Is there a coincidence between Halloween and my past coming back to haunt me? Probably.
Few days back I received a message on facebook, from a person I knew in another life: “I am in Paris, would like to meet you … if you feel like it”, it read.
At times like this I wish I were living rather in Dijon or Clermont-Ferrand, somewhere unreachable. Or in another century when there was no internet.
I hesitated for a while what to answer. How to be polite and refuse? I honestly didn’t feel like plunging in the past and relive uneasy moments. I thought that maybe he has moved on and just wanted to see me, but I could not take the risk. I consulted my officemates, as I do for every little thing. “Say that you are out of town for a conference”, one said. “Or, reply to him later and pretend that you didn’t read your facebook message on time”, the other suggested. “Or, we could meet him together and tell him that I am your husband”, the last one proposed with a big smile. I am uneasy with lying, so I decided to coldheartedly ignore the message.
I rewind my mind to seven years ago. This was one of the most bizarre relationships that I have encountered in my life. Quite intense in some ways and quite repelling in others. By the end I was quite unenthusiastic but nonetheless he was willing to move cross Atlantic with me. “I will do anything to make us work”, he once said. I would have given my life to hear these words from someone else. But after he told me this, I stopped returning his phone calls. Everything ended there. It was quite cruel, but I didn’t know what else to do. Our feelings were not reciprocal.
I came to Paris and never thought about this episode of my life. From time to time I saw him in some friends’ photos and tried to figure out if he finally got married. He wanted so much to have kids and a family.
I don’t regret my choices. I am a lion person and don’t believe in learning to love someone with time. I don’t like to settle for second-bests, unless I am really forced to. They say when you visit a house to buy, you make up your mind in the first 45 seconds. I guess it’s almost the same with people. Maybe not 45 seconds, but definitely not much more. It’s just a gut feeling.
Sometimes in only 45 seconds, a smile, a long stare, or a warm hug can transfer feelings and get us hooked for a long long time. And sometimes, in years we try to create something that cannot exist because the elements are not correct.
I am aware that a lot of people are against this line of thought. That they say that I am a dreamer. That life is much more complicated than a “love at first sight” cliché. Maybe … maybe I am a naive romantic who has watched a lot of Hollywood movies. The proof is here, I fell in love with the movie Beginnersand dream to find a guy like Oliver (E. McGregor).
From the movie
Hal (Oliver’s father): Well, let’s say that since you were little, you always dreamed of getting a lion. And you wait, and you wait, and you wait, and you wait but the lion doesn’t come. And along comes a giraffe. You can be alone, or you can be with the giraffe.
Oliver: I’d wait for the lion.
Hal: That’s why I worry about you.
But what do you do once you find your lion? What happens if you are the giraffe to your lion? Or even worse, if your are an annoying fly buzzing around the head of your beloved lion? He will probably ignore you and stop answering your phone calls!
Life is cruel in the animal land.