Last night I went into the city for a friend’s birthday. The city was EMPTY, I guess because of Labor Day. I truly don’t understand how a city with so many people could ever be empty, but it was. I got an amazing parking spot right in front of the place we were going, so that was good.
We went to Empire Rooftop, which is a rooftop bar/lounge. It was okay. The music was great but the guys were sub par. There was ONE cute guy who tried to talk to me, but he was really short (like 5’4″) and I was wearing heels, so the height difference was a bit ridiculous. He had a really cute face though, and I would have kept talking to him, but the friend he was with wasn’t cute and had a really heavy accent (they were Ecuadorian) and my friend Di wasn’t willing to play wing woman. So after a few minutes we politely excused ourselves and went back to our friends. In retrospect I wish I’d engaged a little longer. Oh well.
Di and I didn’t stay out that long. We left at 1:30, grabbed a bite to eat, and then I drove her home. All in all it was a pretty uneventful night. BUT…after I got home and I was lying in bed, I checked Facebook to see what was going on and I saw that one of my exes had “checked in” that night at Empire Rooftop!
His name is Manny. We met a few months before I went away to college and dated for about six months. I was 18 at the time. I don’t want to get into it right now, but it was a pretty intense time in my life. (Okay fine. He got me pregnant and then I had a miscarriage. Now you know.) We broke up after that but stayed friends. A few months later he went back to jail (yes, back to jail), and I wrote to him for about a year while he was locked up.
Even though the relationship itself didn’t last that long, everything that happened between us caused us to become bonded in a way that few things ever could. But eventually things change. I left college and came back to NYC and lost touch with him. I met my husband and that was the end of Manny. I thought about him occasionally over the years, more so towards the end of my marriage, but I didn’t expect that I’d ever see him again.
But less than a month after my husband and I decided to get divorced, Manny made his way back into my life. Thanks Facebook! I met up with him twice. The first time we went to dinner. It was great to catch up. He is a prime example of how a person can turn their life around if they truly want to. After he got out of jail he decided he was done with that lifestyle. He went to college and grad school, and now he has a decent job and overall has become a fine and upstanding citizen.
We made out that night. He was the first new guy I’d kissed in 8 years. The attraction was just as strong as it had been 12 years earlier.
The second time we just met at a diner for lunch. It was unplanned, but I was in his area so he suggested it. That was the last time I saw him.
That was back in 2009. Since then I have watched him (on Facebook) change his status to “in a relationship,” move in with his girlfriend (who, based on some Facebook stalking, I’m like 99.9% sure that he was dating when he and I reunited), get engaged, and, just last month, get married. I’m sure I’ll get to see the birth of his first child in the near future. Great.
I’ve had mixed feeling as I’ve watched these developments unfold on his profile. It’s not like I think we be good together at this point in our lives. I don’t think we have anything in common other than our shared history. I’m nowhere near as “hood” as I used to be, but he is still at that same level. (And from what I can see on Facebook, his wife is even worse. Is that bitchy of me to say? Lol oh well.)
In truth, I rarely think about Manny anymore, except when he pops up on my newsfeed. But I’m sure there’s always going to be this part of me that will think “What if?”
A few weeks after his wedding I left a very standard “congratulations” message on his wall, and he responded:
Me: Manny! Congratulations to you and your gorgeous bride! The pictures are beautiful. I wish you two a lifetime of happiness xoxo
Him: Thanks Rory. I appreciate the good luck you wished on my marriage.
I thought that his very formal response was just plain weird. But then he sent me an inbox message:
What I really wanted to say publicly was damn you for blossoming into such a beautiful specimen who escaped me all these years. I think you are so beautiful and from what I recall, smart and funny too. Hopefully I’ve found someone who matches all of your good qualities.
I hope we can still say hi over dinner one day.
That message actually made me cry (for, like, a second). But I never responded. Nothing good can come from getting dinner with him now that he is a married man. We can be friends, but at a distance.
So anyway….last night I saw he had checked in at Empire Rooftop. I left him a comment, and he quickly responded:
Me: Damn, we nearly crossed paths tonight! I was there but left around 1:30
Him: I was there since 12am and I swore that I saw you wearing red lipstick and a white shirt! Thought it was the alcohol. LoL
It WAS me in the red lipstick and white shirt! Small world, right? I wasn’t wearing my glasses though, so I never would have seen him unless he came up to me. I wonder how many times we passed by each other, and whether he knew it was me but just didn’t want to say anything because he was with his wife. Not that it matters…
Wow. I *really* did not expect to be blogging about any of this, ever.