Rewind, recycle

Some fifteen years ago, I dated a guy who was long on dreams, short on action. I think my flatmates in a falling down old Queenslander unearthed him for me on our one communal household computer.  Mr. Dreamer was funny, good company, and learned very early on that even when I’m way too busy, my evenings can suddenly become free if an Indian curry is mentioned. He had plans to learn an instrument, do some renovations, and to quit the job that he hated, yet he couldn’t really get started on any of those projects. Meanwhile, I was seriously scheming how to get myself to the US for a course of study which would transform my life, and later, many others around Australia. After a lowkey start to whatever “we” were, he suddenly rhapsodised one night over how I had motivated him to change forever, how indebted he was to me, what an inspiration I was, how… As he raved, an instant migraine developed as he tried to hand over responsibility for his motivation and life choices to me. I slunk away.

About five years later, I stepped onto a very full bus, and made my way to the last empty seat at the back. Sitting myself down, I had a strange feeling that I knew this cute guy, and that he would strike up a conversation. Embarrassingly, it was Mr. Dreamer. He was still funny, still easy to chat to, still in the same job he despised, still “just about” to start learning that instrument, do the rennos, and to take on all those other dreams. He noticed my Masters thesis draft I had been correcting, concerning an aspect of my US study that I had been madly planning all those years ago, and noted that I’d made Part One of my impossible dream happen. An awkwardness grew as we realised that while he was still “just about to”, I had taken huge steps forward in changing the direction of my life.

Fast forward another ten years. Flicking through Tinder, I came across a kinda cute guy who looked vaguely familiar. I had a strange feeling that I knew this cute guy, and that he would… wait! Deja vu!  On closer inspection, it was definitely Mr. Dreamer a decade on. His profile was very funny, he had graduated from taking girls out to Indian curries to promising home-made Indian feasts, was owner of a gorgeous dog, and a (presumably gorgeous) son. Perhaps having a child prompted a life change?  My hand hovered over the swipe keys as I hesitated in potentially repeating history. In the end, puppy plus curries plus curiosity dragged my finger to swipe right.  It would be too good a story if we met again, I couldn’t resist.

Thank God he was wise enough not to contact me. Sometimes your past comes back to haunt you. And if that past is now single, chances are that he’s on Tinder, and only an accidental right swipe away.

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