We all have a few ghosts from our past that haunt us, or haunt our loved ones. Today I ran head-first into one of mine.
Since I’ve known The Auteur, I knew that my ex-brother-in-law, The Yooper, was working in the town where she – and now WE – live. Today, I substitute taught in his school. With this being a ridiculously small town we live in, it was inevitable I would cross paths with him had I ever been in his school. And I did today.
As I made my way up to my classroom for the day, I had to walk right past his. He was standing outside his door at the start if the day, as teachers do now-a-days. As I got within 5 feet if him, he immediately put his head down. Now, I don’t know if he would even have recognized me had we made eye contact. After all, it’s been at least 8 years since I’ve even seen him, but it seemed too coincidental. Later in the day, we crossed paths again as he was taking his kids to lunch; just as I was bringing mine back from same. Again, as we got within a few feet of each other, he put his head down and struck up a conversation with one of his students. This behavior from The Yooper really doesn’t surprise me. Phred told me that when they divorced and had their day in court, he couldn’t look at her either; as well he probably shouldn’t with the way their divorce went down. There’s a big part of me that wants to just crush the guy like a bug; but truth be told, he’s more deserving of my ridicule than he is my anger. He’s a joke. And the fact that he looked away as soon as he saw only serves to remind me how pathetic he truly is.
But we all have people like The Yooper in our lives. Pieces of the past that, while they may be out of our lives – they still live and breathe and walk the same Earth as us. Friends who have turned into foes, childhood rivals, exes. Ghosts.
Frankly, I don’t know how most divorcees do it. Most of the time, I feel luck that I live about 800 miles away from Jabba. I don’t want to live anywhere near her. I don’t want to ever face the possibility of running into her at any given moment. It’s not that I can’t handle seeing her; rather I’d like to keep those encounter to an absolute minimum and prepare myself for them well in advance. It’s weird enough running into and trying to talk to our common Michigan friends.
There’s a bit from the old TV show “Growing Pains” that sticks with me to this day: In ope episode, Kirk Cameron’s character Mike Seaver fakes being sick so he can stay home from school. He sits down to watch a rerun of “Gilligan’s Island”. He briefly leaves the room only to realize that the show continued even though he left the room. Mind you, this was before the days of DVR and on-demand programming. He quickly turns the TV off and on again, to realize that the show continues. He later tells his Dad of this incident and comes to the realization that even though he stayed home from school, the world went on without him.
Running into the Yooper wasn’t some senses-shattering epiphany or anything like that but it definitely serves to remind me that our ghosts continue to walk the Earth and live their respective lives.