I’d like to go to that city and see the man I lost my virginity to. His wife is on Facebook and I’ve seen a picture of them from 2009, with two nieces and his 80-plus-year-old father, whom I knew well all those years ago. He once took a picture of me and said to his son, “Someday you’ll look at this and think, there’s that girl I used to know.”
Without the Facebook tag I would not know him. He wears a hat (bald, probably—at 22 he had a distinguished but receding hairline) and sunglasses. No sign of his red hair. I wish I could see his piercing brown eyes, then I would know him, but I settle for his regal, slightly rounded Roman nose and a smile that seems familiar. He looks happy, his arm around the woman for whom he left the woman he left me for.
I cannot see his snaggle teeth. The photo blurs when I blow it up. His face and body are rounder, so round compared to the lanky 19-year-old I fell in love with. He had sturdy, muscular legs, thick with masculine hair—I still shiver thinking of their fine, sculpted shape. His waist was inches thin in profile; you could almost see through him. Now he is portly, game, satisfied.
I am fatter too. We both have our 30 extra middle aged pounds. I would like to hear his voice, which always made me swoon. I would like him to see me, my 30 more pounds, my beautiful children in a photograph, my body loved by a man who didn’t leave me, whose legs also make me shiver, whose voice teases me into settling in and down.
I would like to remember our youth together, how we thought we knew so much, and see what we know now.
He already bored me when he was 22, and I him. But when we were 19 and 20—boy. That memory is a flash, an explosion, a This Can Only Happen Once.
It might be better not to meet. But the temptation, the incomplete photograph, pull me in. Disappointment could be a relief.