I’m being watched, closely and with a sense of longing.
I fiddle with my wedding ring, trying to douse an old flame before it rekindles.
It’s super tough, because I remember our time together.
How could I forget?
So much laughter. So much carefree fun. So much passion.
I’d be lying if I didn’t admit to thinking about those days.
I’d be dishonest if I refused to admit there were times — especially when engulfed in the responsibilities of family and work — that I’ve longed for time travel to back then.
All those years ago, it was, as Sir Jim Cuddy sang, bad timing that’s all.
I had things on the go and there were some serious strings attached.
I couldn’t commit to the work our relationship required.
We drifted apart.
But now, many years later, I’m being presented with this chance to pick up where we left off.
Sorry if you think less of me.
Maybe we could just spend an hour or two together.
Or maybe this could become a weekly escape from it all — a reprieve from work deadlines, getting receipts together for taxes, depressing world news and carting the kids around.
Aaaah, the kids.
What would they think?
What would my wife think?
I don’t even want to go there.
Maybe no one would find out, although being discreet was always impossible for us.
Oh, maybe I should just go for it.
No! No! No!
I can’t take this risk. It’s not worth it.
A stream of memories starts flowing and I can’t stop the flood.
Dancing fast and slow, and madly off in all directions.
Singing “The Foggy Dew” aloud.
Dreaming about what was possible.
Three pools form at these thoughts.
One is filling with the past.
One is raging with temptation.
One is overflowing with guilt.
I’ve got to bail and get the heck out of here.
I came to get something for my kids, but now I leave feeling weak and guilty.
But I just can’t give in.
There’s no way I can play Gwyneth, my fiddle, the instrument I’ve been trying to master since Chrétien was in power, right now.
Other, bigger, priorities are calling and I can’t justify pausing for a few tunes.
What did you think I was talking about?
Steve O’Bartlett is an editor with TC Media. He dives into the Deep End every Monday to escape reality and plan for St. Patrick’s Day. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.