eyes to drown in.
i just got back from an afternoon having of latte macciatos at "ulcus". with karsten.
now that's two amazing things at once.
"ulcus" used to be the pot smoking den/pub i was never allowed to hang out when i was a teen but that i went to anyways. it was stinky and had floors that were sticky from beer from countless decades and the stereo usually blasted the best tunes in town. nirvana and u2 and pearl jam and radiohead and the smiths and other dark stuff from the 80's. this was the early 90's, after all.
it was just a few streets away from my high school, and the day my class got admitted to take finals, we all got pissed there at noon. at our reunion two years ago, we went there and were time-warped into our past, everyone slipping into their old selves. it was the place that did it.
these days, it's totally revamped. the new "ulcus" is clean and cute and has got hardwood floors and leather seats and good lighting and coffee and still the same great music (today: old u2 and sting and counting crows and morrisey), just without the smoke that years ago would stick in your hair and clothes for days. it was renovated a few months ago. until today, i had never had someone to go have coffee with there.
today i did.
it was karsten.
my first ever boyfriend.
first ever in the true sense of the word. i was 13 and he was 15 and we kayaked at the same club and went to see "pretty woman" in the movies, kissing continuously through the last 30minutes. we kissed and held hands and listened to billy joel and slept next to each other on sleep overs from the kayaking club. he looks a little like keanu reeves, he did back then and still does now, dark haired and dark eyed. he is extremely sporty and lovely and funny and well mannered and driven.
between us back then, it was all tame, extremely tame. and lovely. and good. it ended, because all first loves end, after six months, and since then, these past 13 years, we've seen each other every few years.
never when we were both single though. because neither of us was ever single for long. and it was mostly me who was single, anyway. he's been with the woman he's with for 9 years now.
somehow, deep down, i always thought he would still be around to think about. you know, when i'd settle.
just because he's as great as he is. as downtoearth and funny and good looking and interested and active, and whatnot.
however, he's married now.
to the girl he's been with for the past 9 years. who sounds very much like me, from how he describes her. we look alike, like the same sports, have both lived in new zealand, are both über-organised...that kind of thing. she sounded like me years ago already.
and now they've been married for 18 months. they made each others wedding rings themselves, and he's happy, they are happy. very much so.
we talked for a few hours today, over coffees at ulcus.
about what we do and what we like and what has happened to people we knew then, and it was great, just as it is always great when two people who will always be friends meet after years apart to see that there's still stuff™there and that it always will be there.
at one point, we got into that relationship talk, as exes usually do.
or as karsten and me always do at least. it always makes me feel lost when we have this talk. because he's been with the same woman for the past decade, and i've been in and out and in and out of all these serial monogamous relationships.
later, i thought to myself how odd it was he's off limits now, forever. how i'd always had him in the back of my mind in some way, always thinking there'd come a point in time when there might be a possibility for an us again. i'm not sad, no. not really. but it's so odd he's married. i'd known for 6 months now, but sitting opposite him, admiring his wonderful ring, it was odd, still.
a little later i joked about women hitting on him at work. i joked that i, too, would open the door in a dressing gown. "it's the job risk of a chimney sweeper", i told him.
at about that point in the conversation, he said i shouldn't worry, really.
"you still have got eyes to drown in."
and with that, i blushed and told him he still had that power, after all these years, being married or not, and we laughed but it was there, the stuff™ that will now never be.
later i asked, whether he had any younger brothers i didn't know about. or in the absence of those, what his view on human cloning was. he squeezed me, and we laughed, and all was fine anyway. he is happy, and i will be happy one day, too.
because life is good, even with him just as a friend.