I have many regrets, and I’m sure everyone does. The stupid things you do, you regret… if you have any sense, and if you don’t regret them, maybe you’re stupid – Katharine Hepburn
I’d like to put in an addendum to Hepburn’s quote.
Aside from the stupid things you do, you regret, I’d like to add that the things (stupid or not) you didn’t do, you regret, too.
I’m cool with regretting things I’ve done.
All my ex-whatevers would fall under that column. I’m sure they would not be surprised that they’re on this list. I’m sure they feel the same way about me.
I also have an infinitely longer list of people I wish I never had the aneurysm-producing pleasure of meeting. But in order to experience the full spectrum of life, it’s necessary to be exposed to the good, the bad and the undeniably questionable. The questionable, more often than not, never fails to be the fun stuff. The stuff of memories and legends.
But would I make the same mistakes… walk down that path, again? Yes, I would. Why? Because every choice I’ve made, every challenge thrown at me and every person I’ve met (yes, even the ones I want to hang upside down and beat the shit out of like a pinata), has led me to this point in my life. It hasn’t been too shabby. Sure, there are things I still want to tackle before I become dust in the wind. While those goals are always achievable, it seems I need several lifetimes (we’re talking in the double digits, folks) to get through my seriously-need-to-do list.
Although I’m cool with regretting the things I’ve done, I’m not so cool with the things I could have, would have, should have done but didn’t do. Most of the things that fall into this category, I don’t lose sleep over. I shrug my shoulders and keep moving forward because dwelling on the past isn’t productive. Never is.
I’ll admit there is one regret that I have. I’m not even sure if it’s really a regret since I mull over it as a ‘what if.’ However, what-ifs are just as dangerously unproductive as the regrets.
This one regret is a guy I went to college with. We were classmates. He was funny, larger than life but self-deprecating and humble. He still is. We could have had a relationship. Fuck, we probably should have had a relationship. So, what happened? Lack of clear communication about his intentions and a bit of miscommunication and misreading on my part. I think that’s the best way to describe it. It was an opportunity that came and went. But not without some angst on his part and cluelessness on mine, I suppose.
I’ll take the blame for screwing up the chance to be with someone who had the best opportunity to ruin me in future relationships. If that sounds really confusing, don’t lose any brain cells figuring that one out. Trust me when I say it makes absolute sense to me.
Anyway, years later, we reconnected via Facebook and email. And we had one phone conversation where he admitted the feelings he had for me back in college. I was stunned. And this was where I apologized for the miscommunication and misreading for his intentions.
I won’t go into detail about the conversation that night. It stays between him and me.
If you’re wondering if we ever got around to giving it another shot, I can tell you – no, we didn’t. We were and are fully entrenched in the lives we have now. We live in two different countries even though we are on the same continent. I’m not one to shy away from the idea of a long-distance relationship but other factors have to be place for me to give it a go. Those factors were never in place. Our personal trajectories don’t align in any way that would permit the possibility of seeing if sparks would fly again.
I’m okay with that. He’s okay with that. He’s doing great in a career he loves and was born to do. Me? I don’t mind meandering through life, throwing myself into small indulgences and learning more about myself and my place in this world.
But still, the odd little thing will set me off and I do think of him and what-if.
What was the odd little thing this time? A song that actor Oscar Isaac performed in a movie called 10 Years which also starred Channing Tatum. You can check the IMDb website for specs and storyline about the movie. I came across the song and scene snippet by accident. I have never seen the movie. It’s described as a romantic comedy drama. I’m not a fan of romantic comedies, even if there is a touch or healthy dose of drama.
As much as I love Isaac, it’s a movie that doesn’t make my Top 100 movies to-watch list. I feel the same way about Jamie Dornan who played Christian Grey in the film adaptation of 50 Shades of Grey. The man is a very good, if not brilliant actor. I first saw him in the British series The Fall opposite Gillian Anderson. He knows how to play creepy and slightly unhinged. So perfect. I loved him in that series. I will watch Dornan in anything except in 50 Shades of Grey. E.L. James has plenty of money. She doesn’t need mine to line her pockets.
So, in the movie 10 Years, there is a scene where Isaac’s character, Reeves, is at some sort of open mic event and he performs a song about Elise (played by Kate Mara) — who happens to be in the audience — and his unrequited love for her. I’m going to assume Elise and Reeves get together by the end of the movie. Wild guess.
Anyway, the song is called Never Had. It’s a great little song. Listening to the lyrics made me think of my friend. Granted, the lyrics are very specific to Reeves’ and Elise’s story but the spirit and sentiment behind the song’s existence resonated with me. It is the best expression of how I feel about him, in particular, the chorus:
Through the good times and the bad
You were the best I never had
The only chance I wish I had to take
But there was no writing on the wall
No warning signs to follow
I know now and I can’t just forget
You’re the best I never had
Yeah, it got me thinking. And not necessarily in a bad way. More wistful than anything else. Here is the tail end of the final verse before it kicks into the chorus one last time:
And I hope this song I’m singing
Some day finds you
Wherever you may be
I’m pretty sure my friend doesn’t read this blog. Mainly because I never mentioned it to him. And because I didn’t start this blogsite until long after our conversation ended. Today, we are in each other’s peripheral vision but we don’t directly communicate all that often. Different trajectories.
Maybe this blogpost will some day find him wherever he may be. I hope he knows I’m talking about him. I don’t want him to tell me he read it. I just want him to know how I will always feel about him.
The best I never had.