When A Ghost From The Past...Is A Ghost

Way back when I first started this blog, I thought it would be a funny thing to call those unfortunate dudes who ended up ensnared in my web, "victims". I wrote many posts about them, and gave each victim a moniker. Some of the monikers alluded to their careers (Professor Plum, Sad Counselor, lol), one was a nod to a stunning resemblance (oh hey John McCain) and a few others retained their real names but with a twist (Curiously Cheap George, Angry Steve). I'm actually cackling over these, you guys. Maybe I do need to get back out there.

When I look back on the fellas I've been involved with during my post-divorce life, it's usually done with a shudder or a regretful sigh or sometimes I go as far as self flagellating ala' Chris Farley in his SNL skit "The Chris Farley Show" (how could you be so stupid!). Sometimes, though, in place of the shudder there's a smile. The afterglow of something that wasn't meant to be but wasn't all bad.

A month or so ago, I had a thought pop into my brain completely out of the blue. One of those random "hey whatever happened to?" along with some fuzzy memory snapshots. This time, the subject was Ben. He was also referred to as Mullet Man on occasion.

We met via eharmony and he was the first man I allowed to meet my kids. Turns out he was also the last man I allowed to meet my kids so there you go. Our relationship happened just prior to the social media explosion (sweet jeeeezus should I be sitting in a rocking chair and handing out Werthers while I spin this yarn?) so when it ended, it really did end. There was no facebook stalking, no Instagram peeking. Ben there, done that, no t-shirt bought.

So. I had this hankering to find out what Ben was up to. Not in a psycho, bunny boiling way, just a nagging curiosity. Wherefore art thou, Ben?

I looked on Facebook. Nada. I dusted off my LinkedIn account. Nope. Put on my CSI coat and did a Google search. Nothing substantial.

I went back to Facebook and did the first truly creepy act: searched up one of his kids. They have very unique names...well, not the names themselves but the spelling. So they were easy to find. And on one of their profiles, there was a pic of said kid (who is now a grown-ass young man like my kids) holding up Ben's high school senior portrait with a caption of "miss this dude". Ooof.

A little further digging around and I learned that Ben had died.

I don't know how, I do know when. Early in 2011. Not long after I had written about him, and approximately four years after we dated.

The news of his death hit me. Not in a grieving-widow kind of way, but it hit me. I've always considered the relationships in my past as something like old coats in the front closet: they haven't been worn in years but if you open that door and flip through enough hangers, there they'll be. Reminders of a time long gone.

Ben wasn't a bad person. He had his flaws just like we all do. But the dude made me laugh and that is how I remember him. In fact, one of the funniest memories I have of ALL TIME features Ben in the starring role, with a plastic bag as best supporting actor.

We were driving somewhere, in Ben's jeep. It was summer and the windows were wide open and we were tooling down the highway with the radio cranked UP and we were singing along...all of a sudden a white bag whipped up from the backseat and wrapped itself, alien-style, around Ben's face. Yes, it could have resulted in tragedy but he snagged it off and we proceeded to almost pee our pants laughing about it. I'm laughing right now, with tears in my eyes, just picturing him with that damn Anoka, MN haircut and that bag plastered on his mug.

Oh Ben.

He's the guy who introduced me to Godsmack and Manhattans and he called my dog Salty Walty. He fell asleep to Spongebob every night and sometimes needed an inhaler in the middle of sexy time. He was a dad and a son and a metal head and now he's gone.

I hope he's in a heavenly stadium right now, rocking out HARD to Van Hagar. I hope his kids are doing okay and I know for certain I will never again be able to look at a white plastic bag without smiling.
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...