My ex is single again.

After he broke up with me in March 2007, he somehow managed to pick up a new boyfriend within a month’s time. They clicked, apparently, in a way we never could. They clicked so much that he followed his new boyfriend across the country to San Francisco and moved into a phase of relationshipping that I have yet to explore with anyone: “I Love You.”

He tried to make the quick turnover as painless for me as possible. He wanted to be friends, and I wanted to be friends, but I couldn’t get myself to be in friend-mode again until July, when he said he was moving west. By then, I had discovered that he was seeing someone else; Facebook and MySpace tell all. At our coffee-as-friends date before his big move, he refrained from mentioning his new boy—I’m not sure if he knew I knew, but I knew, and so I refrained from mentioning him too.

When he left, I was sure that our relationship would dwindle into random G-chats and occasionally-obligated holiday text messages. It did. Until I found out in January that I, too, would be moving west to—as fate would have it—San Francisco. I convinced myself that I’d be fine, and when I visited to look for new housing prospects in March 2008, almost a year after we broke up, I had dinner with him… and then we had drinks… and then we danced… and then we reminisced… and left it at that. There was a comfort in being with him despite knowing he had this other intimate life—again unmentioned. We promised when he dropped me off that night that we’d have great nights of friendly fun when I moved more permanently in August.

A few weeks ago, he called— it was one of those calls where a friend of yours reaches out to catch up with the subtext that something had just happened to him and he needed to talk to someone who would tell him that it would be okay. I never picked up. He left me a voicemail. I detected the concern. But maybe purposefully so, I shoved it away as nothing and merely G-chatted him back. He never responded.

Then two nights ago, a surprise text message: You gonna be going go to Asteroid tomorrow? :-P I’m gonna be there!

I was in the middle of a meeting, but I didn’t hesitate. I stepped out and called. It was true. He was coming. For one weekend, home to Texas to visit family and, yes, he wanted to see his friends.

I was hesitant. I never really got along with all of his friends—they were high maintenance, I was a workaholic, and not there aren’t high maintenance workaholics, but we just didn’t’ mesh. I said I’d let him know if I couldn’t make it while, in my head, I began thinking of good excuses. I would see him in August anyway. Everything would be okay then, and we’d hang out one-on-one. It’d probably be better that way. He passed on details for where to meet him and at what time. I wrote them on a post-it and stashed it in my pocket.

When I got home after work, I found the post-it again and remembered the phone call. I decided to check up on him via Facebook to see what his San Francisco ventures had been like since I met up with him in March…

And there, aside a tiny broken-heart icon, was that dangerous, dangerous word: Single.
I refreshed the page. No. He couldn’t be. He couldn’t… single. He’s single. No, it’s just Facebook.

I had to double check. I checked his MySpace page. Single. I checked his boyfriend’s MySpace page. Single.

Single single single.

And now he’s in town.

And he wants to hang out.

And I’m single.

And he’s single.

And we’re still friendly.

And I think I may still be attracted.

If not for real, then at least for fun.

So what do I do with this tension of wanting to work out that never did? I’m almost positive he just wants to be friends, but how do I drag that confirmation out of him without bringing up the boyfriend that now is, according to cyberspace, his ex? My gut says to stick to what’s tried and true: refrain from bringing it up. But with me moving to his neighborhood in two months, doesn’t refraining now actually mean postponing the inevitable anyway?

Whatever happens, I have a feeling that tonight begins a new chapter of my life two months too early. ManontheSide in San Francisco. With his ex. Uh oh.


I am too much of an optimist. Coming into tonight, my memories were nothing but romantic ideas; I had forgotten all the reasons why I wouldn’t want to be with him. Tonight, those reasons all came sloshing back: the ridiculous silliness; his need to be the center of attention; his focus on the physical—all things that don’t really blend with my own desires from a mate.

My ex is single again. And I bet his newest ex is celebrating too.

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