For no good reason I’m thinking about people who settle scores. Well, not for no reason. I’m thinking about a non-lj friend, who, having endured a break-up years ago, is still seeking an explanation from his ex. This is a person whose work touches on themes of social justice and activism, and when I talk to him, the parting still looms large. We tend to think about this as wanting closure, but what he really wants is a just outcome. He wants both he and his ex to come to an understanding about their break-up that would be reasonable not only to them but to outside parties. When he wistfully asks me about what his ex is doing, or talks about wanting to hear from them, it never has anything to do with a nostalgia for the times when they were together. I don’t hear the longing for love, I just hear them saying “unfair, unfair, unfair…” Walking Lehigh tonight I thought that it isn’t possible to achieve justice on that level, between individuals. Perhaps we could if we returned to dueling. We could demand satisfaction and declare when we had received it.
And my friend’s approach to previous relationships makes wonder what they are expecting when they talk to me about finding someone new. Score settlers are are usually score keepers, and I can’t see how that bodes well for sustained romance.