Sunday, June 19, 2011

The forget-me-not

A long time ago I dated a man whose ex-girlfriend used to leave messages on his car. Once she etched the word ABANDONED in the dust on the hood. He wiped it off with a paper towel. Another morning there was something tucked under the windshield wiper. I thought it was a note, but as I got closer I saw that it was hair: a skein of long brown hair, coiled into a ball. "What does it mean?" I asked. "It's a forget-me-not," he said, tossing the hair in the trash.

And I couldn’t forget it. It was a surrogate for the poor woman's broken heart, tangled and confused. If grief were an object, I thought, that's what it would be. Our relationship was already doomed by that point, but it took me a good while longer to figure out that any man who could break another woman's heart so badly wasn't the man for me.

4 comments:

Lily said...

That's a very smart conclusion. Poor woman.

smartz said...

Perfect combination of photo with story.

The Querulous Squirrel said...

It used to bother me that my husband stayed friends with all his old girlfriends. I was the opposite: total cutoff. Reading your post I now realize what a good thing that said about my husband compared to your ex, and all my own exes.

Tai said...

Wise words, QS. Your husband sounds like a good egg.

Thanks, Smartz. I really didn't want to illustrate this post with a hairball, though it was the logical choice, so I was overjoyed to stumble upon Picasso.

Poor woman indeed, Lily. I'm sorry to say that her sufferings were vast and prolonged. I hope she writes a novel someday.