Seven or eight years ago when I was with my ex, I started talking to another guy online — an American in Toronto, working on his degree in some politics & international relations field. We really hit it off. He and his girlfriend lived together, but he was having a hard time; emotionally, we were both at very low points in our lives. Our friendship pulled the both of us through some very dark hours, and since I was intentionally isolated from my family at that point, having his support and love saved my sanity. He meant the world to me. We had a close relationship but one for which time was pretty irrelevant; we could not talk for weeks when life took over, but then the moment we talked again we slipped back into our roles with ease.
A few years later, in that brief gap of months between when I broke up with my ex and hooked up with Chris, I emailed this guy as well, to see how things were going. He didn’t reply for a few weeks — and by the time he did, I had fallen in love with Chris. So when I came up to Toronto in August 2003, I ended up spending a day with him. This happened to be the day the power went out all along the East Coast, so we did a heck of a lot of walking to get around, and then concluded the day sitting on a patio at a bar with Chris, watching the stars over Toronto. It was a great day (of which I have no pictures, go figure), and we spent it just chatting about life, with no real sexual tension between us — although of course we both touched on the irony of me finally coming to Toronto, but to be with another man.
I haven’t seen him since. By the end of the year when I moved to Toronto, he had moved to Ottawa for a teaching job at a University there. When Chris & I took a trip to Ottawa & Montreal for our one year wedding anniversary, Chris made it clear that he didn’t really want an old flame of mine to be in the picture, and I understood that (although it angered me at the time, particularly when we were sitting bored in our hotel room as it rained).
Well now, for the next three or four days, the professor is down in Toronto. And I want to see him, badly. Any “passion” in our friendship has simmered down into ease, and we just get along. I’ve got a schedule for the train into Toronto sitting on my desk with his cell number scribbled across the top of it, and he’s got four hours this afternoon for me.
Of course, then there’s Chris. Despite his insistence that he doesn’t “have a problem” with me going to see the professor, he does; he’s making the argument that we don’t have the money for me to go gallavanting around. This, after he went out to dinner with another friend of ours last night — I have $25 in my wallet and that is damned more than enough for a round-trip ticket into the city plus a coffee. I haven’t been to the city just for the sake of being in the city since my sister visited over a year and a half ago (we visited friends who live downtown, and spent the entire night playing Wii and eating burritos).
So I’m experiencing a dilemma. Do I go see the professor because it’s been five years and I don’t know when the opportunity will present itself again, or do I sit this one out for the sake of my marriage? Doesn’t that set a bad precedent? But that said, the only time Chris gets possessive of me like this is when the professor is in the picture. Still, this guy’s the oldest friend I actually keep in touch with. I dunno. I have to make this decision within the next few hours…
Update: I ended up deciding against going today. One, it’s too much stress. Two, I tend not to do things that I’m unsure of or uneasy about; this seems to work well. Three, I’m going to call the professor once he’s in town and see if there’s any other day we can get together, because I’ll work out getting ahold of the car which would be infinitely easier to finagle.