So, when SCL's birthday was on the horizon, naturally I began to think about him and last January 21, 2010. He and I spent the evening at a nice Indian restaurant in Old Town, and later cuddled up on the couch with full glasses of wine and indulgent slices of chocolate cake. I had put together an album of our pictures from St. Lucia, and we looked through them, recalling the the feeling of closeness, of intimacy, of the fun we'd shared there. Even though things between us had probably already begun to deteriorate, it was a good day, which is a dangerous thing when you're looking for a sign of hope that things will finally be fine again.
When I look back at who I was to SCL, I see myself as the one who nurtured him, who looked out for him, who made sure he got out and did fun things because it hardly ever occurred to him that doing so was important. And even now it's hard for me to break out of that mindset. I worried, would he have a lonely day? Who would buy him a cake? Would he go out to dinner? Would anyone besides his mom wish him a happy birthday? Sure, it isn't my responsibility to make sure these things happen, but there's part of me that still cares.
I didn't buy him a gift or even a card. I didn't send his friends a message to remind them of his birthday. I didn't plan a happy hour or a group dinner or make him a Duncan Hines cake. But when he called to see if I wanted to come over for a bit, I said sure. We ordered some pizza (I paid), some beer and ice cream (he paid) and watched Big Love together. It was nothing like last year--there were no kisses or fancy wine or getting dressed up. But, it was good to spend time together, as exes attempting to be friends.
Maybe we'll make the friend thing work after all. .