Way back in ancient times when he was a school boy there was a song called Always Something There To Remind Me that was played on the radio.
It told the story of a boy who couldn’t forget his ex because there were always reminders of the girl he loved floating around him.
One of his ex-girlfriends had said she hated the song because it was “cheesy” and because it was too obvious.
“Of course there are reminders everywhere, he/she is always going to be in class with you. But when we get out of school that will never happen because we’ll be smart enough not to date people we work with and when we are done, we’ll be done.”
It made sense from a 20th century perspective but less so from a 21st because modernity had brought multiple changes.
And in the days of social media if you ran in the right circles or groups you could easily stumble across news and or pictures of your exes.
Sometimes you’d see their picture and smile because time had not been kind to them and sometimes it was the exact opposite.
The smiling face in the picture would be one that you remembered focusing on you and you would wonder how they won the genetic lottery that allowed them to look so damn good.
He and the boys had talked about it recently because one of them had seen a shot of his ex-wife and mentioned how it was shallow but honest to say he felt better that she looked awful.
When they asked him if he had ever gone looking for photos of his own exes he said not really and moved onto the next topic.
A couple of weeks before he had coffee with an old friend who was telling him about life as a single mother.
She had asked a similar question and he had responded the same way, except when he said he didn’t she didn’t just let it pass the way the guys did.
They went back and forth a few times about it, but he never confirmed nor denied he had looked.
“If we have mutual friends in common I have probably seen something flash across the screen, but I just never pay attention. Out of sight, out of mind.”
She told him she didn’t believe it and he said if it made her feel good to think so that was fine with him.
Had he been honest with himself and her he would have said he had just seen a picture of one and it had stopped him in his tracks.
That had been a surprise, not that she still looked good to him but how sexy she had been in the photo. It was a posed picture, but not the sort of boudoir type shot that some women took around middle age.
Something about it made his heart skip a beat, might have been the way her hair fell around her shoulders or the look in her eye or something else.
Didn’t really matter what or why because the reality was that it just did it for him and he wasn’t sure what to do about it because sometimes circumstances presented opportunity and sometimes it kept opportunity at bay.
So he tried to forget about it so that he didn’t have to deal with the frustration of not being able to act upon his feelings.