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Thursday, 19 January 2012

Ghosts of Boyfriends Past

I love my apartment. It has a great view, it’s safe and it’s pretty jeuje for a starter young professional posse in Jozi if I don’t mind saying so. Ed had stayed there with me for 2 years after my ex moved out taking my wine glasses and my cats. Yes, I’m still bitter... mostly because the man was a teetotaller (ya huh) and when I asked to keep one of my cats he demanded custody visits (not kidding).  For lack of a better word: Double-Yew Tee Eff man. But since then it has been bliss in my boho-chic New York esk apartment.

Ed and I were big entertainers, we always had people over. More than often we’d wake up on a Saturday morning to partied out compadres on our couches, a sink full of lipstick smeared wine glasses and a not so mild Greenside hangover. What can I say we hosted and we did it well. But... Sometimes we’d get the occasional uninvited guests and I’m not talking about awkward visits from distant friends or a summons delivery from the metro cops. I’m talking about lights going off for no reason, clocks that fail to function even after batteries have been replaced and piano’s playing themselves in the night. Reek reek reek!

Now I consider myself to be an undercover hippy in this chiq, sassy exterior... oh who am I kidding, I’m not undercover at all. Sure I embrace things like the hairdryer, razor and over priced designer labels but I’m a spokesperson for peace, love and happiness! I dig tye dye! I believe in chakras and maybe even the healing powers of crystals, (eek, maybe not... still on the fence with that one. I keep an Amythist stone by my bed hoping it will cure the insomnia. So far Amythist 0:Insomnia 1 billion) I like tofu! And you know what yes, ok, yes... maybe there is life out there... spooks, ghosts, spirits... or whatever you wanna call it. I’ll say it. Feels really good to get that out, I’m just going to sip my green tea and continue. The bottom line is... my place is a little, haunted and I think it’s kind of groovy.

 Then there are those ghosts that need to be exorcised, those menacing ghouls that pop up when you least expect them to and shake pesky demons out of your closet. It’s possession, plain and simple. .. and it’s awful. Definitely not groovy.

At the beginning of a financial year Mimi, Jack and myself host a company meeting to go over goals and very serious business stuff. This business stuff is so serious we feel it needs to take place with Table Mountain in the background and a cocktail in hand.  I’d been looking forward to the trip for weeks... using my bonus to adjust my wardrobe and feed my hunger for all things stiletto. I had to catch the 1st flight on a Sunday morning and normally this means fat pants, Ugg boots, at least 4 herbal tranquillizers (we all know how I love to be in the sky in the metal death taxi) and a 2 hour nap. Maybe it was the tan I hadn’t had in 4 years, maybe it was my on and off love affair with Cape Town (The other city), maybe it was shoe fever... but on this particular day I chose soft curls, light summer smokey eye and peach glossed lip, cute little number that said “I’m borderline slutty but you could still totally take me to lunch with your folks” and heels that made me want to pull a J-Lo and insure my stems.

 I walked into the plane, relatively calm considering my fear of impending doom and death. I took a seat and just as I was settling in and checking out the emergency exits (as I do), there she was. She knew me and I knew her though we had never met before. She was my ex’s present and she was perfect. Beautiful, tall, eclectic... and sitting in my fucking row. We gave each other a knowing glance... I’d seen her on Facebook and often looked at her pictures with the man I called my first love and prepared for take off. I wondered to myself if she felt at all threatened or intimidated by me as I did her? Had he spoken of me the way I spoke of him even now in my relationships? She opened a book with a title that told me she was super smart too. That’s the thing about a new girlfriend. They always seem to be the new and improved version of you. I pulled my laptop out and typed my life away even though the battery was dead and I was staring at a black screen. 1 hour 45 mins to go. Fuck. Then it hit me... who would be fetching her at the airport? Double fuck. All I could think was thank god I wore concealer.

As we touched down I sent a message to Mimi and Jack along the lines of: “major fail, in the plane with the ex’s new girlfriend, meet you at the drop off, I’ll be quick”. Murpheys law – we were in the last group of people to get our luggage and the sexy duo south of my ankles was starting to give me a nasty blister. I didn’t care. I was going to wear the shit out of those babies.  Why? Because I am a successful business woman, I am the epitomy of calm, I am confident and capable and I am so not afraid to run into my ex at the airport... possibly a ménage-awkward with his new perfect girlfriend. Nope. Not even a bit.
 My bag! I’d never been so happy to see it! Yes! I’m outta here and I’ve totally bypassed the new GF so I’m 90% in the clear. I reached the arrivals terminal at quite a speed and just as I thought I was home free, I saw him. Out of the corner of my eye the 6 ft 5 model I once dated in highschool was standing in front of me. Crap. I tried to act as if I didn’t see him, maybe he wouldn’t recognise me... I was sporting a new hair colour, sunglasses were on, I was reading every friggen airport sign I could as to avoid eye contact. Ya. He totally saw me and jumped in front of me to say hi.

Jittery nervous small talk followed by the usual promise to get together and catch up while I was in town which of course, never happened. I managed to escape before She arrived and found myself hiding behind a Jeep Wrangler in the parking lot waiting for Jack and Mimi who were late (I hate them so much right now) and I saw Them leave together. They were happy.

I stepped out into the busy airport pick up zone and while grateful I wasn’t in my fat pants with the usual coffee stain down my shirt, half zonked on tranquillizers... I felt a little sad. Sad that we couldn’t just see each other and be ok about it. Sad that no matter how hard I tried, I was measuring myself up next to the person he said I Love You to now. Sad that I felt I still had something to prove and inevitably would always have unfinished business with Him. Sad that I was still haunted by the ghosts of my boyfriends past.
Weeks later I was driving in my car, having a helleva average day when I saw a familiar face overtake me on his motorbike. It was Garth, the ex that had moved out 2 years ago... I waved, smiling. I couldn’t believe the co-incidence. I’d ended things with Garth with no hard feelings from my side. It just wasn’t going to work, ever. He turned and looked at me through his visor and then sped passed my car, popping a wheely. It looked like he’d just seen a ghost.

I haven’t seen our friendly ghost in a while. I read somewhere that ghosts are only a manifestation of bad energy in a space. That the uneasy feeling you get is just the residue of fermented Karma floating in the air. Reminiscence of fights, bad feelings, negativity, anger, hurt and sorrow. The best remedy is to create a new positive energy in the place, replacing the resentment with laughter, the pain with love and the undisclosed turmoil with open hearted happiness. It made me think that if I could think our ghost was groovy, maybe I could learn to put the unfinished business of the past to rest. Maybe I had the power to free my demons and cross over without the use of weedjee boards or hocus pocus. I guess the only way to really exorcise your demons is to live. To keep filling our couches with smiling faces and our sink with empty wine glasses and to leave the others to rest in peace.


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