He came to me and asked for an explanation that I couldn’t give. A deep sigh and a shoulder shrug later he said that he couldn’t figure it out and that he wasn’t sure if he ever would. I laughed and said that he was talking to the right man. If ever someone wondered about the road not taken it is I. Countless hours have been spent in contemplation of this and I am not sure that I have ever come to a definitive conclusion.
There were moments of silence interspersed with small talk. I waited for him to ask or tell me whatever lay behind the veil. It was one of those moments that I realized I had never thought about. As a kid it never occurred to me that friends would die, or that others would marry and get divorced. Those were things that happened to other people, but not my friends and I.
It took until I was in my twenties for me to learn otherwise. In my twenties some of my friends parents died and or got divorced. In my twenties I watched friends get married and divorced. In my twenties a few people I knew committed suicide. Maybe I was sheltered. Maybe I was protected from some of the harshest moments that life has to offer, don’t know and I am not complaining.
But I was in my mid thirties when this conversation took place. The glow and naivete were gone. Life experience had taught me that things happen and I understood that we only have control of so much. I asked him if he wanted to vent or if he wanted my opinion. I knew what the answer was going to be, but I wanted him to feel like he had a say in something. He smiled and asked me what I thought.
I told him that she had made a serious mistake and that I didn’t think she was coming back. He nodded his head and I told him that if she did come back he needed to to think long and hard about it. I didn’t call her names even though I had a few that she earned. It wasn’t necessary and he really didn’t need or want to hear that. And on the off chance that she reconciled I didn’t want it to be a problem.
He asked me if I thought that there was more than one person to love and what I thought of second marriages. I told him that not having been married twice I could only speculate but that I was confident that there was more than one person to love. I told him that it didn’t make sense to me that there could be only one and that I suspected the hard part would be in finding/recognizing them.
Age, maturity and life experience made it seem to me that a second marriage could be greater and better than the first.If you know more about who you are and what you need it is easier to find that. He asked me if I really believed that or if I thought that it could be more complicated.
I told him that there are always complications and that relationships take some work. Some last, some don’t. But I didn’t see why two people couldn’t overcome those challenges if they really wanted to. This time I shrugged my shoulders and suggested that maybe the best is yet to come.
Ain’t life a kick in the pants.