We took a trip over to Ala Moana Shopping Center last weekend to visit the barber to get the 7 year olds’ hair cut. He hates getting his hair cut. The only barber visit he ever liked was the scary barber in NY with the anti-Obama news clippings on his wall and the filthy chair. Here we go to Thom’s which is much cleaner and friendlier. They generally do a good job (after the most recent haircut I did notice some straggling hair over his ear – a troublesome spot). So we cruised the barber shop to see how crowded it was by standing outside and looking in. It was then that I saw, what I thought, was someone I just don’t want to see. I turned abruptly and told the boys I had to go to the ATM and I would meet them inside.
For a brief moment, I thought I had seen my ex inside the barber shop. It happens quite frequently; me thinking I see him. It doesn’t help that he looks like everyone; OK maybe not everyone but close. He had been a former Marine when I met him in NY. He had been stationed in Hawaii when he was in the service and always wanted to move back. And that is how I got to Hawaii. Truth be told, it was never my deepest heart’s desire to come to Hawaii. I had never really thought about it.
I had met the ex in a truly seedy bar in NY, near the Stony Brook University campus. I loved it there. The floors creaked and there was a fireplace that was lit in the winter. I knew the bouncers and the bartender. I met him outside smoking one night. We hit it off, but soon after we met he was going to be leaving for Kentucky to attend a wedding. I remember later on in our relationship he told me that while he was away he had decided that he was going to break up with me but that when he got back to NY and he saw me he couldn’t. I think about that. About how different my life would be if he had broken up with me then and not when he did at a much later time in our relationship. In hindsight, I think that I gave up too much of myself when I was with him; just to be with him. Probably the best thing that he ever did for me was to dump me. I remember when that happened the first thing my mother asked me was if I was coming home from Hawaii. I didn’t. Being left alone afforded me the gift of time and I took full advantage of it. I lived a completely selfish existence for some time and it was good for me. Now that I have no time, I value the fact that I was given that gift. Despite all of this, and all that Hawaii has given me, I have no aloha for the ex. Despite the fact that I wouldn’t be here and have the life I have without him having been in my life, the day that I do actually see him, actually do run into him my reaction will be the same. Turn the other cheek and not engage.