The week in DF started promisingly enough. As noted in my last post, I had a lovely dinner with F on Wednesday, where we had a good discussion that seemed to be the basis of a rapprochement. He also wanted to meet L and hang out with us over the weekend. All good signs.
On Thursday, as it turned out, Julio was available for dinner, so I met him at his gallery, and we walked to a nearby crepe place in La Condesa. We had a wonderful time. He told me all about his challenges with his father, and we caught up on mutual friends. I was also able to share my stories about F, our breakup, and our dinner the prior night. Since we’d both been through a rather difficult six months, the commiseration flowed. This was also the first time I had dined tete a tete with Julio, and I quite enjoyed his company. It turns out he’s exactly my age, and he’s had an interesting life. We had a lot to talk about.
The following day, Friday, I was to meet up with L, my friend from Geneva after she finished her consulting gig. F agreed to meet us for dinner. Now F speaks little English, while L doesn’t speak Spanish. However, she’s facile with languages, and does speak Italian and French fluently, and has been giving Spanish a “go.” F, for his part, had learned Italian some years back, which is easy if you’re starting from Spanish. I took a semester of Italian in college, but no more, due to the impossibility of keeping it separate from Spanish in my mind. So we had an amusingly tri-lingual evening. L and F conversing in Italian, with me mostly getting what they were saying, but unable to add much. F and I conversed in Spanish, while L was able to get our drift, with me translating some of the trickier bits. And L and I spoke in English, which F was sort of able to follow along with, especially with me providing partial translations. Despite the language barriers, F and L got along well, and we all had a good time. Since L had never seen el Centro Historico, we decided to have dinner at Restaurante Café de Tacuba, which we love despite its touristy-ness. It does serve good, authentic Mexican food, and they make a mean margarita too.
Saturday, F had a meeting in the morning, so L and I spent most of the day together. We started with lunch on the rooftop of the Holiday Inn, Zócalo, which overlooks the Zócalo from the sixth floor, and serves decent food. Though it’s a smidgen pricey, the view is worth it. We then went to the Templo Mayor, saw the ruins, and toured the museum. F joined us later, and we did a bit more sightseeing, before dining at Los Girasoles. Again the vibe was good, and at one point when F went to the bathroom, L leaned over and said, “I think he does love you.” I thought so to, but her opinion made me feel better about things.
Sunday, we agreed to meet for breakfast, but L had to work later. Thus F and I would have the afternoon to ourselves. This worked out for me, as I had begun to question the wisdom of combining the rapprochement trip with the seeing-L-in-Mexico-City trip. That afternoon, F and I had fun together, a nice dinner, though not any terribly substantive conversations. It was kind of like old times. When we said goodbye, we agreed I’d come to DF after Christmas, and we’d have some deeper conversations and see where we stood. I was happy with this arrangement, and flew back to Boston the following morning thinking that we were on the way toward healing. This made me happy because despite our issues I love F very much, and would like to continue with him, albeit on different terms.
The following week, things seemed more or less normal. F and I swapped text messages during the day, and were basically back in touch. We hadn’t been able to chat via Skype as he was very busy with finals, grading papers, etc. But the text messages flowed, and I felt like things were beginning to heal somewhat.
By last week, I felt pressed to finalize my holiday travel plans. Because I’m from San Francisco, I always go there for Christmas. For the past seven years, I’ve flown from San Francisco to DF after Christmas, and stayed there until New Year’s day, or thereabouts. Late Wednesday, I finally tracked Francisco down via WhatsApp, and tried to plan the post-holiday trip. But the conversation went around and around and around in circles, seemingly going nowhere. Finally, I said, “I’m just trying to pick some dates. I hope we can have a real conversation in person when I’m there.” The conversation went around a few more loops.
Finally, he just said it. “It’s probably better if you don’t come to DF yet. It’s just too soon.”
I was stunned. “I thought we already had this more-or-less decided.”
“I know. I still truly love you. And when we were together, it felt like the breakup never happened. But it did happen. And now I’m afraid if we get back together, it’ll be a false start, and we’ll end up hurting each other more.”
“I really don’t know what to say. I’m sorry sweetie. I love you forever, and I want to try to make this work, but I feel like you want me to beg you to take me back,” I said.
“No, I don’t want you to beg. I love you too. But I just need time. And I need to go now. My battery is running down, and I still have a load of papers to grade.”
“OK, so we’re nowhere then?” I said.
“No, I guess we have still arrived at nothing,” he replied.
“I love you. From afar. Kisses.”
“I love you,” he replied.
And that was our last communication. After that, I was crushed. I felt like we had broken up all over again, with all the same raw feelings coming back in an unwanted rush. Moreover, he’s going to be crazy busy until Easter, or thereabouts, so after Christmas was the best chance to see him for a long while. And given that we first broke up in June, Easter will be almost a year later.
So I think we’re over. And now come the platitudes. “Everything happens for a reason.” “It’s probably for the best.” “You two did have a lot of differences.” “He’s never going to change.” Blah, blah, blah.
Intellectually, I’m with the platitudes. Emotionally, I’m just processing. But I am reminded of the quote from Khalil Gibran.
The deeper that sorrow carves into your being, the more joy you can contain.
So I will recoup, and I will heal, and hopefully another day will dawn where I can again test how much joy I can contain.
P.S. This post was a long time in coming because I’ve been mildly under the weather for the past week or so.