I have been wanting to send my ex boy a copy of my book. After all, it is mostly about him, he was key in encouraging me to put my writing out into the world: It exists in no small part because of and for him.
It is a selfish thing, though, this desire. It is probably kinder of me to leave him alone. But I am often not kind. My wanting to share it is about… well, in truth, I’m not even really sure what it’s about.
“This, sweetheart, is for you” or “Thank you” or “It’s us, baby” or “You made this possible” or any number of things that I can’t quite nail down, but which involve knocking on a door that is firmly closed. I am not wanting to reopen it, I am wanting to drop it on his doorstep and flee. I don’t even want to hide around the corner to watch him pick it up, puzzled and confused. I will be far away by then.
We aren’t in touch any more and I don’t know how receiving such a thing will hit him. It has been a long while, but I imagine that he won’t receive it easily, that opening such a package from me, being reminded of all of these intimacies we shared, knowing that I thought to send it to him, reading a little note from me, much less reading the content would not be a gentle sweetness for him.
Part of that is pure ego, of course. It could be that he smiles quietly, thinks ‘Good for you’, slots the book into his bookshelf, and then goes about his day. But I don’t believe that. He won’t. I know he won’t. He will twist and pace and his stomach will knot and he will feel… disturbed, disquiet, turmoil, the uncomfortable pull on old wounds.
It would be kinder, probably, not to send it. The book has been out 6 months. I haven’t done it yet. But I can’t seem to let go of the desire to do so.