You can’t make this shit up.
Me. My Ex. In a slow elevator.
He stood towards the front, staring at the doors. I leaned against the side wall, looking down at the floor.
I happened to gaze upon his shoes. They were Timberlands. I’d never seen him in them before. Brown, dirtied, nowhere near new. A quiet reminder of how long our lives have been apart.
I wanted to say something to him. I wanted to say…something, anything to break the tension, ease the mood.
How’s it going? How’ve you been? Life treating you well?
Instead I kept my mouth shut. He didn’t speak either, nor did I expect him to. I think I made the right decision.
The whole situation could have been more dramatic if we were alone, but there was another person on the lift. He worked for another company. He stood towards the back attending to a large cart. It made my Ex’s ignorance of my presence less…offensive is the wrong word, but it’s close.
As the elevator approached our floor, I stood up straight and stepped closer to the doors. I swung my head around to crack my neck and rolled my shoulders to loosen them, mentally preparing myself for the impending shitty gig. As the doors opened, I walked left; my Ex walked right.
I barely saw him, barely interacted with him for the rest of the night. Even though we both drove trucks, I calculated he probably didn’t want my help in packing his vehicle. When it came time to pack my truck, there came no offer of assistance on his part.
For the night, I believe we each said two words to one another:
As I was packing my truck, I paused, waiting for him to walk by. “Go ahead,” he said.
“Thank you,” I said as I pushed my case past him.
I’m not quite sure why it irked me that he barely acknowledged my presence. Maybe because I would have been pleasant if he’d wanted conversation, or even just a simple hello. (Fuck, he didn’t even say hello to me.)
Maybe because I like to think we could be friendly, cordial even, in our interactions, that we could find a way to make the rare times we see each other not so fucking odd.
Maybe because, during part of the gig, he was smoking a Black & Mild; the sweet scent tweaked me without my wanting it to.
Either way, I left that night without him really acknowledging my presence. We are now, I assume, back to our mutually implicit avoidance pact.
[Aha! It just dawned on me. He was being passive aggressive. That’s why I was so pissed. I was trying to be polite and he was being a dick. Why that took me almost a day to realize, I don’t know. But it sure explains why I drove away last night wanting to hit him.]
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