at 11:04 am, my mom Googled my e-mail address, and found this blog.

She visits every day like clockwork; around 8:30 am when she gets into work, and sometimes during lunch around 12:30 pm. Even though I told her never to contact me again, she continues to check on me.

It’s something I’ve known for a while now.

The existence of this website was a secret I kept from my parents for as long as I could. I felt like I owed it to them to overlook my childhood memories because they stayed together for my sake, so I never wanted them to know this seemingly unreconciled side of me. When they told me they were getting divorced, I wrote an entry (that’s never been published) about how I stopped caring. It was their turn to start caring about me.

Of course, this was only true in theory.

To be honest, I was devastated. Bronwen likened it to her mom finding her diary under her bed, and I tend to agree with the analogy.

Chinese kids don’t talk to their parents about much. Even after being out of touch for a long time, parents will only ask whether they have enough money, whether they’re eating enough, and how their marks are in school, if applicable.

The discovery must have opened a can of worms. This is where I share my problems. My insecurities. My sexual experiences. My past drug use. The bitter memories of childhood. On here, I’m no longer the distant son they’ve known for 25 years. I’m open. Naked. Exposed.

Some were surprised that my mom would continue reading my blog, believing the things I say would be too painful for her to read. It makes sense though. This is the only way she can stay close to me.

So I have to ignore the entries in my server logs that constantly remind me of her presence. I can’t let it affect the only place where I can write unrestricted. I just have to let go, and continue writing. Damn the consequence, as someone once said. There’s nothing else I can do. After all, this is a public journal. I have no right to complain about who comes here.

When you let go, you can write about anything.

Letter To An Ex-Girlfriend: Ashley

The lovin is a mess, what happened to all of the feeling?
I thought it was for real; babies, rings and fools kneeling
And words of pledging trust and lifetimes stretching forever
So what went wrong? It was a lie, it crumbled apart
Ghost figures of past, present, future haunting the heart

—Belle & Sebastian, Another Sunny Day

Our relationship has always represented the innocence of my youth.

The Friday nights, playing with candle wax in the dark, learning how our bodies worked. Or the rush of worry and excitement about parents walking in the door. Olfactory sense has come to mean a great deal in my relationships. From those nights we made love with Beth’s voice coming through your tinny speakers, I get turned on when I listen to Portishead.

I kept the bottle of Gap Earth you used, something dear to me since it was discontinued. Every time I smell the nozzle, it brings me back to the time we were together.

Out of all my other girlfriends, I thought you would be the one to end up in a D/s relationship. I never realized it until my own introduction to the lifestyle, but the things you did were the most naturally submissive. The way you wanted to be tied up with our belts, the enjoyment you got from pain, your desire for me to be in control, the way you would take my hands is yours so you could kiss my knuckles. To this day, I wonder if you still like these things.

I’ve always tried to figure out why I’m never satisfied in my relationships. It’s usually not the fault of the people I date. Sometimes I blame my parents for their failed marriage, and how this has made me feel that’s it’s necessary to find the perfect person so I don’t end up like them. Sometimes I think it’s because you were the first, and you came to define what was “right” or not.

Why then, did I break up with you?

I wish I could explain. I thought things would last, because you never hurt me in any way. In fact, you did nothing wrong. Maybe we were just too young. They say you shouldn’t marry the person you can live with, you should marry the person you can’t live without.

And I knew that I could live without you.

The Letter To An Ex-Girlfriend series

  1. Introduction
  2. Ashley
  3. Michele
  4. Christie
  5. Jackie
  6. Louise
  7. Bronwen

The House In The Day

A few pictures of my house, something that’s become a symbol of my transition into adulthood. My next house project is getting enlarged prints of my photos to hang around the house.

My brightly-lit breakfast nook

The first thing you see when walking in the front door is the breakfast nook. It’s one of the best features of the house, especially in the morning. Even though it’s on the south side, it’s extremely bright and sunny. The windows face a major road, so I usually have the blinds closed for a little privacy, or open them when I’m feeling social.

