I was talking with someone last week and they asked me if I knew you. It caught me off guard; I hadn’t heard your name in so long. I smiled as I thought of you. Yes, I thought to myself, I know him.
I know how you smile right before you say something you think is funny. I know how your shampoo smells. I know you have a scar on your knee from when you were a little boy. I know the way you like to cook your eggs in the morning. I know how your kisses taste. They way your arms felt when they were wrapped around me. I know you made me feel so safe. So loved. I remember how you cried when your dog died, and the spot you picked to bury her. I remember the day we got stuck out in the rain; and I know you like to make love outside. I know you used to dream of moving away from this town someday. I remember the cards you used to write to me on my birthdays, and the way your handwriting looks. I know the look you get in your eyes when you want to make love. I remember the way you felt inside me. I remember how we would fall asleep, with you snuggled up behind me. I also know you snore. I know you are gentle; you don’t even kill spiders. I know I wanted to marry you and have a family with you. I remember you cheating on me and breaking my heart.
As all those memories swam through my head, I just nodded and smiled and said, “Yeah, he’s just somebody I used to know.”
Later, after I got home, I started thinking about relationships. More specifically, where to put them once they’re over. We spend months, sometimes years, getting to know another person and becoming emotionally invested in their lives, then when the love is gone, where does all the attachment go? Is that the metaphorical baggage that we are then doomed to carry on?