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Night Vision is Back, Baby!
It's been a while.
Hi friends. If you’re asking what is Night Vision, I don’t remember signing up for this, how’d you get my email address, you probably found yourself here after reading this article, or maybe this one. Both of them make their way around the internet occasionally. Happy you’re here.
It’s been a while. Night Vision took a hiatus. I’d say I don’t know what happened, but I do. Life was a drag, so I didn’t have anything to write. Then life was fun, a pendulum swing in the opposite direction from 2020, and I still didn't have anything to write. Whatever words I had in me were reserved for assignments, probably a roundup of farmhouse kitchen backsplashes or best fill-in-the-blank.
Then, this spring, a very important person to me died unexpectedly, and two weeks later another VIP died too. These two men were the most complicated figures in my life, and suddenly they were both gone. Not across town, with a phone number I could block, and memories I could try my best to block too. Off this earth gone. My heart broke, and so did my brain.
I immediately regretted not making amends with either of them.
Below is a rambling collection of good times, bad times, and the in betweens with VIP #1. When he died, he was 42, a new dad to a one-year-old daughter, and I trust he was happy. I’d been thinking about him recently with a warmth I hadn’t felt in a long time. Funny how the universe does that.
For better or worse, but usually worse, I spent much of my 20s with him. We were the most unstable couple, breaking up so many times I lost count. My friends never knew whether we were together or not because I stopped telling them. You can cry to a friend about the first breakup, but not about the fourth.
We met at the restaurant where I worked as a hostess a couple times a week, primarily for socializing and a staff meal. I was 23, and he was 32. The age difference didn’t matter until it did. He returned the next night to see me again, admitting that he thought I was flirting with him because I put my hand on his shoulder when I told him it’d be a three hour wait for a table. I didn’t tell him I put my hand on a lot of peoples’ shoulders. I hated his jeans but I loved his smile.
I don’t remember why we broke up the first time. I do remember, maybe a month or so later, him saying, “For what it’s worth, I was wrong,” and then making up and making out on his stoop.
He painted my nails in Palm Springs and did a remarkably good job.
There was that house party when I caught him in a lie about sleeping with that woman in Portland. I sobbed on the front steps, and his friends took turns checking on me. He never checked on me. Eventually I grabbed his keys, drove back to his home which was my home, packed my everything, and left. I don’t remember when I came back, but it couldn’t have been long. It was never long.
Occasionally he’d tell people his last name was di Beppo, of the Buca di Beppo restaurant chain, because he knew it’d make me laugh.
When I got laid off, he stopped at Lunds and bought me two varieties of grapes, an issue of Soap Opera Digest, Pop-Tarts, and Cinnamon Toast Crunch. The jelly-filled donuts were sold out, otherwise he would have grabbed one of those too.
For weeks after he died I exclusively listened to bands who played Coachella in 2012. I scoured every corner of the cloud for the few photos of us I hadn’t deleted. I cried every time I drove on a highway.
Once we went to dinner at Mastro’s in Beverly Hills. Odd choice, but nonetheless. In the brief elevator ride to the third floor a man tried to purchase me. This man either needed me during the week or just on weekends – one or the other, I forget which. It all happened so fast we never found out how much the man was willing to pay for me.
That time we stayed at the Four Seasons in Seattle, the employees mistakenly called him “Mr. McCarty.” I don’t know if he found that as endearing as I did.
June 2020. My hair was in a wet braid from a morning at the pool, I was dragging along a four-year-old who wasn’t walking as fast as I wanted her to, and I had 27 minutes to get across town to my dentist appointment. I saw him – it had to have been him, I’d recognize his silhouette from the moon – through the glass of a coffee shop. I wasn’t in my finest form for hello, how are yous with an ex, so I kept walking. I regret not saying hi. Always say hi. I never saw him again.
I can still hear him whispering, “cozy, cozy, cozy” in my ear from when we’d spoon on the couch.
The last time I saw him he stressed me out so much I developed shingles. I’m glad I never told him that.
He left two strips of black-and-white photobooth pics of us hanging on his fridge even during our breakups. That was likely due to laziness, like how that one year he didn’t throw out our Christmas tree until after we renamed it the St. Patrick's Day tree. After he died I unearthed my copies of those same photos. We looked happy, and I believe for a brief while we were.
One time in New York, a charcuterie board in between us, he asked me to commit and I couldn’t.
He always told me he didn’t want kids, until our final breakup, when he told me not only did he want kids, but he wanted to have kids with me. Ridiculous, I thought. I bet he was a great dad.
The last time we texted he called me Megsie. That brought me peace.
I hope he felt it too.
Squeeze your loved ones,
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