Monday, 05.30.2016 - 10:53 am.
I'm in need to catch up with my writing. My laptop was returned much earlier than I expected, in five days rather (weekend included) rather than in two weeks. Hooray. But then came our professor last weekend to visit, and this weekend my friend Michelle. She's leaving this afternoon, but she's sleeping right now, so I'm taking my time to start catching up.
Last weekend was nice. I hadn't spent much time with our old professor -now colleague, I guess- outside of academia. There was nothing for Andrew and me to worry about, though, regarding the professor's needs. He's very relaxed and felt very at home in our house. We took him places and that also helped Andrew and I take a break and see the city as tourists.
I got my laptop back last Wednesday, and on Thursday my friend Michelle arrived. I took her around the city centre on Friday, we went for a walk in the Peak District with other PhD students on Saturday, and I took her shopping yesterday and Friday, as she wanted. In between, we've been talking about anything and everything. It feels really good to be with a friend who knows you well, and whom you know well, too. We hadn't seen each other in over five years but we've kept regular contact.
Last time we spoke on the phone (ok, Skype), something in the conversation led me to ask her to check Joseph's FB profile for me. I have not done that since...2010, 2011, tops. I would never bring myself to it, and besides it is both useless and potentially harmful. She did it for me, and she said I wasn't missing out on anything.
She showed me the FB profile one of these nights. Rather, she showed me her phone, and I was looking at a picture of Joseph and his wife without warning. I felt a bit embarrassed for me by how gorgeous she looked, and surprised by how he has not changed a bit. Nothing at all. And that was it. I had Michelle scroll down and swipe sideways all over his profile, because I was not going to be touching any of that, regardless of it just being a screen.
You wouldn't guess by that last line but it was a good experience, really. I did feel like I was not missing out on anything. That's not to say I don't have a soft spot for that jerk, but I felt no urge to be the woman next to him in the pictures, or the woman modeling two dresses so he could ask his FB audience which one looked better for Christmas. His son is attending kindergarten (something I would know based on the timeline of events, without creeping through the internet), and he's blonde and he may look like Joseph's mother, if he looks like anyone at all. Years ago, when I learned how Joseph had named his kid, I figured it was so that he could call him like one of his favorite visual artists. I saw a photo in which he did exactly that, and I felt some kind of triumphalism that was short-lived because it was a pointless realization.
I do not know what to do with all that. I mean, I know there is nothing to do, but I am aware of that sense of incompleteness that remains in me regarding this whole shitshow. I looked at his wife in the red dress (she did look better in that one than in the other one) and I felt ashamed and I felt nothing compared to her. I had no chances against her, and imagining the moment they found each other again -after falling in love but amounting to nothing some years before Joseph and I met-, while I was blissfully unaware of what was to come, is very hurtful. Then I saw other pictures of her which seemed to show a different, more real face of hers, literally, and that would restore my self-esteem...which is truly horrible but also an automatic thought, and I had to fight it as soon I was conscious of it. Looks are not value.
Everything comes down to the fact that I failed. A man who was unlikely to notice me, on account of me being so basic and bookworm-ish and him being so worldly and badass, did notice me and adored me. But I failed so hard at trying to keep up with him that he moved on, quickly and without regard for my feelings. That's the last I remember of him, so I figure that if he thinks of me at all, he does it in terms of frustration and disappointment, even annoyance...I'd say anger but that's too strong a feeling for someone you don't care about.
That's kind of it, I guess: me, me, me. I failed. I was a shy, unexperienced, awkward girl, in all aspects you could think of. I'm ashamed that's his takeaway, and the reason to get away from me in the first place. I feel that something is missing, that something in this whole thing is incomplete, but I can only try to be at peace with that.
I was thinking of adding him on FB, and as soon as that thought was formed, I heard the "nooooo" coming from all corners of my brain. I tried to explain: he sent me a request years ago, you see, if it's still there, I could go for it. Ok, WHY? I don't care to be up-to-date with him. He's decent enough, perhaps even better than I could imagine (after all, what I've seen are just the public posts). I only want him to see that I'm a better person and I want him to care.
He won't care, or worse, he'll blow me off, and either way, I'll be stuck in a loop like I was in 2009 and 2010. Permission to proceed denied.
I'm doing quite well myself.