May 20th, 2000


We all have our various exes, and our stories of exes, and some of us even have our theories of exes.

My first wife was my son's mother. We were young - she was a 19 year old topless dancer, and I was a 25 year old fresh back from combat and living on the streets. We didn't last long, but strangely we've continued fairly decent friends to this day. I saw her this past summer, first time in 10 years as we now live 3000 miles apart. She looked like the same girl with a couple more smile lines. It was fun watching her first look at me though - I'd added 60 pounds, a beard, a ponytail, and miscellaneous piercings and tattoos. We had a nice chat, and now trade cartoons via email every couple weeks.

Second wife, the PBFH[tm], I last saw 20 years ago. I don't know if she's dead or alive, don't care, and am not willing to find out. I still have one share of stock issued Joint Tenancy that I'll never be able to cash in or spend the dividends from, because it would involve finding her to have her sign off on it.

[PBFH - my trademarked slur - psycho bitch/bastard from hell]

After her, I was lucky enough to slip into the swinger's world, and for the next ten years had no primary relationship. I had sex with hundreds of people, made friendships with dozens, and had a lot of fun.

After that, about ten years ago I stumbled onto the kinky folks, and haven't looked back. One ex, a friend, coworker and lover, managed to be oblivious to every single oblique signal I tried to give on my non-monogamous nature. She thought we were destined. I didn't find out til too late that I was - in her 40s - only her second or third lover. I was too dense and untutored at that point to communicate clearly. At some point after diving into kink headlong like a fish returned to water, I outted myself as bi, kinky, and polyamorous in one crude spew. It was as graceless as spontaneous vomit, and as effective. She ran to get tested and I've heard from her once in ten years, to send me a funeral notice of a mutual friend.

I've one other ex of note. At her request I've avoided contact with her for years except where the community thrusts us together, and I'll attempt to do that here as well, in the hope of reciprocity.

Hundreds of others I can't really call an 'ex'. Played a couple times, a drive-by fisting, had a great weekend, ended up paired for a short spin on the roulette wheel of love. Exes, in my definition, are those where there was a large investment, and a similar price paid upon disillusion.

I have this mathematical theory regarding exes.

Picture a graph, two wavy lines intersecting, making a big irregular 'X'. From the bottom left, the line marked 'Joe' angles up to the upper right corner of the graph. From the bottom right you see the line marked 'Mabel', which ends up in the upper left corner. Somewhere in the middle the lines cross.

That crossroads region - just a point on a small graph - represents the two weeks, months, years or decades that Joe and Mabel were an item. And, in reality, that region is all that Joe and Mabel know of each other... they each keep on moving after the relationship itself ends. Five years, ten years, along the road, on up the angles of the graph, Joe's memory of Mabel is still his memories of that crossroads region. Of course, Mabel ain't there anymore - she's on up the graph also. Joe may or may not eyeball Mabel these days, but even seeing her isn't __knowing_ her the way he did when they were together.

Ask Joe about Mabel. What are you gonna hear? Crossroads. What she looked like then, what she did then, how they interacted then, what her strengths and faults were then.

Ask Mabel about Joe? Her version of the same time period. Different memories, even of the same events. Each memory different, through her own eyes, her own selectivity, her own filters.

Let's be realistic here. Each of us whether we be Boris Badinov or Dudley Dooright practices self-serving revisionist history with our exes.

My second wife - the PBFH[tm] - may well have turned into a wonderful person. I don't know, probably never will. I remember the person who abused my son and I. She, no doubt, remembers the manchild I was 20-some years ago, in all my failings. Am I still the same person, no. Is she? Probably not.

I don't know where I'm going with this, really. It's a neato theory to oversimplify human emotions and relations. Food for thought. Freshman psychology. Linear depiction of non-linear entities.

But it's my theory of exes.

Life is good, even looking back.

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