I like to think there is a bar somewhere deep in the woods or out in the desert where all the men that I have ever been in a relationship with go when they are no longer in my life. I imagine that they are sitting around the bar drowning their sorrows away in very cheap vodka and pining the lost of me. These are men who just at this moment realized the beautiful, valuable, wonderful, vivacious, sensual, and sexy woman they let get away. They are getting drunk, and crying (yes, I imagine them crying…lol), as they each tell a story of their relationship with me, and mull how much happier they were when we were together. Yes, these are sad men who have wandered into this bar, and found comrades in misery.
This is a dark bar, dim lights and no high shelf liquor, just well drinks available. No cute waitress to flirt with, only an unkempt bartender who offers no words of encouragement he just pours the drinks. His job is to allow them to wallow in their sullen sadness, and even to encourage it. This bar is always open, twenty-four hours a day every day of the year with no time off for holidays. There is always space at the bar for one more, but once there, no one can ever leave.
They talk to each other having interesting conversations, all about me. Yes, all about me. They talk of how they cared for me, in some instances, even loved me. How wonderful and beautiful I am. The ways I enhanced their lives, and always tried to make sure that their needs were met. Some may say that I was selfish. Another may say that I was a disappointment to them. One will say that I am great with maps. Most will say that I am an excellent cook and bartender. A few will say that I never did understand the depths of how they loved me. One may say that I did not love him at all.
I often wonder what would have happened if I had continued the relationships with these men. Now don’t get me wrong, these, for the most part, are not bad men. They are kind, gentle, loving, and special, but they each had issues that did not allow us to remain together. If he had not gone into his “man cave” when times got tough, we might still be together. Maybe if I felt as if I was a higher priority in his life, we could have gotten even closer. There were days that should have been some of the happiest of my life, but his intentional cruelty erased most of those memories away. While he worked so hard to be at the top of his game, there was another who did not work at all. All of his other girlfriends made it difficult to trust and believe him, but his attempts to isolate me from friends and family were met with resistance.
I would never go back to these men, because they have shown themselves to be who they are. And while that is not totally bad for them, it was not good for me. I cared for each and every one of them. I have fond memories of each of them, even the complete jerks, but time has revealed to me that none of them was The One. But, believe it or not, I would not trade my experiences with any of them for any amount of money because they helped make me into be the person I am today. The hurt, pains, joys and laughter that I had with each of them are a wonderful part of me. The love and hate I feel for each of them is of my growth and personal development. I am grateful for their entry into my life and, of course, their eventual exit from it too.
At the end of each evening, I walk past the bar and one of them, just one, thinks he sees me from the window. Is it real, or an just his imagination, he does not know, but it brings back a new memory, and the dull ache that he has in his heart, because I was the one that got away.