I don’t often write about my life before I moved to New York, but I’ve been thinking about October 2011.
The Ex Fiancé broke up with me in June 2011, so it was my first Halloween post break-up. Since he moved back to Minnesota for work, I wasn’t worried about seeing him out and about.
I was getting ready with my best friend, E. E lived with his older boyfriend (now husband) in his boyfriend’s funeral home—yes, E’s boyfriend was a funeral home director, living in the top floor of said funeral home.
“What are you?” I asked, eyeing his sporty black underwear, but as soon as he put on a pair of shoulder pads I knew. “Ah, sexy football player.”
“Yup. And you?”
“Sexy-Clark-Kent-Changing-Into-Superman,” I said, proud of my superman underwear, hipster glasses and white unbuttoned shirt.
We were, perhaps, not the most creative costumers that year.
There are very few gay bars in Iowa, and only two within a reasonable drive from the funeral home: There was Belle’s Basix, a gay bar just down the street owned by the drag queen Pretty Belle, and Studio 13, where you could see Sasha Belle every weekend before she booked “RuPaul’s Drag Race.” Studio 13 tended to pull in a younger audience, so they got into the hearse (which was really just a van with the seats folded down in the back), and I followed them in my Ford Focus.
I hadn’t so much as ordered my first drink at the bar when my phone started buzzing. It was him—The Ex Fiancé. I hadn’t heard from him in a while.
It was a text. A simple text, just three words.
I miss you.
I looked up at E, a full Long Island iced tea in my hand. “What?” he asked.
“I have to go.” I handed him my drink: With his drink in his other hand, he’d have no hands to stop me.
“Why? What happened?”
“He texted me.” I didn’t have to tell him who.
“This is a bad idea,” he said, quietly.
“Probably,” I said, and raced for my car.
Like the iconic Celine Dion sang, “I drove all night to get to you.” I was pulled over by a cop for speeding: When I started to tell him the whole story about The Ex Fiancé, he let me go with just a warning.
It was past 2 a.m. when I finally got to the duplex his shared with his sister. I rang the doorbell once, quickly, hoping not to wake her. Inside, I heard the dog we adopted together barking.
The Ex Fiancé opened the door in sweatpants, rubbing the sleep from his eyes. “Ian-Michael?”
“I miss you too,” I said, standing there in Superman underwear and an unbuttoned shirt.
The Ex Fiancé leaned forward and kissed me. I can’t be sure, but I bet that’s the night he decided to start applying to grad schools in New York. The reason we both ended up here.
All because we were caught up in love, caught up in a love song that only Celine Dion could sing right.