I Never Save My Ex-Boyfriends’ Numbers

Despite being thoroughly convinced of the lack of interested parties, this is a post about an odd parallel between situations with ex-boyfriends, of which I have two.

After a long, messy, drawn-out breakup with the first wherein we tried to be friends starting the very day after we broke up and failed utterly, I finally deleted him from my phone several months later. In the two-plus years since he physically left my life, we’ve had technological contact on and off. No pun intended. But in all the years since I first deleted his name from my phone, I’ve never reentered it. I always know who it is (no one else ever texts me from a Florida number). I just haven’t saved it.

I also have noticed the differences between my breakups with these two – in the first, his physical presence in my life was gone, and I have not seen him since; but his technological presence continued and continues to invade my life sometimes. With the second, technologically he was gone right away, but physically we still had to endure each other. It was very different.

Anyway, with the second, a few weeks ago he texted me about mutual friends’ breakup, and I didn’t resave his number then; nor did I resave it when I texted him saying I would like to talk. It struck me this afternoon that I hadn’t saved either number; that both ex-boyfriends were referred to by number and not by name; I can’t help but wonder if this isn’t a small extension of that spiritual annihilation Madeleine L’Engle talked about.

But then again, if I treat it like a nickname or something, perhaps it won’t matter as much that I’m not giving them their real name?

I’ll let it go for now.


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