The first really cold morning of this cold snap, with the temperature hanging out in the 30s, I woke at R’s apartment, alone. I saw my breath hang in the air and I saw a legal pad with the pros and cons of Sacramento vs. Davis written on it. I’m Sacramento and his wife is Davis. Our names weren’t written anywhere. I don’t remember whose pros or cons were longer, and anyway some might be weightier. Davis can offer family dynamic (pro) and money with a plus sign next to it (pro), so what does it matter if Sacramento offers shared interests (pro) and passion (pro)? Does Davis’ “poor love attachment” con trump Sacramento’s age difference con? What about Davis’ “no cycling” con and Sacramento’s “cycling” pro? Could it be that our bicycling habits are the real make-or-break details we both should be watching while we wait for the other shoe to drop? I wish I hadn’t seen it at all- it felt like being punched in the gut, because I was seeing a physical representation of a feeling I’ve carried with me the whole time we’ve been involved. The feeling that I can be merely one of two choices, with a merit so dubious that a visual aid had to be drawn up. I saw myself on that legal pad as one of two possible lives, in one of two possible towns, and didn’t really see me at all.
Of course, I’m also guilty of making a person represent a life, and of failing to make a choice. I don’t even have to write my pros and cons list to know which column would be spilling over into the margins.