In the face of my big sister's disapproval, I must admit that Neighbor X and I slid back into seeing each other again for the twentieth time a few weeks ago. Just dinners, wine and closeness, all very nice. I enjoyed being courted and felt content to not define it, just enjoy my best friend.
Then last Monday after my knitting retreat he invited himself up for dinner and told me he was moving to Portland. (In an odd coincidence, he told me the exact same thing exactly a year ago after I returned from my knitting weekend then. Either Valentine's Day, my knitting or February in general seems to trigger this reaction. Hmm.) He then wanted to talk about how we were going to move forward in the six weeks or so before he left.
It was clear to me that "we" weren't going anywhere, so what would be the point of continuing to see him other than the thrill of masochistic pain, which contrary to the evidence I'm not actually into. So, no contact seemed appropriate.
We've had the ritual last phone call and last email, the porch-to-porch exchange of Tupperware, and the careful avoidance of the mailbox at key times. We've done this so often that it's not even ludicrous anymore, it's just routine. (Getting back together is never routine, though, which is why we kept doing it.) Now I'm waiting for him to leave, and looking forward to spring and a return to the garden.
Speaking of the garden, the trees and plants have once again been fooled by our February thaw into thinking that spring is near. They're budding and sending up shoots, lulled into life by the recent warmth and soft rain. They don't seem to recognize the false spring or know that hard winter will return again with snow and ice in March.
I'm irritated and saddened by their naivete, as inevitably they'll get frost-burned and come up all stunted in April. You'd think by now they'd learn to wait for the real thing. I don't get it.