Monday, November 01, 2010

The Return of Chris

Yup. I'll let you process that for a second.

I know, right.

I went into work this morning and checked my email. The subject line "how are you?"

And then simply: "Just got back from the desert. A long 10 months. Send an email if you want. Be well."

Just like that. Back in my life. Or at least in my mind.

I wrote back: "I didn't know you were in the desert -- I'm glad you're back safe. I figured I hadn't heard from you....well I figured lots of things. I'm good, lots going on in my life. Where are you now? In California? Or back home?"

I checked my email a few times over the course of the morning. I should have known better. I should have known how he works. Two hours later, my phone rang. No number came up on my caller ID, but I knew. I knew it was him.

He had the decency to not give me his usual "hey there." And even had the decency to tell me that he thought about me while he was in Afghanistan, that he realized he was a jerk, that he had found out the week before Vegas that he was probably going back. Even had the decency to ask if I hated him.

I told him no, told him I was pissed at him, for a very long time, but I could never hate him, could never wish him bad, and was glad that for the third time in his life, he made it back safely from the Middle East.

I was at work. Our connection wasn't great. I asked him to call me at home some night. "Really?"

"There will be yelling, just so you know. I'm at work, I can't get into this now."

"I deserve to be yelled at. I shouldn't have....I'm sorry."

I'm not exactly sure what to think. Or what to feel. Or what I'm actually thinking or feeling. After a year, and now after knowing that he was in Afghanistan for 10 months, I just don't know.

Bubbles sent me an email, offering advice. It ended with "tread lightly my friend..."

How in the world do she and I get ourselves in these relationships? That don't seem to go nowhere, but just always seem to go in a circle? Chris and I were in this exact spot six years ago when he got back from Iraq, and now here we are again.

I just don't know.