Saturday in CinCity
Ex-boyfriends in Heaven
by Gwen Hart
Ex-boyfriends never go to hell,
no matter how many times
you suggest it. No, they ascend straight
to heaven, where they speak French,
wear matching socks, and always,
always arrive on time, with a full
tank of gas and a bottle of wine.
They never curse your cat
or your mother, never call you up
drunk doing Arnold Schwarzenegger
impressions, never say Hey Rita
if your name is Tammy,
never say Hey Tammy
if your name is Joan.
They're better trained than dogs
and they smell better, too, better
than Twinkies or camellias, better
than anything on earth. Once
in a while, they take a holiday,
drive their Porsches down
through the clouds
in one long line and ring
the doorbell in your dreams,
offering tender apologies, tender
chicken cutlets, tender love.
But before you take one sack
of groceries, before your lips
graze a clean-shaven jaw,
before you let one polished
Oxford loafer through your door,
remember that as soon as they cross
the threshold, the truth will slip
in behind them: ex-boyfriends only
exist this way in heaven, or
whatever you want to call it,
their new lives without you.
I offer this poem because I'll be driving, about an hour away from town, to meet up with a long lost friend from high school. Surprisingly, FaceBook has been an easy way to reconnect with the class of 1973. And, it has the added benefit of recent photos. No more looking shocked when friends don't look like their senior picture--which is frequently a good thing, but unfortunately how I still remember most people I haven't seen in over thirty years.
Anyway, I think some of our conversation will include what has happened to other friends and, most certainly, old boyfriends.
We're meeting at the pizza parlor
and I'm excited beyond words to see her again. She and her family were life savers to me and they very graciously opened their home when my own was chaotic and tumultuous. I owe that girl a hell of a lot of pizzas.
After that HoneyHaired and I will go school shopping. School started on the 11th and we were able to scounge around and find enough notebooks, but you know, every teacher feels the need to keep the economy going. HoneyHaired's hoping for some new clothes along the way. Aren't we all? It's a new year already and another fresh start.