THE BE-SIDES: RECYCLE REDUCE REUSE
In the words of a wise and seasoned troubadour, “what goes around comes back around.” Now, I believe what JT was saying here is that karma is a bitch, as illustrated in his epic video for the song of the same name whose only redeeming quality was Scarlett Johansson’s ever growing cleavage, but I digress.
As a Californian I grew up being green and this conditioning has permeated every part of my being and influenced every facet of my complicated existence. This does not, in any way, exclude dating. Who of us doesn’t find comfort in revisiting an old lover? Much like that dress you find in the back of your closet that you had long forgotten about, you instantly fall in love all over again, as it is well worn and you remember that one great party you attended in it. Nostalgia takes over. It fits like a dream; the print is so cute. How could I have survived so long without this dress in steady rotation in your wardrobe? Then, much like any revisited romance, the flaws become more evident – slowly, but surely. The moth hole by the seem you always forgot about. That stain in the armpits from that time your sister borrowed it. And wait; does it make my butt look big? Trust me, if you don’t send that dress packing to Goodwill right then and there, it will happen all over again next Springtime.
The same could be said for ex-flames whose fire is never fully extinguished, but simply placed in the back of the closet along side your funky old dress. Without proper closure to a relationship, feelings can come bubbling back up again at the drop of a hat. When their name is mentioned in a casual conversation; when you get a pocket call from them in the middle of the night, or when you happen to see them at a local bar on a saucy Cinco de Mayo. Attraction is like the clap, and it will keep resurfacing in unexpected places and inopportune times.
In a city as large as New York, you’d think that it would be statistically impossible to cross paths with the ghosts of lovers past. I am here to say, its not.
Being perma-single I have had the good fortune (or is it?) to have these ghosts float in and out of my life. Sometimes the results are positive, but mostly the proverbial pit stains reappear and I am left questioning my sanity yet again. Perhaps when Elton John belted out “the circle of life” he was not referencing Simba’s destiny to become king of the jungle, but my penchant for leaving a minimal carbon footprint on men.
I know it is natural to feel drawn to a man you once did and for whom you hold no ill will, but perhaps it is smarter, in the case of love and affection, not to follow the sage words of my elementary school music teacher, Mr. Abraham and, when it comes to men: don’t recycle, reduce, reuse.
B.E. is a photographer and aspiring freelance writer residing in New York City.
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