The Phantom of the Ex


Oh snap! Is that who I think it is? Can this notebook double as a mask?

This post may not make a whole lot of sense but if you’ve ever been screwed over by a man and haven’t fully healed from it, you’ll feel me on this.

Yesterday I went to the Apollo Theater in Harlem, NY for the day to cover a very special forum about HIV and healthy relationships among African-Americans for my professional gig. One of the esteemed panelists was THE Earvin ‘Magic’ Johnson (Pretty cool, huh? Damn right that is. I love being a writer). Anywho, I sat down to what was going to be an enlightening and thought-provoking discussion with my questions in hand ready to fire away. I looked up and OMGGGGGGGGG!!!!!! there was my college boyfriend’s brother. HIS FREAKING BROTHER!!
Pause right here and let’s flashback…

My college boyfriend was a total asshole and I loved the hell out of him. He was introverted, shy, and very sweet in the beginning. I was completely drawn to his quiet-coolness. After about 3 months of dating his quiet-cool warmed up to fiery-ire. And because we were dating on the world’s smallest college campus, I couldn’t get away from him. And because everyone knew we were dating, I couldn’t get away from him.  And because I followed him into the school of education and had the same classes, I couldn’t get away from him. And because he had a way with words that would tear me the hell down (you know. Like verbal abuse), I couldn’t get away from him. It was awful. We were broke up and got back together soooo many times. You get what I mean?? I finally got away from him after graduation. He was the first of two selfish, deadbeat, unambitious, callous men that I fell for who turned on me after we got involved. I am so over love. Seriously. Fuck Cupid.

Back to yesterday. I saw his brother and I totally panicked. There was nowhere to run. If you have ever been to the Apollo Theater you know that it is actually quite small inside. And there was only about 20 of us media folks there for the press conference so I couldn’t hide in the crowd. He went to the back to get some food and I decided to slip out the side door. But just when I had my coat and bag in my grip I said NO. I came all the way from The City to attend this. I love Magic Johnson and it’s the Apollo. Who runs away from a place with a rich history because they have a shitty history of their own? Not this Urban Bushwoman. I dropped my stuff, walked right up to the food line and said “hey! How are you?” Well lo and behold he hugged me. We chatted it up. And by the end of our time, we took a picture together. I felt good about that.

Confession #1: I still feel a lot of hate for that boyfriend; sad but true.  He ruined my college years to the point that I have not returned to the campus since we graduated 17 years ago. I just can’t do it.

Confession #2: After I got over the initial shock, I wanted him to run back to his brother and tell him how good I look. I wanted him to let him know that I didn’t fall off, gain a lot of weight and become a total loser. Life went on after him.  I hoped that he showed my ex that picture so he could eat his heart out. I know it’s wrong. Grant me a little latitude, please.

One day I hope to grow up for real and learn to forgive the ex. He was immature and had a lot of issues. And I am no saint in relationships. I can piss a man off royally just as much as I can make him crazy happy. Ain’t life a bitch. As much as I wanted to stomp on my ex’s heart with my ‘fabulousness’ yesterday via his brother the truth is as long as he can still stir me up like this, he continues to win. Damn him!

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