the Ex files

Is it vulgar to admit enjoying the odd bout of Facebook voyeurism; looking up an old Ex, crush or fling? So, there I was flicking through a photo album when suddenly, he appeared……

X peered out at me, or rather I, in at him. After all, it was I who clicked the key, instigating this memory backtrack. I find it strange how emotions can reverberate through time.

I had not seen X since we were teenagers. Scarcely recognizable from the photo, he was now a man of middle age. He smoked a cigar and sported the affectations of wealth.  Most obviously, there was a beautiful younger woman by his side, two children and a large house looming in the background.

We were never friends, at best acquaintances, yet I am still shamed by an incident that happened between us. A memory stain that has calcified.

Back then X was not ‘cool’; at least not in my eyes. I knew him because we both belonged to a Jewish youth group, much like a teenage mixed scout group. On the evening in question, we were at Maccabi, the Jewish sports club in Terenure, the grounds long since sold off as the community dwindled.

We, a gaggle of girls, were gathering forces in the community hall as there was mention of a food fight. X was present with another boy… perhaps they were teasing us, edging us toward action. I cannot recall specific events. However, it was not long before a chase ensued.

X fled out into the grounds, across the football pitch toward the new tennis courts. We followed, pelting him with flour, eggs and water; our weapons were by no means deadly but we acted as a mob, stripping him of his blue Levi’s, reducing him, making him cry like a baby.

X was our prey. Even a child knows there is pleasure to be had in violence.

Later, one of the leaders chastened us, the joke had gone too far. We had ruined X’s new jeans; new jeans did not come cheap. X wasn’t one of the rich kids, his dad had recently died. Didn’t we know that? It was just X and his mum.

Years pass and a mother myself the thought of my own son being so humiliated cuts to the quick. Perhaps I am being overly sensitive… far worse has happened to me and to those I love since then. Life, as it is want to do, has been unjust and unfair yet for some reason this moment lingered.

I am glad X looks happy in his Facebook photos.

back to confessions…