Kitchen: stove view

Plenty of cupboards

There are two pathways that lead into the kitchen: the breakfast nook on one side and the hallway on the other. It’s a rather narrow place, but there’s enough elbow room to do some aggressive cooking. Tons of cupboards and plenty of table space keep everything tidy.

My dining area

I recently bought this dining set from EQ3. Most things from there are custom-made: I was allowed to chose the material and colour of the seats, as well as the metal finish and diameter of the glass. The first thing I did when I bought the house, before I had things moved in, was to have a dimmer switch installed here, and in the two bedrooms. I had the entire area professionally painted a neutral beige for a café feel.

Living room: TV view

Living room: couch view

Trolley took most of the living room with him when he moved out, so I’m still looking for pieces. It’s the one part of the house I’m not satisfied with yet. I’d like to purchase one more couch, and a bookcase to clean up that shelf. In the future I’ll be blowing up a few of my pictures for the walls. The TV is hooked up to the digital cable box, an HD DVD player, an HD Gamecube connection, and a laptop (which unfortunately doesn’t output DVI). The couch was also from EQ3, and the coffee table, probably my favourite piece in the house, is from Zone.

Basement stairs

Main bathroom

One of the oddities of the house is the fact that the bedrooms are in the basement. It really turns some home buyers off, but I didn’t mind. It’s nice to have some stairs; they act as a general partition between the work and rest areas, and have come to define non-student living for me.

Guest room

Trolley used to be in this room. I haven’t decided what to do with it yet. I may turn it into a guest room, a photo studio (which is doubtful, because of the red paint and how small it is), or a tai chi studio. Most likely the former, since it’s the only open-space large enough in the house for me to practice.

My room, bed view

My room, desk view

My room, mirror view

The bedroom is where I spend most of my time. It’s become a safety zone. The good thing about Ikea is that it’s so easy to match things in a set or series. I had the mirrors installed soon after I bought the house, and they hide an entire wall closet.

These are some of the most technically difficult pictures I’ve taken. A 1.6x field-of-view-crop-factor meant that I lost a lot of the wide end of my lens, and mixed lighting conditions made things especially difficult. I didn’t take pictures of the second bathroom or the laundry room. In the next series, I’ll get shots of the house at night.

The house changes it’s personality when it’s dark and moody.

Letter To An Ex-Girlfriend: Introduction

An ex e-mailed me out of the blue the other day. She blamed it on the fall weather, causing her to reminisce and Google my name. We hadn’t seen or spoken to each other in over five years.

After feeling each other out for the first part of the exchange, we caught up on each others lives. She’s been married for three years. Moved out to Kingston after living through the pollution and over-stimulation of downtown Toronto. She has a full-time job while working toward her Master of Education part-time. Her husband’s an artist at heart, she says, trying to make a living off creative writing. No kids yet, but instead, two cats, Emily Wednesday and Shadow.

Me? I moved to Ottawa for university, bought a house, recently got out of a relationship, been working as the marketing and IT manager at a dental laboratory. Oh, and I have one cat, but I’m thinking of a second.

There were some things I’d been meaning to ask her for a while. Going through a series of relationships since ours has changed my perspective, and I’ve always wondered whether she’s grown in this way as well. I put a few questions to her, but she told me, in an amiable way, that she wasn’t completely comfortable indulging my curiosities.

What she had no problem talking about before was now taboo and off limits. Was she afraid of upsetting her husband by discussing such personal things with an ex-boyfriend, or did she simply change so much?

There are a lot of things I’d like to say to my ex-girlfriends, but the nature of a break-up can be that of rancor. Communication breaks down. People lose perspective. I’ve always had a tremendous need to express myself, perhaps to the detriment of my relationships, but digging up what’s past and buried for the sake closure seems a bit selfish. After having this ex tell me that she was uncomfortable, I realized that it may have been rather inappropriate of me.

It’s only here that I can say what I want.

The Letter To An Ex-Girlfriend series

  1. Introduction
  2. Ashley
  3. Michele
  4. Christie
  5. Jackie
  6. Louise
  7. Bronwen