Ghosts of Boyfriends Past

“Have you ever stared in the mirror for so long that your face stopped making sense? It just become a bunch of shapes. Just shapes. Not good or bad.”

Noelle, The Truth About Cats and Dogs

It really only happens in the heat of engagement, and even then it is not a common occurrence. Just before the dissolution of self, when my mind is hanging on to the last threads of coherency, sometimes-rarely, he changes. I tend to think it is marvelous, and wonder about it, before forgetting to even think about it until the next time it happens.

No, I have already gotten it wrong.

He doesn’t change at all. He is still the same sweet, loving, playful boy that I have seen before, except I start to notice new parts of him. I guess I am the one that changes. It isn’t unheard of- the mosaic of intimacy. You bring yourself so close to another person that they lose their form. They become a collection of shapes with ends and beginnings and overlaps, but cease to be, just for a moment, the person (As a whole, complete, manicured being) that they project to the world. In general I love that moment. I think that it is the most honest that two people can be with each other. It is a moment of humming and becoming, of once was and existence in the now. It is quite beautiful. But sometimes what you see is not what you expect and the moment jolts you more powerfully than the liquid grace that it normally wraps you in.

Sometimes, he jolts me.

It isn’t that he becomes something completely foreign that I can not relate to or understand. Quite the contrary. The shapes that I see when I let go of everything and draw myself up into him, far enough to make him my entire existence, are eerily familiar. They are beyond familiar. They are actually recognizable. I have seen that jaw line before, not in some vague way, but in a way that I can name the place and time and person that I saw it connected to. The nose, too. The set of the eyes, both the left and the right, and the angle at which his hair sticks out from his head. They are all KNOWN to me.

Now I get that it is rather creepy and perhaps disrespectful in some ways to contemplate past adventures in a new bed. I am rather good at putting aside the recognition, drawing back, and seeing my husband for who he is, but afterwards I got to thinking. Maybe it isn’t creepy. Maybe it is fate. Maybe I have been trying to find the man that fits with me, and I have kept finding repeating shapes. I have found the correct set of the mouth and the correct tone of voice but never the whole person that just fit me. Until now. Now I have finally found a package that collects all of those shapes that I have been magnetically drawn to over the years. I have found my destiny, and every person that I have met and loved before him has helped me to be able to recognize the smallest, most beautiful details about him. Sometimes I watch him sleep, so very peaceful, and I see my life flash before me… from the very first crush until now. But it is more than that, because when I draw out and look at him as a whole, and he opens his sleepy eyes and smiles at me, I see my future. I see all of the amazing things that we have the capability to do. I see a whole lotta shapes. 

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