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Jun 25 2008

The Blizzard

I took a post off here a while back saying things about an ex-boyfriend that were true but neither widely known nor entertaining. This story, containing three ex-boyfriends, is something none of us are going to forget. You can tell me whether it’s entertaining.

So there we were, coming back from Duluth in the middle of a November blizzard, me, the guy I’d been dating about two weeks (S) and my ex-roommate (V). We’d been to see a play on campus. Either V or S must have known someone in the production, but I was there to get out of town. The road trip up had settled my nerves nicely.

It started snowing as we came out of the theater, and once we were a few miles down the road, we were facing a whiteout. Being between exits, we had no good place to pull over where we wouldn’t be a target for any cars silly enough to be on the road behind us. Along we crept as slowly as V’s car would go.

We were pretty tense by the time we passed the white Saab barely visible on the side of the road, but the weather had nothing to do with why I flinched. Anyone who knew me when knows that D drove Saabs. D, of course, was the most recent ex-boyfriend, the one who’d been making out with V back at our apartment while I was in the hospital after my appendectomy, the one who shortly thereafter had refused to talk to me after deciding to break up, the one who had recently told me about how he was considering killing himself if we didn’t get back together now that he’d slept with V. In short, D was the reason I needed some time where I couldn’t be found.

But there, in the middle of this nightmare blizzard, was a white Saab with no one in the driver’s seat. I didn’t say anything to V or S. They hadn’t seen the car. It couldn’t be D. Right? We were three hours from home. D couldn’t have known where I was going, and the car was pointed the wrong direction to be following us. We kept inching along.

Sometime before Hinkley, we were just driving through snow. No more blizzard. But by that time we were all shaky and up later than we’d intended to be. It was time to take advantage of Tobey’s all-night breakfast.

We were laughing over cinnamon rolls and bad coffee, just settling down again, when a head popped around the corner and back. “C, get back here!” The restaurant wasn’t crowded at whatever a.m., but I’d have yelled even if it had been.

The face reappeared. C held up one finger and disappeared again. Ex-boyfriend number two, and I was still only halfway home. I think I refrained from swearing while I waited.

C was a high school boyfriend, the one I lost to Catholic guilt. It wasn’t that he felt guilty about anything we were doing. It was more that B decided it was time for him to stop seeing me and date only her, and she, being Catholic, was much better at using guilt than I was.

I’d salvaged some of my pride the summer after we graduated with a major make-out session, punctuated by “How could I have been so stupid” remarks from him. Of course, I was dating D at the time. What can I say? I was young and dumb. And in the last couple of years, D and C had become best buddies. D knew all about C, or thought he did, which hadn’t given me much moral high ground in the recent dust-up over V.

Oh, and just to make the situation more complicated, V had also recently been after both S and C. I don’t know whether she was boy crazy or just wanted what I’d had. I wasn’t much impressed with V’s big unobtainable crush, so it wasn’t that we shared the same taste in guys.

Forget triangles. Mapping this situation required three dimensions.

Finally C came back. Yep, that had been D’s impossible Saab. Yep, he’d been following me to Duluth when he’d had an accident in the blizzard. He’d bounced off a guard rail, spun across the median, and ended up on the opposite side of the oncoming lanes with a car that shouldn’t move. C was on his way to pick him up.

Only C’s car had just died on the freeway. C was at Tobey’s to call someone to come get them both. He’d found us before he found the pay phone. But hey, since we were already here….

Yeah, we went. We persuaded C to have some food first, since he’d just had a nice snowy walk, but we went, back up into the heavier snow to the rest stop where D was waiting.

I chickened out on the way home. D was in the front seat with V, but I curled up in the back and pretended to sleep, head on C’s shoulder. Somehow it seemed like the safest choice, better than snuggling up to S. I should have gone the other way, though.

I had a third ex-boyfriend by the next afternoon.